Friends of the Shetucket River Valley
The mission of the Friends of the Shetucket River Valley (FoSRV) is not to buy or own land but to help other not-for-profit organizations and municipalities acquire and preserve open space.
Trail Work Continues…
FoSRV was instrumental in helping the Town of Sprague acquire several of the properties that form the Sprague Land Preserve. So naturally, when we heard of the need for some trail work, we voted to step in and help with the building of two bridges.
Bridge on Fairy Trail…
The popular Fairy Trail is a fun and interesting trail to walk. It hosts little fairy houses and bigger wood carvings. This trail was in need of some improvements and in April of 2019, received them when a college student performed community service by constructing an impressive foot bridge over the brook on the Fairy Trail. Come and See!
Bridge on Trail to the Watson Fields…
The Watson fields are part of the Sprague Land Preserve and add to the diverse environments that make the preserve interesting and ecologically important. In March of 2020, FoSRV members recruited some experts and together built a foot bridge over a waterway on one of the trails that leads to the Watson fields. This replaces the old method of crossing which had people jumping stones. Thanks to all that helped.
Recent Success —The Watson Property
In 2012, the Friends of the Shetucket River Valley, FoSRV, played a crucial role in the acquisition of 230 +/- acres of meadow, farmland, and forest known locally as the Watson Farm. The ‘Farm’ property bordered the existing 270 acre Sprague Land Preserve and became part of it bringing the Preserve to approximately 500 acres of mixed lowlands with a lengthy border along a secluded stretch of the Shetucket River. FoSRV played a pivotal role in that acquisition with negotiations between State agencies, as well as, directly participating in planning, grant writing, and funding of the purchase. FoSRV worked in conjunction with the Towns of Sprague and Franklin, CT and in fact continues to help, presently raising money for a trail bridge on the property.
More Current Success — The Robinson property
In 2016, another 125 acres, known locally as the Robinson Property, was acquired and added to the existing Sprague Land Preserve which now boasts approximately 625 acres. The Robinson Property is a forested upland with a mixture of evergreens and deciduous hardwoods and fern- and berry-covered hillsides. It complements the existing Preserve and adds to the diverse microcosms already established and increases the amount of protected land in the Shetucket River watershed.
FoSRV was instrumental in the purchase of the Robinson Property especially in raising the funds to reach the purchase price. FoSRV wrote, and received many grants and partnered with conservation organizations in the region for support. FoSRV also assisted in the research and planning phase and continues to be involved with its stewardship.
Our efforts continue. We are already looking at other properties in the area. Please consider making a donation to, volunteering for, or becoming a member of, FoSRV. Please help us as we respect and protect our natural world.
The acquisition of the Robinson Property received broad support from the State of CT, conservation organizations, local businesses, and citizens. They agree that preserving land for public open space has real value. Here are the major donors:
Joshua’s Trust $10,000
Fields Pond Foundation $10,000
Bafflin Foundation $25,000
Wharton Trust $12,000
Mohegan Tribe $10,000
Community Foundation of
Eastern Connecticut $20,000
State of Connecticut DEEP $180,000
Sprague Conservation Comm. $9,000
Purchase Price/Funds Raised: $289,000
Friends of the Shetucket River Valley, One Main Street, P.O. Box 677, Baltic, CT 06330
Projects and Things to Do
On January 24, 2022, the 66.36 acre Monar/Peltier property was acquired for conservation purposes.
The Friends of the Shetucket River Valley, FoSRV, is humbled and excited to have played a pivotal role in protecting yet more land to be left in its natural state.
The Monar property is an important piece for several reasons.
• The property contains five natural water features: a natural spring, a vernal pool, two wetland areas, a 3-season stream. All these waters directly feed into a largely-secluded section of the Shetucket River (watershed).
• The Monar property abuts, and will become part of, the existing 625+/- acre Sprague Land Preserve. Total acreage now: 691+
The Preserve itself sits in the middle of a nearly 3,000 acre wildlife corridor of surrounding state and land trust preserved lands. Conservation practices of-late focus on large tracts of land versus pockets of small parcels. These large tracts can sustain predator-to-prey species and all the microcosms that this creates. This leads to habitat connectivity and biodiversity.
Further still, all of this - the Preserve and Wildlife Corridor - is part of a federally recognized 35 town collaboration known as the Last Green Valley an Eastern Connecticut area known for its pastoral and natural landscapes and emphasis on ecotourism.
The environmental benefits are apparent; however the property also benefits the public at large. Adding another 66 acres to the Preserve expands the area for passive recreation and other outdoor activities for children, families, sportsmen, and athletes. Being in the middle of a pandemic, these natural areas have been instrumental in allowing people safe places to go and keep their physical, mental, and spiritual lives healthy.
The Friends of the Shetucket River Valley are planning to blaze an official trail on the Monar Property in the Spring of 2022. Again we are delighted with this newest acquisition and thank all for your support as FoSRV continues to respect and protect our amazing natural world.