January 15, 2015
19 Acres in Norfolk Protected

Conservationist and friend of the SBCC Martha Klein has donated an easement to the New England Forestry Foundation. These 19 acres consist of mostly northern hardwood forest and are adjacent to the 2,000 some acre Doolittle Woods. It contains wetlands at the headwaters of Loon Brook and is home to bobcats, beavers, and a number of interior forest birds.  This land could have been purchased for development but is now under permanent protection.  We are grateful to the dedicated private landowners in the region who continue to preserve the continuous forest blocks within the SBCC.

December 29, 2014
Aton Forest Acquires 34 Acres In Norfolk

Aton Forest has purchased 34 acres in Norfolk, CT adjacent to the existing preserve.  The newly acquired land is split into two parcels by Shantry Road and lies south of Knapp Hill, a dry hickory-oak summit.  The southern parcel is divided by Loon Brook, a major tributary of Sandy Brook and just upland from a sizable wetland.  A small tributary to Loon Brook also runs through the property.  This land acquisition project has been in the works for years and Aton Forest is very happy to now protect these important areas within the SBCC.

November 19, 2014
Aton Forest Acquires 67 Acres In Colebrook

Aton Forest has received 67 acres from the Connecticut Conservation Association, an organization with longstanding ties to AF and its founder Dr. Frank Egler.  This is a truly special piece of land comprised of two parcels split by Route 183 in Colebrook, CT.  It is adjacent to the core Aton Forest preserve and encompasses both banks of Sandy Brook for a quarter mile or so stretch on the easternmost section.  The newly acquired land has both beaver influenced wetlands and northern hardwood uplands.

August 28, 2014
Stream Crossing Surveys Have Begun

Aton Forest, with the help of volunteers, has begun surveying stream crossings within the Sandy Brook watershed in the towns of Colebrook and Norfolk, Connecticut.  This is the first step in the region-wide Stream Continuity Project.  A number of partner organizations and local commissions helped fund this project including: Colebrook Land Conservancy, Farmington River Coordinating Committee, Farmington River Watershed Association, and the Norfolk Conservation Commission.  More information on the project and how to get involved can be found HERE.

August 25, 2014
HVA Receives Land Trust Accreditation

The Housatonic Valley Association has received prestigious national accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program of the Land Trust Alliance.  We applaud them for all of the hard work they put into achieving this honor.  A full press release can be read on the HVA website.

June 1, 2014
New SBCC Brochures

Brochures highlighting the work of the SBCC partnership are now available thanks to a grant by the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut.  Print versions can be picked up from SBCC partner organizations or digitally downloaded in a PDF format.

February 27, 2014
Norfolk Land Trust Receives Land Trust Accreditation

The Norfolk Land Trust has received prestigious national accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, a program of the Land Trust Alliance.  We applaud them for all of the hard work they put into achieving this honor.  A full article can be read at Norfolk Now.

January 22, 2014
Aton Forest Receives Grant for Land Acquisition

Aton Forest has received a $20,000 grant from the Summer Hill Foundation in support of the Burnell property acquisition. Over the last decade the foundation has been working hard to preserve lands in their natural state.  Aton Forest is happy to have the support of the Summer Hill Foundation for the protection of land within the SBCC.

January 21, 2014
SBCC Partner Meeting

The SBCC partnership held its first meeting of the year!  Representatives from eight different groups made it out, despite the snow the day before.  A key topic of discussion was the new informational materials the group is soon to begin working on.  By the end of March a new brochure on the SBCC will be available in print and electronic versions.  Stay tuned.

December 2, 2013
Aton Forest Receives Grant for Land Acquisition

Aton Forest has received a $12,000 grant from the Fields Pond Foundation in support of the Burnell property acquisition. Fields Pond works hard to help conservation organizations with projects including land acquisition, educational programming, and public access improvement throughout the northeast. We are very appreciative of the support they have shown Aton Forest.

September 24, 2013
SBCC Partner Meeting

The SBCC partnership held its second meeting this year with representatives from seven local organizations present.  Out of the meeting came a draft mission statement (soon to be available) and ideas for a group logo.  Discussion revolved around ongoing and potential conservation, stewardship, and research projects within the region.  We hope to regroup before year's end and create a plan for moving into 2014.

August 23, 2013
Norfolk Land Trust Acquires Girl Scout Property

Congratulations to our partner the Norfolk Land Trust (NLT) in completing the Girl Scout Camp Iwakta purchase. This 311 acre parcel is an integral part of conserved land surrounding the headwaters of the Mad River which is important to the lower reaches of Sandy Brook.  Protecting the Camp has long been important to us in this region since it intrudes on the Spaulding Pond and Beckley Bog Preserves. The Litchfield Hills Greenprint Colaborative (LHGC) got the ball rolling by made protecting lands within the Mad River watershed a high priority in 2009 by recommending federal Highlands Conservation Act funds be made available for this acquisition. It took many hands (federal, state, regional, and local organizations) and many years to make this protection possible, including a significant fundraising effort by the NLT! To read a full press release on NLT's success please visit the LHGC website by clicking here.

August 20, 2013
FRCC Joins the SBCC Partnership

We are happy to announce that the Farmington River Coordinating Committee has joined our team of conservation organizations working towards protecting the Sandy Brook Conservation Corridor.  The FRCC is a group comprised or representatives from the five riverfront towns (Colebrook, Hartland, Barkhamsted, New Hartford and Canton) and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Farmington River Anglers Association, National Park Service, Metropolitan District Commission, and the Farmington River Watershed Association.  They have been working hard to protect the federally designated Wild & Scenic Upper Farmington River and its tributaries. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

July 22, 2013
Update from our Friends at Doolittle Lake

The Doolittle Lake Club has been managing their beautiful forests and water bodies for nearly a century. Their dedication continues - as is exemplified in a recent report from Bill Tilles, DLC Head of Land & Water Committee. We are glad to have these stewards protecting and maintaining healthy ecosystems in the region.

Doolittle members have been chipping away at invasives around the property and success has come in the form of painted trillium and jack-in-the-pulpit. There is also a plan in the works to develop an invasives map so as to focus eradication efforts. Monitoring is taking place in the water (tracking nitrogen and phosphorous levels) and on land (watching hemlocks for woolly adelgid and elongate scale). A ten year forestry plan is also being implemented, emphasizing forest health, passive recreation and wildlife habitat enhancement.  ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

July 2, 2013
Aton Forest Receives Grant for Educational Materials

Aton Forest has received a grant of $500 from The Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut for the printing of Sandy Brook Conservation Corridor brochures, maps and posters.  An update and improvement on these educational materials will begin in the coming months and we are excited and appreciative to have this support.

May 7, 2013
Burnell Property Protected

Aton Forest closed on the 60.5 acre Burnell property inholding on Tuesday, May 7th. This project was initiated decades ago by Frank Egler himself and we are happy for these long term efforts to finally come to fruition! With this new addition Aton Forest is comprised of over 1250 contiguous protected acres within the Sandy Brook watershed.  Acquisition of the Burnell parcel was critical in preventing the possibility of development from penetrating the heart of the preserve. Not only is it strategically placed, but ecologically significant. The parcel lies uphill from Knox Swamp, home of a number of important species, and also hosts a tributary of Sandy Brook for the length of the property. A trail has already began to be cleared following an abandoned logging road through the parcel ending at the stream.

This purchase was made with the help of the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, who provided an interest-free bridge loan. Aton Forest is currently raising funds to pay off this loan within the allotted year. See map for an idea of how the new property fits into the preserve.

March 18, 2013
SBCC Poster Presentations

Aton Forest's John Anderson and Ryan Williams developed a poster for the Sandy Brook Conservation Corridor project and brought it with them to the Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources. It was displayed throughout the day and informally presented during a designated poster session. They will also be taking the poster to the Northeast Natural History Conference in April.

Click here to see the poster.  Click here for the accompanying map.

March 14, 2013
NRCS and WLT Join The SBCC Partnership

We are happy to announce that the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Winchester Land Trust have joined our team of conservation organizations working towards protecting the Sandy Brook Conservation Corridor.  The NRCS has funded a number of stewardship projects throughout the region and has been an important presence in conservation efforts nationwide.  The Winchester Land Trust currently protects more than 300 acres through ownership and easements.  Many of these properties preserve the integrity of the Mad River which flows to the Still River and eventually Sandy Brook.

March 13, 2013
BNRC Joins The SBCC Partnership

We are happy to announce that the Berkshire Natural Resources Council has joined our team of conservation organizations working towards protecting the Sandy Brook Conservation Corridor.  Founded in 1967 the BNRC owns and manages nearly 8,000 acres and protects an additional 10,000 acres under conservation restrictions throughout the Berkshires.  It is great to have some representation from Massachusetts join the partnership.

March 6, 2013
SBCC Partner Meeting

A group of local conservation organizations gathered at Aton Forest to discuss the Sandy Brook Conservation Corridor project.  Everyone gave an update on the SBCC projects they have been working on/recently completed.  There was a presentation of the new website and an open forum on what direction the project should take.  By the end of the meeting seven organizations joined as partners of the SBCC project: Aton ForestColebrook Land ConservancyFarmington River Watershed AssociationHartland Land TrustHousatonic Valley AssociationLitchfield Hills Greenprint CollaborativeNorfolk Land Trust.  Visit the Partners page to learn more about specific organizations.

All in all the meeting was a success and we hope to have another one in April.  We'd like to thank all of those who were able to make it out to Aton Forest and hope to see you next month.