This week on 0684-Radi0, our free weekly podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Grace Farms Nature Initiative Director Mark Fowler about a local effort designed to increase pollinator-friendly habitat for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and various other insects and wildlife. Information about New Canaan’s “Pollinator Pathway” project can be found here, and a kickoff event is to be held at New Canaan Library, 6 p.m. on June 18. This installment of 0684-Radi0 is sponsored by New Canaan Music, your local source for music lessons, rental instruments, repairs and everything instrument related. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:
A local organization dedicated to preserving land and open space in New Canaan has acquired a large property in Silvermine, protecting it from future development and closing the loop on a closely followed conservation effort. The New Canaan Land Trust last month purchased 763 Silvermine Road—a 6.35-acre parcel that will help form the Silvermine Fowler Preserve—from Jim and Betsey Fowler. It’s adjacent to the 41-acre Hicks Meadows-Kelley Uplands Audubon Sanctuary, and plans for the now 48-acre property include creating trails where residents can hike, view wildlife and experience nature, officials say. “It means so much to have the land preserved, to bring it back,” said Mark Fowler, son of Jim and Betsey and now the nature initiative director at Grace Farms. “The old house will come down and it will be a beautiful piece of property with wetlands and small fields and a beautiful forest and a nice hiking trail, so for me, this is what the Fowler legacy is all about and it’s what the town needs.”
His dad, Jim Fowler, is an award-winning zoologist who gained fame as host of TV’s “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.”
“My father was a famous falconer, and we had a falconer that lived with us, so there was always some amazing wildlife experience going on there, and therefore we always were outdoors,” Fowler recalled. “We were always hiking around in these back properties.”
Mark Fowler said that preserving the land is important, in part, because it gives locals a place to unplug and explore—a snapshot of the 1992 New Canaan High School graduate’s own upbringing.
A Toby’s Lane couple this week phoned police to help set free a raccoon that had become trapped in a cage in the woods that was meant to snare a woodchuck, officials said. Around 8:26 a.m. Monday, the residents reported to the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department that a woodchuck had been decimating their garden and so they set a Havahart-brand trap for it, according to a police report. Yet when a frightened raccoon ended up in the trap, down a steep ravine in the woods at the end of the dead-end street in northern New Canaan, they didn’t know how to get it out, according to Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. “If you only want to catch a possum, put a sign up that says ‘possum only,’ ” Halm said dryly when asked about the incident. Halm traveled to their home and instructed the couple how to let the animal out, which the wife did, she said.