[CT Birds] Mitigation Efforts at State Parks: How You Can Help

Sally Brown sbrown01 at snet.net
Wed Aug 12 14:46:27 EDT 2015

We can’t return to what it was but making changes now that will be favorable to birds and wildlife in the future is a good step forward.  Thank you all for your efforts in this direction.  

I am a frequent birder at Hammonasset so I will limit my comments to that park.  

What a great idea to place some new puddles and feed plots where cars can’t park.  

Would the very western edge of the West Beach parking lot be a favorable location? Perhaps with low wooden fences to prevent ATVs or those so inclined to tear through the open area.  This area has attracted various rare migrating shorebirds over the years.   

The area across from Swan Pond would also be suitable for puddles and weed plots.  I know this area was used for parking this summer.  But eventually the area could be designed to prevent overflow parking with signs "Wildlife Refuge Area—no kite flying or other recreational use.”

It would be helpful to install signs wherever feed plots of weeds and seedy plants and puddles are positioned with maybe some information about the purpose and the kinds of birds and wildlife the flora attract.  That would further the educational aims of the new nature center.  There could be educational programs focused on wildlife and bird habitat preservation right in the park.  Isn’t that the goal—to educate the public for conservation and preservation? 

I’m proud to be a member of this proactive organization. 

Thanks again for all your efforts,

Sally Brown
Branford, CT

On Aug 12, 2015, at 7:11 AM, Kathy Van Der Aue via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:

> Your COA Board has begun a dialogue with DEEP Officials regarding steps
> that can be taken to mitigate effects of the construction at Hammonasset
> and Silver Sands on birds and wildlife that frequent these locations.
> During an informal meeting last Friday, COA Board Members met with Deputy
> Commissioner for Environmental Conservation Susan Whalen and Director of
> State Parks Tom Tyler, during which they agreed to implement some
> mitigation efforts we suggested.  We reviewed the lists of bird friendly
> native plantings which we were happy to see already are included on the
> plans for both construction projects, and we believe they are well chosen
> and appropriate.
> Both Susan Whalen and Tom Tyler were very receptive to our suggestion of
> planned feed plots of wildflowers and seed producing weedy plants for
> songbirds (especially sparrows) similar to the one Patrick Comins has
> installed at Stratford Point.  They also were excited about our idea of
> attempting to create artificial shorebird puddles in locations away from
> parking lots.  These puddles have caused some difficulty when they become
> muddy and cars (including Tom Tyler's) have become stuck in them.
> We welcome suggestions from birders who frequent Hammonasset and Silver
> Sands as to appropriate locations for these mitigation efforts.  Obviously
> such puddles and feed plots should be where the public can view the birds
> and where the birds have congregated naturally in the past.  This link has
> the updated plans for background information:
> http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=565984&deepNav_GID=1650#NatureCenter
> Other ongoing discussion items include a potential pilot program giving
> birders early entry at specific State Parks and the attempt to find
> suitable replacement trees for the diseased Japanese Black Pines at West
> Beach.
> Kathy Van Der Aue
> Southport, Connecticut
> Visit my Blog at http://naturaliststable.wordpress.com
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