The Manchester property is located within a highly intact forest block in northeastern Connecticut, part of the federally designated National Heritage Corridor known as The Last Green Valley (TLGV). The Manchester property consists of two tracts. The first is 53 acres located south of Bush Road within the Natchaug River Watershed. This tract abuts 25 acres of land permanently protected by a conservation easement in favor of The Nature Conservancy of Connecticut (TNC). The second (northerly) tract of 31 acres is part of an unfragmented forest block of more than 5,000 acres within the Quinebaug River drainage basin. This parcel is contiguous to State of Connecticut Nipmuck Forest land.
The property creates a linking corridor between the approximately 9,000-acre Nipmuck State Forest and privately protected lands in Union and Woodstock. The largely intact nature of the forest makes it important nesting habitat for certain migratory songbirds such as warblers that require large forested areas. Many large mammals, such as black bear, moose, coyote, white-tail deer, turkey, bobcat, fisher and beaver use this habitat for feeding and breeding.
The property is open to the public for the purpose of hiking, bird watching and other low impact recreation.
With a grant from the New Leaf Fund, we’ve started an experiment to study the impact of climate change on oak trees. In the meadow on the Bush Road parcel, we’ve planted Bur and Shumard oak trees native to the Midwest, together with some local varieties. As the trees grow, we intend to compare growth rates, and numbers of acorns between the two sets of trees as a way to test the suitability for the midwestern varieties for New England forests as the climate in New England warms.
Notice to visitors:
None of our properties have marked trails and most of the properties include some steep terrain, so visitors should take care, and be comfortable in finding their way through a heavily wooded landscape.