Last Wednesday I had the pleasure to deliver a lecture on local firefly species and firefly conservation to nearly 100 enthusiastic naturalists at the New Canaan Library.
The invitation to speak was organized by Board Members of the New Canaan Land Trust, and was followed by a wonderful evening visit to the Land Trust’s Firefly Sanctuary.
I have traveled the world studying fireflies for over 20 years, and while the United States boasts many beautiful nature preserves where fireflies can be observed, New Canaan’s is the first dedicated Firefly Sanctuary I have encountered in the United States. The firefly show was magical that evening, and included at least three different species of fireflies.
I congratulate your community for the farsightedness of preserving habitat for the beautiful, bioluminescent courtship displays of adult firefly species and their glowworm larvae that serve as an important apex predator of the woodlands and meadow soils. I encourage anyone who wants to learn more about these efforts and opportunities to get involved to visit the New Canaan Land Trust website, and for more on other ways to get involved in protecting fireflies, please consider joining the Firefly Watch Project sponsored by Mass Audubon.
Dr. Christopher Cratsley,
Professor of Biology
Fitchburg State University
It rarely makes a headline. It’s not particularly ‘smart’ or ‘sexy’ when it comes to what’s going on. But nonprofit organizations are the sinews that bind the people and places of our communities together. The number and variety of, the people’s involvement with, as well as the support for a town’s nonprofit organizations, is the quiet measure of the amount of heart that people in a town feel for and share with each other. New Canaan can and should be thoughtfully proud of the great support, in so many different ways and means, that our nonprofits here reflect. I doubt the national news will happen to notice or care if they did, but our creating the first dedicated Firefly Sanctuary, is just one more modest mark that New Canaan is a place of so much more than just nice homes with great schools. Today’s town residents are working for tomorrows, to preserve these twinkling stars here on earth from their only real threat, human beings, so that our future generations will still be able to see and enjoy these unique miracles of the night. New Canaan is a place of caring people who come together to do good, wherever and whenever they can.