Land Stewardship Projects
With over 1,000 acres of open space to manage, WLCT takes an active approach to improving wildlife habitat, opening new trails to promote public access, and monitoring our conserved lands. To learn more about any of our current land stewardship projects, please contact Brendan@WestportLandTrust.org.
Children’s Nature Discovery Area at Westport Woods
As part of WLCT’s community outreach in 2017 and 2018 we received feedback about creating an area for young families to enjoy and explore. We listened! With the help of landscape architect Michelle Crowley, we have created a plan for a Children’s Nature Discovery Area. This area will be located behind the main parking lot. It will include open-ended natural elements for children to explore, such as stumps and large rocks to climb, sticks to build with and soil to dig. It will also include a shaded area and seating. The plan below shows more details. To learn more please call Jennifer at (508) 636-9228, ext. 4.
Help Create the Children's Discovery Area at Westport Woods
Photo by Greg Stone- An eastern bluebird on April 16, 2017 at the Herb Hadfield Grassland Meadow Restoration
Herb Hadfield Grassland Meadow Restoration
In March of 2016, we received news that our Herb Hadfield Grassland Meadow Restoration project proposal to MassWildlife’s competitive Habitat Management and Improvement Grant program had been successful. We were awarded $12,122.95 in grant funding from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to complete the 5.75-acre grassland meadow restoration at the recently expanded 158-acre Herb Hadfield Conservation Area.
Consistent with a 2009 WLCT management plan authored by forester Mike Labossiere, formerly of The Trustees, the restoration initiative began in early 2015 with the clearing of a 5.75-acre section within the central portion of the Herb Hadfield Conservation Area. The project has rapidly progressed since the initial timber harvest and to date we have seeded over 300 lbs. of native warm season grass mix and installed ten nesting boxes on the site to improve wildlife habitat for a variety of bird species. We look forward to seeding in a diversity of native wildflowers in subsequent years.
These (MassWildlife Habitat Management and Improvement) grants will allow municipalities and conservation organizations to improve wildlife habitats and enhance recreational opportunities for people who enjoy hunting, bird watching and other outdoor recreation,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “This grant underscores our commitment to protecting the Commonwealth’s natural resources.
Dunham’s Brook Stream Restoration
In January of 2018, we were awarded $12,783.00 in grant funding from the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to conduct stream restoration work at the 159-acre Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area, located at 1520 Main Road. Our 2009 land management plan for Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area had identified two culverts impeding fish passage under an old roadway that crosses Dunham’s Brook. A prior Division of Fisheries and Wildlife survey of Dunham’s Brook had found American Eel and Banded Killifish, and confirmed a breeding native brook trout population south of Main Road, which was originally documented in a 1990 survey.
Native sea-run brook trout, also known as Salters, spend much of their adult life in saltwater but return to freshwater to spawn. Considered a keystone species in the northeastern United States, Massachusetts populations of native brook trout have declined in recent years. Today, geographically isolated populations of trout remain in only about 10 percent of the sub-watersheds in eastern Massachusetts.
In order to preserve our diverse habitats on the SouthCoast, we first must recognize the importance of land conservation,” said Rep. Paul Schmid (D-Westport). “Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration and MassWildlife for providing the Westport Land Conservation Trust the opportunity to continue their great work in our community and maintain our unique environment.”
Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area Young Forest Habitat Improvement
Forests in Westport have had trouble with invasive insects like Gypsy Moth and Winter Moth in recent years. Forestry activity has begun at Dunham’s Brook Conservation Area which will improve general forest health. Along with state licensed forester, Rupert Grantham, we are completing a select cut of the northern-most timber stand–beginning north of the cornfield. This active forest management will improve nutrient recycling and hardwood regeneration while also promoting old growth characteristics in a relatively young forest.
Hikers should be advised that while this forest management activity is taking place the green trail loop is closed to the public. This activity will not impact road conditions along Main Road and will be completed before next summer.
Special places don’t stay special on their own. Our dedicated volunteers make sure every one of our destination properties is ready for your next adventure.