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HELP WANTED

The Conservation Commission has several openings for members, and is also looking for volunteers to help with an update to our open space inventory and to conduct a trails inventory. No experience needed - we will provide training. If you are interested, please contact Chair Jean Pillo at greenjeanpillo@charter.net.

SOURCEWATER PROTECTION MEETINGS AND DRAFT REGULATIONS

The Woodstock Conservation Commission has been working with Marc Cohen of the Atlantic States Rural Water and Wastewater Association on strategies to protect Woodstock’s drinking water supply. There will be a series of public meetings to discuss benefits and regulatory approaches. Check the Town calendar for upcoming events - the next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on MONDAY JANUARY 23, 2017. More info here.

YALE FOREST SUMMER SEMINAR SERIES

Info coming soon.

2012 STUDY OF AQUATIC VEGETATION AT ROSELAND LAKE

In 2012, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station conducted an aquatic plant survey at Roseland Lake in Woodstock. The results are found here: http://www.ct.gov/caes/cwp/view.asp?a=2799&q=514228. A map of what plants were found where is also online.

They identified 12 plant species, none of which were invasive. (Invasive Phragmites (Common reed) does grow on the shoreline in spots.) The plants they found were: Callitriche species (Water-starwort) Elodea nuttallii (St. John western waterweed), Nuphar variegata (Variegated yellow pond-lily), Nymphaea odorata (American white waterlily), Peltandra virginica (Green arrow arrum), Pontederia cordata (Pickerelweed), Potamogeton epihydrus (Ribbonleaf pondweed), Potamogeton foliosus (Leafy pondweed), Potamogeton robbinsii (Robbins' pondweed), Sagittaria sp. (Arrowhead). Spirodela polyrhiza (Common duckmeat), and Vallisneria americana (American eelgrass).

This was good news, because invasive milfoil has been seen upstream of Roseland Lake.

Jean Pillo of the Woodstock Conservation Commission noted: "The dissolved oxygen in the lake drops to lethal levels at 3 meters and the total phosphorus concentrations in the bottom of the lake were 334.9 ppb – a very high number! In freshwater systems, phosphorus is typically the limiting factor for plant growth. The measure of water transparency, or Secchi disk measurement was 1.5 meters. Low dissolved oxygen on the bottom and low light levels would both contribute to the relative lack of submerged aquatic vegetation in the lake. The date of the survey was June 19, 2012. Last year, we had an early spring so plant and algae growth got a head start."

Lake survey data is also available for Crystal Pond and Black Pond in Woodstock, CT

Wyndham Land Trust Expands Preserves In Woodstock CT

At the end of 2012, Ken Rapoport donated 49.5 acres of land in Woodstock CT  to the Wyndham Land Trust. The donation contains forest and a wetland shrubby thicket. Iit also includes three active hayfields which will remain as farm land. The land is adjacent to the land trust's Linda J. Rapoport Memorial Preserve along Pulpit Rock Road in Woodstock, and also connects with their Paul and Avis Spalding Preserve.

"We're very excited to receive this property," said Andy Rzeznikiewicz, the land trust's land manager. "We now have 158 acres protected in this area of Woodstock, and it represents a large contiguous parcel that is important for supporting the movement of wildlife. That land is protected from development in perpetuity, and it's a gift to the people of Woodstock and the Quiet Corner."

"This expansion of the Linda Rapoport Memorial Preserve protects active farmland and critical watershed land in the Taylor Brook watershed," said Jean Pillo, Chairperson of the Woodstock Conservation Commission. "These are goals of the Woodstock Plan of Open Space and Conservation. We are thankful to the Wyndham Land Trust and their partners for making this happen."

"In my opinion, Ken Rapoport is a local hero. His tireless efforts to preserve this large tract of land have left a lovely legacy for all to enjoy," said Bet Zimmerman of the Woodstock Conservation Commission.

VERNAL POOL SURVEYS AND CERTIFICATIONS - VERNAL POOL SURVEYS AND CERTIFICATION

Woodstock Conservation Commission Vernal Pool Surveys and Certification Dear Property Owner: The Woodstock Conservation Commission in collaboration with the Connecticut Audubon Society Center at Pomfret, is conducting a voluntary town wide vernal pool inventory. Protecting the integrity of our natural resources is essential to providing a healthy environment for local wildlife. Wetlands and isolated lowlands known as vernal pools are an integral component of these natural resources. Vernal pools are critical breeding grounds for many species of frogs and salamanders as well as important habitat for a diverse collection of woodland creatures. Identifying and permanently protecting vernal pools benefits our natural ecosystem and maintains forest ecology. As a property owner, you can help assure that vernal pools remain protected for years to come. There are several important facts you should know about vernal pools and limitations which they can place on your property.

1. A vernal pool is an area regulated by the Woodstock Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission based on the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Act in Sec.22a-38 Definitions section number 16 “Watercourses means rivers, streams, brooks, waterways, lakes, ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs and all other bodies of water, natural or artificial, vernal or intermittent.…” The vernal pool area can not be filled. Its elevation cannot be altered.

2. The location of the certified vernal pools will be mapped and placed upon state and local wetland and water course maps. As such, it will be identified as an area regulated under Connecticut Wetlands laws.

3. Vernal pools are temporary bodies of water, usually wet in the spring (Vernal), but are sometimes wet much longer. They generally need to be wet at least two months of the year to support vernal pool wildlife. While the pools are fairly easy to spot when there is standing water dried out pools can be more difficult to locate.

WATER QUALITY MONITORING PROGRAM NEEDS VOLUNTEERS

How Clean is the Water in The Last Green Valley? You can help us find out. The Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor Water Quality Monitoring Program is offering free training and use of equipment to "citizen scientists" who are willing to collect data to help us learn more about the current condition of their local streams. The "RBV" method uses pollution sensitive insects as indicators of water quality. Join QSHC Water Quality Program Coordinator Jean Pillo on Saturday, September 13 from 9 AM at the Ashford Town Hall for a 3 hour program that will teach you all you need to know to participate. Please call Jean at the 860-928-4948 extension 605 to reserve you space for this training opportunity. Download PDF version of flyer.

Greenways Designation:  Little River and Natchaug River SystemDEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy presents a greenways award to representatives from the Towns of Putnam and Woodstock

Both the Little River and the Natchaug River System were designated as a State Greenways in June 2006.  The goal of these greenways is to conserve natural resources, in particular by protecting water quality, providing for wildlife habitat, and in some areas offering passive recreational opportunities such as walking or birding.  On June 2, 2006, DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy presented a Municipal Achievement Award to the towns of Woodstock and Putnam for their joint support and willingness to conserve the natural resources of the Little River.  For more information, see Woodstock Greenways.

ANNUAL CELEBRATING AGRICULTURE DAY: held each September at the Woodstock Fairgrounds

Woodstock Conservation Commission display at 2006 Celebrating Ag DayFarmers, agricultural associations, and agri-business showcased the many aspects of agriculture in this region. The day included exhibits, demonstrations, music, a farm tour, animals, a parade and family fun designed to improve understanding of residents and visitors, of the presence and importance of agriculture in the Quinebaug Shetucket Heritage Corridor. The Conservation Commission's display focused on Greenways, Bluebirds and Invasive Plants. For more info, see the Celebrating Agriculture website.

To obtain a free copy of the guide, visit AFT's Connecticut page or contact Cris Coffin at 413.586.9330 ext. 29. 

Conservation Commission
Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers
is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.

- Ben Hecht