Stewards of Groton’s precious land parcels: The Groton Conservation Trust

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GROTON — The Groton Conservation Trust is hosting its annual meeting on Thursday, May 7, at the Groton Country Club.

The trust will pay tribute to former Groton resident Arthur Blackman for his many contributions, including securing the Audubon Rocky Hill property in Groton.

Guest speaker Lauran Johnson, chair of the Board of Directors of the Land Trust Alliance, spent 14 years leading the country’s largest independent state Audubon organization. She will talk about the state of land trusts across the country.

The Groton Conservation Trust was one of only 10 New England land trusts to be accredited last year by the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission. The GCT’s properties include: Angus Acre, Baddacook Conservation Land, Bates Land, Blackman Field and Woods, Blackman Land, Bruner Land, Cronin Land, Cronin-Massapoag, Duck Pond, Fitch-Woods, Gamlin Crystal Spring, Gamlin Picnic Site, Genthner Woods, Hayes Woods, Lawrence Land, Lawrence Woods, Lost Lake Conservation Area, Lotz Land, Macys’ Fen, Martin’s Pond Brook, Mason Back 100, Moors Schoolhouse, Perry Land, Red Line Path, Reynolds Tract, Riley Land, Sabine Memorial Woods, Shepley Hill, Skinner Forest, Skitapet, Still Meadow, Taplin Wildlife Sanctuary, the General Field, Throne Hill, Valentine Hollingsworth, Wattles Pond and West Throne.

Down the road, on May 31, the Groton Conservation Trust will be participating in “Connecting Communities.” This day-long event is designed to introduce newcomers to Groton, while educating attendees on the biodiversity of the landscape.

Under the event title “The Gift of the Glaciers,” Groton will provide activities with something for everyone to enjoy. GCT trustee Bob Pine will deliver the keynote presentation along with Michael Roberts, outlining Groton’s unique geology, ecology and human history.

The GCT spent this winter identifying property projects such as sign repairs, washed out bridges and beavers that may need help relocating. Some projects could use hands-on help and residents are welcome to do so. Other projects require professional attention and GCT membership fees assist with that.

The Groton Conservation Trust membership renewal drive is ongoing this spring. A $50 family membership helps to protect and manage Groton’s rural landscape and its diverse ecosystems. Memberships and renewals can be made online using the Donate Now button. To thank those donating to the GCT this year, a special thank you box of 10 note cards featuring GCT property images will be given.

The May 7 annual Groton Conservation Trust meeting is open to the public. Residents are invited to mingle during a social time with a cash bar and appetizers, beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by the 7 p.m. program.

For information, visit the Groton Conservation Trust website: www.gctrust.org.

— Karen Riggert