New Fairfield just got a little greener. The Town of New Fairfield donated more than 38 acres of prime open space to the care of Candlewood Valley Regional Land Trust. Located off Elwell Road, it shares a boundary with the Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center creating a contiguous green corridor of over 860 acres. For nature lovers and hikers, alike – this means many more miles that you can walk and experience the beauty of our local region.
The extensive property hosts a variety of plants and terrains including mixed hardwood forest of red and white oak, sugar maple, American beech, shagbark hickory and black birch. Tuliptree appears on the lower slopes of the property while chestnut oak is abundant at higher elevations. Other species of plants and trees include maple leaf viburnum and hardwood saplings over ferns and spotted wintergreen.
Protecting High-Quality Streams
In addition to plants and trees, an important water source will be protected. The property includes “Class AA streams” of high quality water that feed into Gerow Brook and Quaker Brook, discharging into the “Great Swamp” to the west in New York State. The 6000-acre Great Swamp is one of the largest wetlands in New York and has been designated as a “Critical Environmental Area” (CEA) by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
“As with all properties monitored by CVRLT, this newly donated property will be preserved in its natural, scenic, and open condition in order to conserve and protect the animal, plant, and bird populations for generations to come,” said CVRLT board president Cheryl Rykowski. “And in keeping with our goal of connecting people with the land, we will explore the building of hiking trails where it won’t infringe on the natural habitats,” Cheryl added.
With the addition of this property, CVRLT now protects 37 parcels of land totaling approximately 555 acres across the Candlewood Valley region.