The Silvermine Fowler Preserve Officially Opens to the Public with October 21st Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

A new preserve in New Canaan's Silvermine neighborhood will forever provide hiking, bird watching, and passive recreational opportunities for the public.

October 5, 2017
NEW CANAAN, CT

The New Canaan Land Trust and The Trust for Public Land invite the community to celebrate the conservation of the Silvermine Fowler Preserve at an upcoming public opening. The event features a ribbon-cutting ceremony, nature walks, music, food, fall foliage, and a campfire, and will take place from 2 pm – 6 pm on Saturday, October 21st.

This property is an important swath of land in New Canaan’s Silvermine neighborhood with woodlands, wetlands, and the picturesque Still Pond. The Trust for Public Land secured an option to purchase the 6.35-acre property from Jim Fowler, renowned naturalist of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom fame, who generously allowed both organizations time to fundraise for the property’s conservation. The Trust for Public Land and New Canaan Land Trust partnered to secure public and private funding totaling $1.3 million to purchase the land. Mr. Fowler, known for his long-standing work as a spokesperson for preserving the natural world, will provide remarks at the October 21st event.

Whether the Silvermine Fowler Preserve is wrapped in the burnt colors of autumn leaves or vibrant with spring blossoms, this land is serene, unspoiled, and brimming with biodiversity. The property is a significant addition to the New Canaan Land Trust’s adjoining 41-acre Hicks Meadows-Kelley Uplands Audubon Sanctuary. It forever protects Still Pond, which hosts abundant wildlife and provides habitat for important birds such as the Eastern Wood-Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo, and Northern Flicker. The acquisition preserves a migratory bird route with diverse habitats.

The land is now owned by the New Canaan Land Trust. Since taking ownership of the property in spring 2017, the Land Trust has prepared the Silvermine Fowler Preserve for public visitation by creating trails and walkways. Six high school students in the Land Trust’s Summer Stewards program helped with the on-site work. The New Canaan Land Trust has initiated an ecologically-based meadow management program to support native bee, butterfly, bird, and bat populations.

Art Berry, President of the New Canaan Land Trust, stated "Adding these six-plus acres to the New Canaan Land Trust’s existing Hicks Meadows-Kelley Uplands Audubon Sanctuary secures the key access link to this adjacent parcel of 41 acres, adding proximity for neighbors and the community, and precluding development of this fine natural spot." New Canaan Land Trust Board Member and President Emeritus Chris Schipper said "Along with the Trust for Public Land, we are thrilled that the New Canaan and Silvermine communities came together to preserve these woodlands and provide a new recreational resource for the neighborhood and for nature lovers from across our town."

Walker Holmes, Connecticut State Director of The Trust for Public Land, stated “The creation of the Silvermine Fowler Preserve embodies our land-for-people mission. These lands are the picture of an idyllic New England landscape. Protecting this property from development preserves biodiversity, creates a new entry point to a now 47-acre natural area, and allows people to enjoy the landscape in perpetuity.”

The organizations welcome community members to explore the new preserve at the October 21st event at 763 Silvermine Road. The ribbon-cutting ceremony commences at 2:30. Afterwards, people may enjoy guided hikes and many family-friendly activities. The celebration will happen rain or shine. Due to limited on-site parking, shuttle bus service will be provided from the Silvermine Arts Center, 1037 Silvermine Rd. Parking is also available at the Land Trust trailhead on Cedar Lane, a 0.2-mile hike from the event site. Carpooling is encouraged.

The New Canaan Land Trust preserves and protects open space in New Canaan. Preservation of open space benefits our community by adding natural sanctuaries for the residents, preserving precious natural wildlife habitats and the scenic rural character of New Canaan for future generations. Also celebrating its 50th Anniversary at the October event, the New Canaan Land Trust now stewards 390 acres of diverse habitats throughout town. To support the New Canaan Land Trust and learn more about the Silvermine Fowler property and other preserves, visit www.newcanaanlandtrust.com.

The Silvermine Fowler Preserve demonstrates The Trust for Public Land’s national mission of creating parks and protecting land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Nearly ten million people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Across Connecticut, The Trust for Public Land has conserved more than 7,000 acres of vulnerable lands. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.