Saying the changes will harm the environment, officials with a prominent New Canaan nonprofit organization are voicing concerns about a proposal to raise the height of a dam in the Silvermine River and construct berms and walls along its bank. The First Taxing District of Norwalk’s plans for the Grupes Reservoir Dam off of upper Valley Road will result in the permanent clearing of more than 400 native trees and shrubs that comprise important riverbank habitat, according to the New Canaan Land Trust.
The proposed barrier of berms and walls also will disconnect wetlands and streams from the reservoir at the Land Trust’s abutting 10.3-acre Browne Sanctuary, Land Trust Executive Director Aaron Lefland said. The Land Trust is joining the Norwalk River Watershed Association in petitioning the application and urging the public to participate in a Sept. 29 hearing. “We feel pretty strongly that the application the Norwalk Taxing District submitted to DEEP [state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection] is incomplete and does not address any impacts of the project,” Lefland told NewCanaanite.com.
“Of the 600-page application, two [pages] talk about impacts on vegetation and all they talk about is vegetation downstream of the dam, whereas all we are concerned about is upstream,” he said.
Please join the New Canaan Land Trust to celebrate the opening of the New Canaan Sculpture Trail on Friday, June 19th. On the eve of the summer solstice, the Summer Sculpture Soirée promises to be a fun-filled hour with live entertainment, games, food, drink, flash talks from some of the artists, a toast by a celebrity and opportunities to support the New Canaan Land Trust. 5:01 pm to 6 pm. Tickets per household are $25.00.
For today’s Q&A with a local organization, we hear from Aaron Lefland, executive director of the New Canaan Land Trust.
Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: The Land Trust closed and then reopened its walking trails. What has the feedback from trail-goers been since the reopening? Aaron Lefland: Our members and visitors were very understanding about the trail closures, and like us, were happy to see the trails re-opened after the brief closure. Since the health crisis began, we’ve seen a significant uptick in visitation to all of our properties, and are thrilled that so many people are exploring the special places that the Land Trust has worked to protect.
Join the New Canaan Land Trust and Wildlife in Crisis for a live streaming wildlife release. We’ll be releasing a beautiful red-tailed hawk back to the wild, where it will be given a second chance at life, right here in New Canaan. We might also have a few barred owls too; stay tuned! The release will be streamed via Facebook Live. Viewers can tune in and ask questions about the hawk, the Land Trust preserve, or either organization.
Town officials on Sunday reopened New Canaan parks strictly for use of walking trails. Though park visitors may drive into places such as Waveny and Irwin, activities other than trail-walking—such as use of fields and playgrounds—are not permitted, with the sole exception of picking up to-go food from Mead Park Lodge, according to Emergency Management Director Mike Handler. “We trust that residents will use common sense and maintain proper social distancing,” Handler said in Saturday’s town-wide outcall. “If possible, we suggest that you wear a face covering. Again, this is just a suggestion and we leave it up to you to decide what is appropriate given your activity. We hope this reduces some of the congestion on our roadways.”
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan closed New Canaan parks March 30. Since then, New Canaan has lost an additional 17 people to COVID-19 virus, bringing the town’s total to 21.