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Explore vernal pools and bird-watch with the Canton Land Conservation Trust

April 11, 2017 Community, Environment No Comments

Eastern Towhee, courtesy Audubon Society

Submitted Release 

The Canton Land Conservation Trust invites the public to two April hikes:

  • A vernal pool hike Sun April 23 begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Uplands Preserve, led by Land Trust Director Sarah Faulkner.

Hikers will see as many as three vernal pools and learn about life in and around these special habitats. Weather willing, they will see water in the vernal pools and egg masses left by breeding amphibians, most likely wood frogs and spotted salamanders. Depending on their level of development, hikers may be able to catch tadpoles and identify them.

This is an easy, fairly short hike – about 1.5 miles with slight climbing. It is well-suited to families but parents should be prepared to monitor children so they don’t fall into the pools. The total time will be under two hours.

Directions: from Rt. 179 turn onto High Valley Drive and follow for approximately 1 mile to Westwoods Drive on the right. Turn onto Westwoods Drive, follow to the end and park in the cul-de-sac.

  • A bird walk Sun. April 30 begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Trust’s Sun, Wind and Woodland Preserve, led by Land Trust Co-President and Roaring Brook Nature Center Director Jay Kaplan.

Hikers will see the natural progression of the “bunny cut”, last fall’s clearing of 10 acres of mature forest to make way for the growth of the preferred habitat of the New England Cottontail. A major cause of the Cottontail’s decline is loss of habitat; they prefer tangled vines, shrubs and thickets.

Fortunately for bird lovers, many birds also prefer this low, thick growth. The bunny cut might also help restore Ruffed Grouse, Eastern Towhee, Prairie Warbler and Field Sparrow to name but a few birds that have declined due to loss of this shrubland habitat. The walk will last until 9 a.m. and is suitable for older children and adults.

Directions:  From Rt. 44 turn north on Indian Hill Road and follow for 1.4 miles to the end. Turn right on Breezy Hill Road and continue uphill about .5 miles, passing a red house on the left. Just past the red house, turn left into the unpaved parking area.

For both hikes, bring binoculars, wear comfortable walking shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy, and dress for weather. Please leave dogs at home. In case of heavy rain, check www.cantonlandtrust.org for possible postponement.

The Canton Land Conservation Trust is a non-profit conservation organization formed in 1972 to acquire, preserve and protect land of scenic, natural or historic value within the Town of Canton; to maintain this land and its plant and animal life using the best conservation, wildlife habitat and forestry practices available; and to promote public awareness, understanding and enjoyment of the land. The Land Trust is the steward of approximately 2,000 acres of natural land.

 

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