Take a Hike!
You’ve probably seen our small signs posted in nooks and crannies around town–perhaps even in your own backyard. The Trust obtains land through donations, bequests, and purchase. As caretakers of a wide variety of ecosystems, the Trust is often utilized as an educational resource by Madison schools, area universities and the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. We may be best known for the system of blue-blazed trails that the Trust maintains throughout Madison.
Our trails offer the public opportunities not only to experience nature in close proximity but also to visit historic sites, such as the Paper Mill on the Hammonasset River or the old Iron Works near Guilford. The Land Trust leads regularly scheduled hikes on these trails. As stewards and caretakers of Madison’s open space our job as owners of this land is to conserve it in its natural state for the benefit of the public and of the plants and animals living there.
Many members actively participate in our Stewardship Program, carefully watching over MLCT properties to ensure that they remain pristine. And because forests and tidelands know no boundaries, the MLCT recognizes the importance of regional land preservation and works with neighboring Land Trusts on everything from hikes to land purchases. For example, we collaborated with the Middlesex Land Trust to purchase the Mica Ledges, an important 100-acre area spanning the Madison-Durham border—the first such cooperative effort of its kind in the state.
Wood ducks are among the most colorful water birds we have in Connecticut. They breed in wooded swamps and shallow ponds making their nests in cavities in trees close to water. One day after hatching, the ducklings climb to the entrance of the nest and jump to the ground. The mother calls them to follow her to the water. They can swim by the time they are 1 day old. Wood ducks were in decline a century ago but have begun to rebound due to installation of nesting boxes and habitat protection. If you are lucky, you might see some wood ducks on Greist Pond at the Ironwoods Preserve.
Painting © Michael DiGiorgio