Letter: Bristow Bird Sanctuary a ‘Most Treasured’ Hidden Gem

We in New Canaan are truly blessed with Waveny, Irwin, and Mead Public Parks as well as our many Land Trust Preserves, but one of our most treasured hidden gems must be The Helen and Alice Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve. Yet, in spite of this, I suspect many of you might rightly ask – where is it, I’ve never even heard of it? Answer: Bristow Park is located right next to Mead Park. A little history lesson: Way back in 1918 the Migratory Bird Treaty Act made hunting migratory birds illegal – a practice mostly done to harvest brilliantly colored feathers to adorn women’s hats. Thanks to a group of far sighted New Canaan conservationists seeking to encourage interest in bird-life and protect native birds, the Bristow land was acquired in 1924 creating the third oldest private bird sanctuary in the nation.

Podcast: Restoring New Canaan’s Long-Forgotten Bird Sanctuary

This week on 0684-Radi0, our free weekly podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Chris Schipper, chairman of the New Canaan Conservation Commission. The appointed body this year will unveil a master plan for the restoration of a 17-acre bird sanctuary and wildwood preserve—one of the very first in the United States—that’s been largely forgotten by locals. The plan, which is expected to start in earnest next fiscal year, will culminate with the centennial anniversary of the town-owned Bristow sanctuary. This week’s podcast is sponsored by Pet Pantry Warehouse, your local, family-owned, community-based pet specialty retailer. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0: