The Harwinton Land Conservation Trust has helped Harwinton join the growing community of Connecticut towns participating in the Pollinator Pathway initiative. The goal is to create corridors of pesticide-free habitat and safe food sources for pollinating insects, birds, and other wildlife. As an initial step, Land Trust volunteers cleared a one-acre portion at our Indian Meadow property off Route 4. Then, in 2022, with the help of the Harwinton Garden Club, volunteers planted a number of perennial pollinating plants in a rototilled portion of the cleared meadow. The project included construction of a rainwater collection shed to provide an on-site source of irrigation for the plants. In the future we hope to add and maintain beehives in the meadow, a potential win-win for both the bees and the new plants.
In a related 2022 effort, with the help of a group of students and counselors from the CT DCF Wilderness School and aided by the American Chestnut Society, we planted five American Chestnut seedlings in the same pollinator meadow. This is the first step in our attempt to reintroduce the chestnut tree to our forests. Having the young trees in proximity to our pollinator garden should help in their development.
In the future, with the continued help of the Garden Club and support from the Harwinton Democratic and Republican Town Committees, and the Harwinton Public Library staff, we hope to establish a pollinator garden in the vicinity of the library. Having a pollinator garden in an area frequented by Harwinton residents should be a fine catalyst for expanding our pollinator pathway on both public and private property in our town.
Harwinton Land Trust Indian Meadow
Indian Meadow is 34 acres in size. It was donated to the Trust in 1987 as part of the development of new homes on White Oak Drive. It is an elongated parcel that lies between White Oak Drive and Woodchuck Lane. The property adds to a long wildlife corridor from New Hartford to Bristol. It also protects the East Branch of Rock Brook, which supports native brook trout, a species of special concern.
The property has boundaries that touch RT 4 (Burlington Road) and White Oak Drive. Public access for hiking is available on White Oak Dr. with roadside parking.