Focus on the Wood Parcel
Environmental Review Team gives direction to stewardship efforts
To guide future stewardship efforts, the Trust engaged the services of an Environmental Review Team, a service of the Connecticut Resource Conservation & Development area, under the direction of Jeanne Davies. Ms. Davies assembled a team of experts, including Cathy Labadia, Archeologist with the State Preservation Office, Joe Barsky, forester with the CT Ag Experiment Station, Chris Allan, professional soil & wetland scientist, Kip Kolesinskas, Consulting Conservation Scientist from the CT Farmland Trust, Vivian Felton and Fernando Rincon, from the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The team members worked around frigid weather and Covid 19 protocols to survey the habitats of the Wood parcel and produce a report that will inform the Trust stewardship initiatives going forward.
At right, Kip Kolesinskas examines the soil on the Wood parcel’s six acre corn field.
The soils are identified as Occum fine sandy loam, and Winooski silt loam, both excellent alluvial soils.
However, he did observe that the soils were somewhat depleted and lacking in structure. The recommendations for remediation included planting of a cover crop. No cover crop was planted last season because of the drought. This September the cover crop planting was held up by rain storms. At right, farmer Chris Anderson, broadcast the seed, and nephew Jared Christensen harrowed in the seed. At right the blend of oats, peas, radishes and winter rye will both enrich the soil and slow
Joe Barsky, CAES forester, at right, inspected the wooded areas of the Wood parcel on a frigid January day. Observing the dead elms and ash and the pervasive invasive bush honeysuckle and multiflora rose, he prescribed a course of mechanical control, followed by planting of native tree species such as tupelo, tulip poplar, and hackberry which provide wildlife benefits and resilience. He recommended hiring the services of an contractor with machinery that would grind up the woody invasive shrubs. Herbicide control would be necessary to prevent regrowth. With the installation of deer exclusion fencing, bare-root planting of native species could be carried out by community volunteers, providing educational benefits. The Trust
is seeking grant funding for the mechanical invasive removal, fencing material, and planting materials.
Heritage Walk signs put Wood parcel on the village map
The popular Heritage Walk Trail connecting Old Wethersfield historical sites and information panels has been extended to include the Wood parcel historical and natural site. The Heritage Walk brochure has been revised by artist Phil Lohman to include the location of three additional informative panels located along the trail at the Wood parcel.
Under the direction of Town Planner Peter Gillespie, a committee consisting of Peter
and Tina Spangenberg and Jim Woodworth, with help from Diana Evans and Gerry Hayes, worked on brain-storming ideas, gathering photographs, working with graphic artist David Wolfram to lay out and refine the three panels. Funding was provided by a matching
grant from the