Monday, April 27, 2015

Spring Cleaning at Knox Preserve

By Marissa Gildea and Julia Serafin

On Sunday, April 12th, twelve members of the Connecticut College community volunteered at Knox Preserve in Stonington. Over the last couple of weeks we have been working to organize this work day and it was both exciting and rewarding to see that our efforts had fallen into place. One of the major worries of organizing this endeavor was finding the bodies needed to make the work day successful. Therefore, we reached out to members of Her Campus and the Women’s Rowing Team, and there we found our volunteers! This group was the perfect size to accomplish the task that Beth and Binti had in store for us.

Our wonderful volunteers.
At Knox, there were numerous brush piles that were already gathered on the sides of the trails. Working together, we moved these piles from the narrow paths to a more accessible area. This allowed truck access to take the brush away. Surprisingly, we finished this task quicker than we had anticipated. As a result, we went deeper through the trails and removed our own brush… especially making sure to avoid poison ivy! One of our volunteers, Natalie Calhoun GNCE Student ‘16, took on the role of removing and untangling the vines that were suffocating the trees. The site visit would not have been complete without exploration on our own. If you are familiar with Knox then you would probably know of the large rocks hidden in the paths. From this setting there was a breathtaking view out over the water. It was here that we even spotted an osprey nest! Overall, we really lucked out with the weather being on our side, and it was a great effort made by all!

Brush was piled high.

The Osprey nest at Knox Preserve.

Volunteers pull together

Arriving at the preserve, it was amazing to see that there was already a group of volunteers hard at work. As soon as we stepped onto the preserve, there was a clear sense of community that could not be ignored. Beth explained to us that a lot of the neighbors to the preserves dedicate their time and efforts there. Overall, the outcome of our work from just a short period of time at the preserve was unbelievable. Therefore, it is necessary that more members of the community reach out and set aside time to work with Avalonia, because as we saw this past day, a little can go a long way.

How many trips did that wheelbarrow make?

More happy volunteers.
This work day was the first time that we had the opportunity to actually visit one of Avalonia’s sites. Knox’s remote location near the water was a hidden gem that we were fortunate to find. This preserve is a great location to bring the kids and the dog or even to escape and take some time for yourself. If you have not already visited, then put Knox on your list of things to do. We definitely will be visiting Knox in the future!
Vines choking a tree.
Photographs by Avalonia volunteers.

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