Events Archive

Coyotes in Connecticut

Date: March 3, 2021

Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Graphic logo for the 2021 nature lecture series cosponsored by the Town of Bloomfield Leisure Services and the Wintonbury Land TrustOn March 3, 97 people attended another entertaining and educational talk in the Nature Lecture Series co-sponsored by the Town of Bloomfield’s Leisure Services and the Wintonbury Land Trust.

Paul Colburn, a Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Bureau of Natural Resources Wildlife Division Master Wildlife Conservationist, shared his in-depth knowledge of the history, habitat and habits of the Eastern Coyote.

According to Paul, the coyote suffers from lots of myths. Ask anyone what they think of coyotes, and you’re likely to get one of two replies: they’re dangerous or they’re a nuisance. Admittedly, the coyote does have a shady reputation as a chicken coop-robbing, fawn-killing, garbage-eating, pet-snatching scoundrel (think Road Runner and Wiley Coyote cartoons) and as something to get rid of. In 10 year period from 1947-56, approximately 6.5 million coyotes were exterminated. Now about one per minute or 500,000 per year are killed, aided by U.S. Fish & Wildlife efforts to eradicate them to protect livestock. Despite all this, coyotes continue to thrive and have expanded their reach through process called dispersal.

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Speer Preserve Winter Hike

Date: February 20, 2021

Time: 9:30 am

Location: Speer Preserve, Juniper Road, Bloomfield

Updated: We had snow! A small group of intrepid explorers donned snow shoes to enjoy the wooded winter wonderland under the sun. Photo credits: Paula Jones.

Join us for a free winter outing at the Land Trust’s Speer Preserve. This upland forest surrounded by open land and MDC Reservoir property is more reminiscent of winter in the Vermont woods than just minutes from the city. (Photo credit Dale Bertoldi.)

The route is easy-to-moderate and will last 1.5-2.0 hours. Please come with snowshoes if we have snow, waterproof hiking boots if not, and seasonal outdoor clothing. Wearing a face mask is required, and maintaining social distance is expected.

Come early, ready to be on the trail at 9:30 a.m. Meet at the cul-de-sac at the top of Juniper Road in Bloomfield. Rain date is Sunday, February 21.

Photograph of a small group of hikers with snow shoes and dog walking in the woods of Speer Preserve on a sunny day.   Photograph of a small group of hikers walking on a snow-covered path in the woods of Speer Preserve with snow shoes.

White-Tailed Deer in Connecticut

Date: February 3, 2021

Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Graphic logo for the 2021 nature lecture series cosponsored by the Town of Bloomfield Leisure Services and the Wintonbury Land TrustUpdated: Master Wildlife Conservationist Paul Colburn’s knowledge of and appreciation for the majestic White-Tailed Deer who share our neighborhoods was evident throughout this incredibly informative webinar. Acknowledging the frustration many feel as deer devour our plants and decimate our vegetable gardens, Paul began by asking, “What we can do to coexist?” But before answering, he taught us about our neighbors:

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Bobcats – CT’s Secretive Wild Cats

Date: January 6, 2021

Time: 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Logo for 2021 nature lecture series co-sponsored by the Town of Bloomfield Leisure Services and the Wintonbury Land TrustUpdated: Approximately 166 attendees tuned-in to master wildlife conservationist Paul Colburn’s presentation on the bobcat’s natural history in Connecticut. Even if you thought you knew everything about bobcats, Paul quickly demonstrated how much more there was to learn and what researchers still are learning about this amazing cat.

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Volunteer Work Parties

Date: December 3, 2020

Time: 1:30 - 3:30 pm

Location: Hawk Hill Farm, 22 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield

UPDATED: Thanks to everyone who turned out Thursday ahead of the rainy weather! You got enough done that we’re cancelling Saturday and Sunday’s work parties.

Volunteers of all ability levels needed! With the weather about to turn, we’re jumping at the chance to get a few more things done at Hawk Hill Farm. Can you lend a hand one or more afternoons?

  • Thursday, December 3, 1:30 – 3:30 pm
  • Saturday, December 5, 1:30 – 3:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 6, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Please wear sturdy shoes and gloves, and bring tools if you have them. In fresh air and with good company (socially distanced), we’ll spread out to work on various tasks:

  • Clear growth next to the barn with weed whackers.
  • Sever vines around Champion trees above head height with loppers and/or hand saws.
  • Move miscellaneous debris from behind the barn to the front for pickup.

Please contact us to RSVP with your name, chosen day(s), and phone number so Pete, our Hawk Hill Farm volunteer steward, knows who to expect. Thank you!

Halloween Hike

Date: October 31, 2020

Time: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Location: LaSalette Open Space, 120 Mountain Avenue, Bloomfield

Braving the fall chill and snow from the previous day, a diverse and dedicated group of 12 hardy hikers (and dog Tucker), met at the Oliver Filley House, which Sharon Mann had decorated for Halloween. They explored the new trail that runs north-south along the east side of the park linking two beautiful ponds. This ADA-compliant Universal Walking Trail was created by Ironwood Community Partners (ICP), Duncaster Retirement Community, the Land Trust, and the Town of Bloomfield. They then continued northward along the LaSalette Trail to the upper meadows offering stunning views of Hartford valley to the south. Thanks to our guides Vikki Reski and Dale Bertoldi, photographers Paula Jones and Sharon Mann, and co-sponsor Bloomfield Leisure Services.

Group photograph in front of Oliver Filley House in Bloomfield's LaSalette Open Space Photograph of hikers on the new Universal Access Trail in Bloomfield's LaSalette Open Space Photograph of people walking along LaSalette Trail Photograph of Hartford skyline from Hawk Hill

Tariffville-Bloomfield Foliage Hike

Date: October 24, 2020

Time: 9:30 am - 1:00 pm

Location: Bloomfield Greenway lot at Old St. Andrew's Church, 59 Tariffville Road, Bloomfield

Thirty-three hikers participated in a four-mile loop hike from Old Saint Andrew’s Church through Bloomfield’s Wilcox Park (pictured), along a portion of the New England National Scenic Trail to the Bartlett Tower ruins in Tariffville, and back. Everyone enjoyed the hike, socially-distanced fellowship, and that neighbor’s Tollenberg goat!

Thanks to Kevin Gough and Paula Jones for guiding the hike through this patchwork of town- and land-trust protected spaces. Paula Jones and Sharon Mann shared the photographs below. Also thanks to Bloomfield Leisure Services for co-sponsoring this event.

Photograph of group of hikers in Bloomfield's Martha Wilcox Park Hikers on Hoskins Road, BloomfieldHikers at the Bartlett Tower ruins in Tariffville along the New England National Scenic Trail Hikers at the scenic overlook on the New England National Scenic Trail in Bloomfield's Martha Wilcox Park Old stone walls on Laurel Hill in Tariffville A Tollenberg goat in a neighbor's yard

Take-Home Harvest Dinner

Date: September 26, 2020

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Location: Gillette Ridge Golf Club, 1360 Hall Boulevard, Bloomfield

Event logo and link to more picturesWhen our Wine & Dine Committee had to cancel the 5th annual fundraiser in April because of the coronavirus, they went to work finding another way to have a safe event: A Take-Home Harvest Dinner from our Farms to You.

Chair Sharon Mann recruited Gillette Ridge Golf Club’s manager Jordan Stein and executive chef Jeremy Archer. Our partners Newgate Farms and the 4Five Farm provided locally-sourced organic foods. Soon BackEast Brewery, Lost Acres Orchard, Petersen’s Flower Farm, Avery Beverages and Gillette Ridge Wine & Spirits joined in!

The weather was beautiful when 137 people picked up their delicious meals packaged in beautiful peach baskets with assorted beverages, wine, decorative cloth napkins, and handpicked fall flowers. In keeping with our sustainability efforts, food was packaged in recyclable containers, participants used their own dinnerware, and extra chicken was donated to a local food kitchen.

This sold-out event raised over $17,000 … more than last year!

The funds raised will support the Land Trust’s normal operating expenses and efforts to preserve farmland, conserve natural resources, and promote recreational use of our protected spaces. Learn more about where the money goes.

We could not have accomplished our goals without the support, involvement, and enthusiasm of our sponsors, donors, and volunteers. If you want to help continue the important community work of the Land Trust, consider becoming one of next year’s leading sponsors or voicing your support as a business or individual in our event program. (See last year’s sponsorship info and program for reference.)

Thank you for joining us to eat well and do good.

The Secret Life of Owls

Date: September 16, 2020

Time: 6:00-7:00 pm

Location: Online Zoom Webinar

Photo of "Asha" a Barred Owl, courtesy Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation and Education in Ashford, ConnecticutMary-Beth Kaeser and staff from Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation & Education in Ashford presented a webinar on the extraordinary features of owls, including their exceptional eyesight, hearing, and ability to fly silently.  Over 33 people attended and were treated to a live Northern Saw-Whet Owl, Barred Owl, Barn Owl, Great-Horned Owl, and two Eastern Screech Owls!

The most important take-away message was to avoid using rodenticides to kill mice.  The mice can take up to ten days to die and are easy prey for the owls.  The poison can kill an adult owl and even wipe out an entire nest if the adult takes it to its young.

Horizon Wing’s mission is to rehabilitate birds of prey for release into the wild in order to maintain their population and to educate the community to enhance awareness of the environment.  “Asha” (pictured) is one of the Barred Owls in their care. This webinar was part of WLT’s on-going Nature Lecture Series with Bloomfield Leisure Services.

Guided Hawk Hill Walk

Date: July 11, 2020

Time: 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Location: Hawk Hill Farm, 22 Duncaster Road, Bloomfield

Peter Picone and Ron Pitz provided a guided tour of Hawk Hill Farm’s beautiful, gently sloping trails. Peter is an urban wildlife biologist at the State Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, and Ron is the former executive director of Knox Foundation (and regular volunteer at Hawk Hill). They discussed the property’s many champion trees, native plants, and efforts to identify and control invasive plants.

(Co-sponsored by the North Central Conservation District, and rescheduled from their April 25 plant sale weekend.)

(L-R: Meadows provide habitat for wildlife such as Purple Martins hunting insects. Ron Pitz and Peter Piccone. A champion White Oak. Bittersweet vines overtaking Cedars. Credits: Paula Jones and Sharon Mann.)

Overlooking field where Purple Martins hunt insectsRon Pitz and Peter PicconeChampion White OakBittersweet vines overtaking Cedar trees

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