Posted on June 4, 2018 by admin
GALES FERRY — The Town of Ledyard kicked off its National Trails Day celebration this weekend by hosting the 19th Annual Connecticut Greenway Awards on Friday morning at the Nathan Lester House. State Representative Mike France (R-42), who worked to secure funding for the Town of Ledyard to complete its Great Oak Greenway, was in attendance to support the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Avalonia Land Conservancy and Connecticut Greenways Council.
This event also commemorated the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Several conservation awards were presented to active volunteers who went above and beyond this year in their communities to preserve the local landscape. The Great Oak Greenway was also officially opened in Ledyard, making it the first trail in Southeastern Connecticut to receive state-wide recognition as a designated greenway. The Connecticut Greenways Council has planned, designed and implemented 75 officially designated greenways across the state.
“I am very excited that my constituents have this incredible opportunity to get out in nature, be active and enjoy Ledyard’s rural landscape,” said Rep. France. “There is so much to learn from and appreciate right in our own backyards, and I believe that this collaboration between our local conservation commission, regional organizations and state agencies has really highlighted this in the opening of the Great Oak Greenway. I want to thank the numerous volunteers who have dedicated countless hours towards turning this idea into a reality. It is important to be good stewards of our open space and provide support for these important environmental and recreational efforts at the Legislative level.”
(R to L) Rep. Mike France, Julie DuPont-Woody of the Avalonia Land Conservancy, Sen. Cathy Osten, and Ledyard Mayor Fred Allyn III in gardens of Ledyard’s Nathan Lester House.
The Great Oak Greenway connects three open space properties: the 110-acre Great Oak Park (which includes the Nathan Lester House), the newly acquired 25-acre open space parcel on Long Cove Road, and Avalonia’s 260-acre Pine Swamp Wildlife Corridor. Designating this greenway not only protects highly-valued conservation land and habitat, but provides recreational and educational opportunities that are of great historical and ecological importance. This greenway will be maintained by the Avalonia Land Conservancy.
The Avalonia Land Conservancy, headquartered in Old Mystic, is a regional land trust that has been protecting natural habitats throughout Southeastern Connecticut since 1968. Their 89 properties, which comprise 3,500 acres, are maintained by more than 90 volunteers who control invasive species, maintain trails, conduct guided hikes and preserve vital natural resources and habitats.