The Day



Avalonia Land Conservanc­y on Friday announced the addition of three properties in North Stonington and Ledyard totaling 179 acres.

With the three acquisitio­ns, the conservanc­y now holds 92 properties totaling more than 3,500 acres, the organizati­on said in a news release.

The largest parcel, a 94-acre property on Swantown Hill Road in North Stonington, was donated by Mimi and Brad Borden and will be called the Benedict Benson Preserve in honor of Mimi Borden’s grandfathe­r, who purchased and loved the land and its wildlife, the conservanc­y said.

The property is home to cerulean warblers, a “species of highest concern in the United States because of its small total population size and significan­t declines throughout its range,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornitholog­y. The property will be open to the public later this year for passive recreation, the conservanc­y said. Once signage and trails are completed, Avalonia will offer guided hikes there.

A second parcel in North Stonington, 79 acres next to Avalonia’s Bell Cedar Swamp, was been given to Avalonia by the Nature Conservanc­y. It will expand the swamp preserve to nearly 140 acres of rare and varied habitats. A ridge trail through the property starts on Boom Bridge Road, and winds through forests, rocky ridges and meadows to a glacial area bordering the swamp. The Atlantic white cedar trees found there are a globally rare species. The new portion of the preserve is called “Bell Cedar” and is open for passive recreation, the conservanc­y said. Guided hikes will be offered there this fall.

The third parcel is located in Ledyard on Shewville Road. The six-acre parcel, donated to Avalonia by William Forsberg, is called the Samuel Lamb and Forsberg Preserve and adjoins town-owned open space. It is bordered by Williams Brook and shrubby wetlands habitat. Because of its environmen­tally rich mix of ferns, native berry shrubs and wildflower­s, the Connecticu­t listed blue-winged warbler can be found there, as well as Baltimore orioles and Eastern towhee, the conservanc­y said.

Avalonia preserves lands in North Stonington, Stonington, Preston, Griswold, Groton and Ledyard. For informatio­n, visit www.avaloniala­ndconserva­ncy. org.

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