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Preserves

   Land Acknowledgement:

We want to acknowledge the Indigenous people that stewarded the land prior to us-

The Quinnipiac, Wappinger and Paugussett Tribal Nations

(click the image below to find out more at native-land.ca)

ABOUT THE PRESERVES

Notice: All our Nature Preserves are open for family recreation and fresh air during the COVID-19  shutdown. Please maintain social distance while visiting and refrain from touching signs and surfaces in the preserves.

Gather New Haven maintains over 80 acres for land conservation in 6 nature preserves spread throughout New Haven. These preserves remain part of our Land Trust program and are publicly accessible open spaces, many with extensive trails and interpretive exhibits. 

Habitats include:

  •  Tidal Wetlands 
  • Coastal Upland Forest 
  • Grassland
  • Traprock Ridge
  • Riparian Forest
  • Freshwater Wetlands.

 Our goal is to maintain these preserves in their natural state and restore areas degraded by human impact to high quality, biologically diverse environments. The acquisition of preserved land fosters a sense of place and stewardship to the urban ecosystems of New Haven. 

Gather New Havens mission is to help Neighbors and Nature thrive together and that is just what our nature preserves are there to provide. 

We strive to work together with community partners to make it easier for people to access greenspace, whether it be properties that we help maintain or others- the most important thing is that we are connected. The more we work together, the closer we can get to bettering the health of our people and environment. The health of the community is tied to the health of the individual- in both a human community and natural community. 

Creating Equitable access to green space around New Haven

Gather New Haven recognizes that access to nature is a right not a privilege. We strive to work towards creating quality green spaces for all and advocate for environmental justice issues that are systemic in our communities. 

What is a Land Trust?

A “conservation land trust” is a private, nonprofit corporation that acquires land or conservation easements for the purpose of limiting commercial development and preserving open space, natural areas, waterways, and/or productive farms and forests (Wiki/Land_trust 2020).

New Haven Land Trust was one of the first Urban Land Trusts in CT established in 1982 to preserve open land in New Haven and give residents opportunities to access and learn about the environment. This remains our intent.

Find our Land trust properties and others near you!

Upcoming Preserve Events & Volunteer Opportunities

(Sign up by clicking the link)

Stewardship Days:

MLK Jr. Day Pond Lily Clean up 

1/18/2021 10am-12pm

Program/Event:

NatureHappy Walks (Jan-March)

Starting Jan.9th 10am-11:30am

 

Get Involved!

Join our Preserve Committee to be an advocate for New Haven Green Space.

Searching for local advocates and Partners.

We meet on the third Tuesday of the month.

If interested, email nikki@gathernewhaven.org

Do you live by one of our Preserves? What types of improvements, programs or events would you like to see there? Let us know!

During the year, Gather New Haven Nature Preserves hosts:

 

To sign up for a school field trips, request programs or stewardship days email nikki@gathernewhaven.org and check out our field trip information on this downloadable PDF   

Program Request form coming soon!

For learning resources and information on other educational opportunities visit our Education & Recreation page.

Nature Preserve Locations & Details

Preserve Guidelines:

Leave No Trace

No Hunting is permitted at any of our sites

Please keep your dog on leash at our nature preserves

Dogs are perceived as a threat to the wildlife we are trying to protect

Dogs tend to chase wildlife and disturb nesting ground

(Report any trash dumping to the Preserves Coordinator and/or Local police)

Long Wharf Nature Preserve

About

Just off I-95 and fronting New Haven Harbor, this preserve is the result of human disturbance and the resilience of nature. The upland, created by filling, evolved into a grassland and a small woodland dominated by tall cottonwood trees, almost all the result of natural seed dispersion. The tidal wetland and dune area accreted (grew by accumulation) over the 50 years since I-95 was constructed. At low tide, the preserve is approximately 15 acres, from mud flat to dune to salt marsh to upland. A loop trail connects the shore and upland area, and also connects to the historic City Point neighborhood. See the map below for parking areas.

Long Wharf is also home to our Schooner Summer Camp! 

 

Land Acknowledgement:

This site was home to the Wappinger, Paugussett and Quinnipiac Tribal Nations.

Location Information: Long Wharf Drive next to the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial at Long Wharf Park. 

Access Information: Parking along Veteran Memorial Park and commuter lot. Also can be accessed on the Sound School side where there is ample parking near Bayview park.

Get Connected:

Join Friends of Long Wharf Nature Preserve Facebook Group. (In need of advocates and Admin for this group)

Partnerships at this location:

The Sound School

New Haven Harbor Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership

Save the Sound

Urban Resource Initiative

Want to be an added partner to this list to help us steward this precious resource? We rely on our partners,  volunteers and grants to work on projects that improve biodiversity, education and use of our properties. We can’t do it without you! 

Click the eBird link to see what birds have been observed at Long Wharf

Pond Lily Nature Preserve

About

Located on the West River in the Amity neighborhood of New Haven, this preserve contains 14-acres of forest, stream, and wetland. Today, the preserve is animated with the activity of fish, birds, and other animals, as well as trails and benches for human visitors, but it was not always so alive. This land was the site of factories for almost two hundred years – and these factories were not always kind to the land.

In 1794, a dam was placed on the West River at what is now the preserve in order to power a grain grinding mill. This dam created a pond on the site that became the namesake of the preserve. A succession of different factories followed this first mill, and when the last factory finally left the site in the late 1970s, the area was highly polluted.

In 1995, the site was cleaned up and donated to the Land Trust in 1996. In 2014, it was decided that the dam on the nature preserve should be removed to allow for migrating fish to swim up the West River to spawning sites upstream of Pond Lily and in order to reduce the flood hazard caused by a potential failure of the dam. This project was supported by Save the Sound and was completed in February 2016.

Since dam removal, the West River has begun to return to its natural flow and has drained the pond that used to be at this site. This has allowed for easier migration of fish native to the West River system, and has also allowed for increased recreation opportunities at the nature preserve.

We hope you come visit this beautiful space and see first-hand how dedication and hard-work can change a polluted former factory site into a beautiful nature preserve. 

Land Acknowledgement:

This site was home the the Wappinger and Paugussett Tribal Nations

Location Information: Main Entrance:- 42 East Ramsdell St., New Haven, CT 06511

 

Access Information: Parking available  on the street on East Ramsdell. Residential entrance in McConaughey Terrace. Direct River Access in Whalley Commons parking lot near Walgreens

Get Connected: Join Friends of Pond Lily Nature Preserve Facebook Group (In need of advocates and Admin for this group)

Partnerships at this Location:

Save the Sound

West River Watershed Coalition

Solar Youth

Want to be an added partner to this list to help us steward this precious resource? We rely on our partners, volunteers and grants to work on projects that improve biodiversity, education and use of our properties. We can’t do it without you! 

Quinnipiac Meadows Eugene B. Fargeorge Nature Preserve

About

Located on the Quinnipiac River, this 35-acre preserve includes tidal wetlands, coastal forest and coastal grasslands. There are two loop trails on the preserve and a bird blind overlooking the salt marsh and river. Keep a look out for many birdhouses, osprey nesting platforms, and a bat box! Benches and platforms provide a great chance for bird watching!

Land Acknowledgement:

This site was the seasonal summer home of the Quinnipiac Tribal Nation.

Native American Usage of Grannis Island

Location Information: 1040 Quinnipiac Ave.  

Access Information: Preserve entrance is near the Amtrak railroad bridge. Park in front of the gate and walk in through the pedestrian entrance on the left side of the gate, walk down the gravel road to find the entrance to the trails. Check out the map below for more details. And Link to Street View of the entrance here.

Get Connected: Join Friends of Quinnipiac Meadows Nature Preserve Facebook Group

 Partnerships at this location:

New Haven Garden Club

New Haven Bird Club

Menunkatuck Audubon

Want to be an added partner to this list to help us steward this precious resource? We rely on our partners, volunteers and grants to work on projects that improve biodiversity, education and use of our properties. We can’t do it without you! 

Ospreys are plentiful at Quinnipiac Meadows. They take full advantage of the two installed osprey nesting platforms and even use the old, standing telephone poles in the Preserve to nest on! In early summer you can glimpse the fledglings in their nest; don’t get too close! Mommy and daddy osprey are very protective!

Click here to see what other birds visit the preserve throughout the year!

Morris Creek Nature Preserve

About

This 20-acre salt marsh with small upland areas borders New Haven’s Lighthouse Point Park. Once proposed for development, the Land Trust has been acquiring the marsh parcel by parcel and currently owns 10 acres. No trails have been developed, but the marsh can be viewed from Meadow View Road or Lighthouse Point Park, or by canoe or kayak. In Lighthouse Point Park, follow the trail that begins near the Butterfly Garden and follows the Morris Creek.

 

Location Information:  101 Morris Ave, New Haven, CT 06512

Access Information: no trails on GNH owned parcels. Can be viewed from Lighthouse Point trails maintained by Park Department, Meadowview rd and Cove Road

Get Connected: 

Friends of Morris Creek Facebook Group (In need of advocates and Admin for this group)

Hemingway Creek Nature Preserve

About

This preserve is not developed for usage. It is located just across Quinnipiac Avenue from our Quinnipiac Meadows Nature Preserve, Hemingway Creek Nature Preserve is primarily wetland habitat that supports a variety of bird and aquatic species. The Land Trust currently owns approximately eight of the marsh’s 20 acres. The preserve currently does not have any trails, but can be viewed from Quinnipiac Avenue and Eastern Street.

Location: East side of Quinnipiac Avenue, immediately north of railroad underpass

Quinnipiac Ridge Nature Preserve

About

Two small parcels of 3 acres provide access to a much larger area of this traprock ridge and its dry forest of oak and hickory which abuts Palmieri Park. Views of Quinnipiac River from the top of the ridge. Limited parking and no trail.

 Location Information

Address: Quinnipiac Avenue north of Route 80, entrance between 1370 and 1376 Quinnipiac Avenue.

Access information: No Trails

Get Connected for Quinnipiac Ridge and Hemingway Creek by joining Friends of Quinnipiac Meadows facebook group

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