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Conservation Commission Welcomes New Avian Neighbors

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Jan 142020
 

The Orange Conservation Commission will be constructing an array of Purple Martin Nesting Gourds this Spring at the Ewen Preserve (GPS Address: approx.. 648 St John’s Drive, in Orange).

The OCC hopes to establish a colony of Purple Martins here to provide viewing opportunities to our residents and to help control the population of disease-carrying mosquitos here in Orange.

Purple Martins Love mosquitoes!

To learn more about these fascinating birds, the OCC will be hosting a program that highlights the life and times of Purple Martins on February 13th at 7:00 pm at the High Plains Community Center Cafeteria.

John Picard will discuss the many aspects of becoming a Purple Martin Landlord, including housing location, housing selection, the importance of monitoring, protection from predators, protection from nest parasites and the never-ending battle of invasive species and their effect upon the Purple Martins.

John has managed a network of nest boxes for more than 20 years, more recently John has been assisting with the Purple Martin Colony at Hammonasset Beach State Park. John is a member of the Board of Directors for the Menunkatuck Audubon Society.

 

OCC Hosts Trail Maintenance Day At Housatonic Overlook

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Nov 122019
 

A view from the Housatonic Overlook (Orange’s waterfront property).

The Orange Conservation Commission (OCC) is hosting a “trail maintenance day” at the Housatonic Overlook and Tucker’s Ridge Open Space located at 672 High Ridge Road in Orange on Saturday, November 16th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Participants are encouraged to wear work gloves and warm footwear and welcomed to bring rakes, small pruning tools, etc. We will be clearing branches and debris from trails and picking up trash.

Saturday is predicted to be a cold 38 degrees, so dress appropriately.

The OCC will provide water and trash bags. It will be canceled in the event of rain.

This is a fun way to learn about the trail! Please come out and help maintain Orange’s beautiful open spaces!

Spring Maintenance Day At The Racebrook Tract

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May 032019
 

The Orange Conservation Commission has scheduled a Spring Maintenance Day for Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Racebrook Tract, 839 Racebrook Road, Orange.

Participants are encouraged to bring work gloves, rakes, small pruning tools, etc.

You will be clearing branches and debris from the trails and picking up trash as well as cleaning up the entrance to the area.

The Conservation Commission will provide water.

Conservation Commission Hosts Owl Prowl on Oct. 20

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Oct 202017
 

Don’t forget that tonight’s the night Friday, Oct. 20 (if you pre-registered) to join the Orange Conservation Commission under the stars for the annual Owl Prowl at the Ewen Farm Preserve at 7 p.m.

There will be a brief introduction about Owls lead by Frank Gallo followed by a guided walk. This
Preserve has an identified area that is known for a variety of Owls which we will walk around on the
tour. We want to give you the experience of seeing and/or hearing wild owls. Species that are most

We want to give you the experience of seeing and/or hearing wild owls. Species that are most
often heard are Barred and Eastern Screech-Owls, but Northern Saw-whet Owls, Great Horned Owls and even Long-eared Owls also are possible.

DRESS WARMLY in boots, down jackets, and wool sweaters, hats and mittens are not overkill for Standing still listening for owls. Flashlights too.

The walk will take about an hour followed by Hot Chocolate and Tea.

This is recommended for ages Kindergarten and up and those who are capable of walking over uneven terrain

Again, there are a limited amount of spots for this exclusive event so it will be based on first come first serve basis.

Also, please dress appropriately based on weather.

Parking for the Ewen Farm Preserve is on GPS 648 St Johns Drive, Orange

Orangectconservationcommission.com

Conservation Commission Hosts Trail Maintenance Day at Housatonic Overlook

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Oct 062017
 

The Orange Conservation Commission (OCC) is hosting a “trail maintenance day” at the Housatonic Overlook and Tucker’s Ridge Open Space, 672 High Ridge Road, Orange this Saturday, October 7 from 9:00 am to Noon.

Volunteers are asked to gather at the High Ridge Road entrance at 9:00 am. We will be clearing trails of debris,

We will be clearing trails of debris, branches, and trash as well as marking some of the trails. Please bring gloves, light tools such as pruning shears and rakes, water and wear comfortable “trail-worthy” shoes.

This is a great opportunity to meet your Orange neighbors and to spruce up one of Orange’s prize Open Space parcels.

Do Something Good For The Town and The Earth — The OCC Wants You!

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Aug 192017
 

The Orange Conservation Commission is seeking new members to help care for and preserve the land on the all of the Town-Owned properties for which the OCC is responsible—Paul Ode Nature Trail (High Plains Community Center), Wepawaug (off Mapledale Rd), Wrights Pond (Old Grassy Hill Rd), Housatonic Overlook (Cedar Grove Rd/High Ridge Rd), Racebrook Tract (Racebrook Rd), Ewen Farm Preserve (Lambert Road/Tyler City), and Turkey Hill Preserve (Derby-Milford Road).

Residents who have an interest in and/or experience in environmental issues, environmental programs, natural resources, conservation, preservation and land management are encouraged to apply for open positions on the Conservation Commission by calling the office of the First Selectman, Jim Zeoli at 203-891-2122, Ext. 737 or e-mail: jzeoli@orange-ct.gov.

Breakfast With The Birds … Sorting Out Bird Songs At Turkey Hill Preserve

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May 262017
 

The Orange area is blessed with many wonderful Open Spaces. Orange Conservation Commission will host a bird walk with Frank Gallo, an expert birder and former Senior Naturalist with the Connecticut Audubon Society, on Saturday, June 17 starting at 8 a.m.

He has handpicked Turkey Hill Preserve to explore birding opportunities due to its unique ecological characteristics. Frank will guide walkers to see a variety of species of seasonal birds.

Discover the basics of birding by identifying birds by their various sounds using a variety of sound resources. Gallo will teach you tips, tricks, and even pitfalls in identifying birds by sound. Is that an oriole or a tanager singing? Come find out, as we delve into the secrets to birding by ear. To

To register make out a check for $20 to “Town of Orange” and send to Orange Parks Department, c/o Sharon Ewen, 617 Orange Center Road,  Orange, CT 06477.

In the event of rain is predicted, the walk will be canceled and will be held the following day, Sunday, June 18.

Cancellation notification will be posted on the Conservation website and Facebook

Equipment: Binoculars and sturdy walking shoes.

Meeting place: Parking lot Turkey Hill Preserve. GPS address: 700 Derby Milford Road, Orange.

For more information, e-mail Sharon Ewen at sme71@yahoo.com

Volunteers Needed For Racebrook Tract Trail Cleanup

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May 152017
 

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to hiking and enjoying the Open Spaces of Orange. To prepare for the new season, the Orange Conservation Commission (OCC) has scheduled a Trail Cleanup Day at Racebrook Tract for May 20 from 10 a.m. to noon (rain or shine). The OCC is asking for volunteers to join Commission members in this effort to do some light maintenance work of clearing the trails of litter and small branches.

The OCC is asking for volunteers to join Commission members in this effort to do some light maintenance work of clearing the trails of litter and small branches. Volunteers will gather at 10 a.m. at the Lean-To Shelter at the entrance, water will be provided.

Volunteers are asked to bring gloves and hand tools such as pruning shears, branch loppers, and rakes. Racebrook Tract is located on Racebrook Road, Orange just North of the Rt. 34 intersection (GPS Address is 839 Racebrook Road).

The OCC  also would like to remind bicycle riders that the Racebrook Tract re-opened to riders on May 1. Riders should remain on OCC-designated trails.

Visit the Orange Conservation Commission on Facebook.

Don’t Miss The Owl Prowl On Nov. 18

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Nov 072016
 

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-1-29-32-pmCome join the Orange Conservation Commission under the stars for the Annual Owl Prowl at the Ewen Farm Preserve  on Friday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. 

Frank Gallo from the CT Audubon Coastal Center will offer a brief introduction about Owls followed by a guided walk.

This Preserve has an identified area that is known for a variety of Owls (pictured here) which we will walk around on the tour.

The Commission wants to give you the experience of seeing and/or hearing wild owls. Species that are most often heard are Barred and Eastern Screech-Owls, but Northern Saw-whet Owls, Great Horned Owls and even Long-eared Owls also are possible.

This walk is recommended for ages Kindergarten and up and those who are capable of walking over uneven terrain.

Space is limited and based on first come first serve basis. Reservation deadline is Monday, Nov. 14. Cost is $25 per Family: $15 single: checks should be made out to Treas. of Orange and send to: Town of Orange Conservation Commission 617 Orange Center Road. Orange CT 06477.

For additional information, e-mail sme71@yahoo.com

DRESS WARMLY!!! Boots, down jackets, and wool sweaters, hats and mittens are not overkill for Standing still

listening for owls. Bring your flashlights too.

The walk will take about an hour followed by Hot Chocolate and Tea.

Again there are a limited amount of spots for this exclusive event so it is based on first come first serve basis.

Remember to dress appropriately based on weather.

Parking for the Ewen Farm Preserve is on GPS 648 St Johns Drive.

 

Take A Hike on CT Trails Day June 6

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May 212015
 

338317-photo3On Saturday June 6, the Orange and Woodbridge Conservation Commissions will celebrate “Connecticut Trails Day” by jointly hosting a hike at the Racebrook Tract in Orange, CT.  All members of the community are invited to attend this fun outdoor event via a free guided walking tour. 

The event will be supervised by members of the Conservation Commissions from 10 am to 1 pm, and there will be a 1-hour-guided hike starting at 10:30 am.

The Racebrook Tract encompasses nearly 400 acres of open space in the towns of Woodbridge and Orange and provides pristine near-wilderness exploration and passive recreation to all who visit it.  The Tract was purchased from two farmers in the early 1900s by the New Haven Water Company, and the stone walls crisscrossing the Tract are the original farm fences.  Under the direction of the Yale School of Forestry, the Tract was one of the first professionally managed forests in the country, and because periodic timber harvests were conducted by the water authority, the forest is delightfully open today. 

Two relatively level and circuitous trails start in Orange and cross into Woodbridge.  The longer trail is just over 2.5 miles.  The trails pass through expanses of mixed hardwoods and impressive stands of 100-year-old white pines.  Just off the parking lot, there is a handicap-accessible boardwalk going through some interesting wetlands.

Because of its large size, the Tract contains a wide variety of natural habitats and wildlife.  Streambelts, forests, wetlands, meadows, and brush make the area attractive to a variety of animals and songbirds.  Many species of reptiles and amphibians inhabit the Tract along with avian predators such as the great horned owl.   

The Orange and Woodbridge Conservation Commissions were formed to advise their Board of Selectmen on the preservation, development, and conservation of natural resources, including water resources, within the Towns of Orange and Woodbridge, respectively. 

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 11.02.34 PMThe joint OCC-WCC Racebrook Tract Walk offers an opportunity to take a guided tour of this beautiful open space, meet with your neighbors, and enjoy a lovely New England spring day in the woods.  All members of the community are invited to attend this fun outdoor event.  Children are encouraged, and comfortable and sturdy shoes and clothing are recommended.  Walkers are encouraged to bring water, and refreshments will be served at the end of the hike.  Steady rain and/or lightning will cancel.  Drizzle will not.  Sunday, June 7 is the rain date. 

Orange Conservation Website for additional info: www.orangectconservationcommission.com

For further information contact:  Dan Lynch, Orange Park & Recreation:  203-891-4790.

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