Monday, October 27, 2014

This and That: Updates from the field and forest

By Beth Sullivan
We have all been working pretty hard over the last month: starting some projects, finishing others. I thought it might be fun for a little round up.

Anguilla Brook Bridge

Earlier in the year a team of Avalonia volunteers dismantled an unsafe and unstable old bridge across a marsh outflow. With patience and effort and a lot of team work, the project is now complete. The DEEP was able to deliver right to the crossing two long poles to span the gap. Set in place, they became the base. Our building team rolled them into the correct position, secured them, and then used old timbers to shore up and reinforce the banks from further erosion. With a generous grant from the Rotary Club of Stonington, we were able to purchase materials for the decking. In another effort, cedar trees that needed thinning from another preserve were cut, trimmed, and moved to this site to create a hand rail system. The bridge is sturdy, and safe, and beautiful! In the future, we will look into assistance and funding to have the marsh water levels studied and possibly a water control structure place in order to maintain the marsh at its most productive and beneficial for wildlife. Thanks to the many participants that made this happen.
DEEP donated and delivered the poles and set them in place.

Finished bridge over a portion of the Anguilla Brook and marsh.

The old bridge was dismantled in the Spring.

Knox Preserve

Many people have questioned all the orange flags and white pipes dotting some of the preserve areas. Those are test plots set up by a Trinity College professor and his undergrad team, who are studying invasive plants, how they are treated, how they respond to various treatments, and how regrowth occurs in different areas. While fighting invasives is a continuous battle to prevent them from taking over and degrading the natural habitats, allowing the study will hopefully give us some answers and insights on how to win the war!
The orange flags and poles mark test plots.

Fennerswood Walls

Several weeks ago we launched an effort to clear the walls of shrubbery and vines that obscured their beauty. When we discovered the walls were in disrepair and, in some cases, disappearing due to theft of rocks, we embarked on a low-key local campaign to raise funds for restoration. With amazing generosity from a few early donors, we were able to actually begin work already by hiring a duo of skilled stone workers with talent and strong backs. In another interesting irony, these two young men have been questioned by neighbors, travelers, and police-all of whom fear they are removing rocks! We are truly grateful to all of those who are keeping an eye on our properties. The police now know what is happening and can field the many questions and reports. Please continue to keep an eye on these walls; watch them rise to line North Main Street, thank the fellows doing the work, and feel free to join our effort to fund the entire project!
A finished section of wall along North Main Street.

If you see these two along North Main Street- they're with us!

Photographs by Beth Sullivan.

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