I took a drive to Old Lyme during the first few days of April. It was a beautiful spring day, too windy to paddle but still warm enough to be out enjoying the sunshine. At the Great Island State Boat Launch near the mouth of the CT River, there is a viewing platform. With a pair of binoculars, you can spy on all of the many Osprey platforms on Great Island. Every platform was occupied with these beautiful birds of prey that had just returned from a 4,000-mile flight from South America. The entire area was busy with activity as Ospreys worked to repair their nests. It was like watching folks returning to their summer cottages.
Spring is an exciting and busy time! Everything is coming back to life after a long winter. Farmers are busy preparing their fields in the Great Meadows. If you are a vegetable gardener like I am, you are anxious to get out and start planting. You, too, may have already started your lettuce, peas and other cold hardy plants.
We at Great Meadows Conservation Trust do not hibernate in the winter. We had a successful series of Brisk Winter Walks. New interpretive signs were installed at our Wood Parcel as part of the Heritage Walk project with Old Wethersfield.
Plans are underway for clearing of some invasives at the Wood Parcel, followed by planting of native plants as we begin to act on the recommendations of the Environmental Review Team.
I made a list of our activities and accomplishments throughout the year. These include parcel inspections and reports, land management, land acquisition, trail maintenance, lease agreements, easements and even some legal issues. There are volunteer activities such as water chestnut pulls, source to sea cleanups and trails day activities and winter walks. There is financial management, publicity such as this newsletter, but also manning of tables at farmers markets and earth day activities. We also continue to monitor town activities relating to the Great Meadows and environmental issues.
These are accomplished by our members, and by community volunteers, high school environmental clubs, with assistance from organizations like the Connecticut River Conservancy, and Nature Conservancy.
As I have served as President these past two years, I have heard many people in the community, as well as members of our town and state government, tell me how much respect they have for GMCT and the work we do. I hope you feel that way too.
If you would like to experience a sense of satisfaction and witness some of our good work, please feel free to join us on one of our work days. Or, contact us to see where your strengths can be put to good use. I promise we will not seize upon you like an Osprey catching a fish. Instead, we’ll be happy to have you join us in our work for as much or as little time as you can spare. Look for announcements on our Facebook page.