As of Spring 2013, GOSA is active on many fronts:
- Haley Farm State Park GOSA funds the annual field mowing, hosts the annual Earth Day Clean-Up event, and provides stewardship activities in conjunction with volunteers from the Navy, UConn, Scouts, Avalonia Land Conservancy, and others.
- The Merritt Family Forest Ongoing projects include field restoration, and removal of downed trees from Superstorm Sandy.
- The Sheep Farm We are in year three of a five year habitat restoration project and working on the removal of Superstorm Sandy damage.
- Candlewood Ridge acquisition project GOSA continues with the implementation of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Open Space Watershed Land Acquisition grant, as well as habitat restoration.
- CT Forest and Park Trails Day See Home page for hikes June 1-2, 2013.
- Groton Town Trails Master Plan Task Force
- Groton Town Plan of Conservation and Development On May 15 many GOSA members played an active role in Town of Groton Plan of Conservation and Development public hearings.
- Protection of Long Island Sound Ongoing GOSA participation in the Baker Cove Study which identifies impacts from a highly urbanized watershed; collaboration with Clean Up Sound and Harbors (CUSH), a nonprofit that tests water quality. GOSA participated in and promoted the CUSH workshops to reduce use of landscaping chemicals to keep our waters clean. Most importantly, the land saved by GOSA protects the water quality of Eccleston Brook, Fort Hill Brook, Great Brook and Haley Brook, all of which flow into and positively impact the quality of water in Long Island Sound.
Candlewood Ridge We will purchase this 91-acre parcel on Lambtown Road for $395,000 using a $256,750 grant from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT DEEP) Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSLWA) program and contributions from individuals. The land features two rocky ridges, mature oak and beech forest, mountain laurel understory, numerous bogs, vernal pools, streams, and tussock sedge wetlands. The site supports rare and threatened species, 168 bird species, numerous turtles, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. A cleared area will be restored with the help of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the CT DEEP Department of Forestry. Environmental Mitigation GOSA keeps track of large-scale local development proposals as they move through the regulatory process and proposes design improvements to minimize environmental impact. We usually hire both an engineer and a biologist to provide expert testimony. In recent years, projects have included Mystic Estates, Wal-Mart Super Center, Four Winds at Mystic, Great Brook, Groton High Point, and Mystic Woods. Networking GOSA maintains contact with a host of regional and statewide conservation organizations and actively participates in the Friends of the State Parks and supports the CT Forest and Park organization. GOSA coordinates programs with the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and supports the proposed Preston to Bluff Point Tri Town Trail. GOSA regularly collaborates with other environmental groups in contacting legislators about money for open space, maintaining state parks, and protecting this state’s wonderful natural assets. Some members have participated in the Groton Drinking Water Quality Management Project. GOSA recently participated in efforts to protect Plum and Little Gull Islands, both wildlife havens in Long Island Sound. Other GOSA steadily presses local planners to adopt an open-space acquisition plan. The town’s planned acquisition of the old Christmas Tree Farm on Thomas Road will be the town’s first open space property purchase since the 1988 bond authorization, a full generation ago.
Enjoying a snowy day in The Merritt Family Forest