Saturday, August 1st, 9:00 am, Guilford. (Please note SGT walk postcard listed incorrect date.) Hike with your dog! Grab your best four legged friend and join us for a hike at the East River Preserve, a 583-acre conservation area purchased by the Town of Guilford in 2009. We’ll hit the Blue Trail, which goes through open meadows and tree covered trails. Dogs must be on leash and socialized to walk with other animals. Please bring water for you and your pet and don’t forget poop bags. Meet by the bridge at the end of Sullivan Drive. Parking is limited so please car pool. Contact: Jo-Anne Basile, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the morning of July 4th, an enthusiastic crowd of more than 40 adults and children joined members of the Shoreline Greenway Trail (SGT) to walk almost 3 miles on sections of the trail starting from the Tilcon Railroad Tracks. In honor of the holiday, American flags were distributed to all who came; some carried them on the hike, while others had them waving from their hats.
The first section of the Trail paralleled Tilcon Road and from there we walked up Totoket Road to Young Park, where co-chair Chet Blomquist talked about the bluebird boxes that were posted years ago along the edges of the field. He opened one so that the fascinated onlookers could view two young bluebirds.
We continued past the pond where we saw a regal swan, through the park to Birch Road, then crossed to the next section which runs to Pine Orchard Road.
We stopped just short of Pine Orchard Road to view the outdoor environmental classroom that was recently cleaned up by a group of Boy Scouts under the direction of Eagle Scout Charles Slate. Across the trail from the classroom we also visited Nature’s Garden, which is currently under renovation by Sound School student Luke Boyle. There we viewed a beautiful sundial and had a look at the community gardens.
From there it was back along the trails to our starting point, concluding 2 hours of exercise, fresh air, and learning about the trail and its nearby sights. A fun way to start celebrating our national holiday. Our thanks to all who came to celebrate with us!
There is a new rain garden in the trailhead parking lot in Madison, and soon there will be a new Eagle Scout in Guilford. For his Eagle project Guilford Boy Scout Eric Weidman successfully sought donations of plant materials from a variety of sources. Clinton Nurseries and Susan Conlan donated trees and shrubbery, Hammonasset Park provided mulch, and Van Wilgen’s offered a discount. He marshaled a small army of other scouts, friends, and family, and finally in two and a half hours on Father’s Day Eric and his team planted the garden, a spectacular accomplishment!
Landscape architect Barbara Yaeger volunteered to mentor Eric as he worked on his project. The design for the rain garden was created by Yaeger in collaboration with Madison Director of Public Works and Town Engineer Mike Ott, who volunteered to design the parking lot.
What is a rain garden and why have one in the parking lot, you might ask. Rainwater washing across a parking lot carries a variety of pollutants such as fertilizer, bacteria, debris, toxic chemicals, and other substances. In addition, fresh water pouring into the salt marsh alters the salinity and threatens the survival of the marsh.
For our rain garden Yaeger selected plants for their ability to tolerate wetness after storms and dryness during intervals between storms. When it rains, water from the lot runs into the rain garden catching sediment, pollutants, and bacteria before they get to the nearby salt marsh. As the storm water filters through the soil, it is mostly absorbed by the plants while they take up nitrogen and phosphorus as well.
So next time you park in the trailhead parking lot at Hammonasset Park, be sure to take note of the beauty and the science of the rain garden.