Training session for preserve monitors on tap
Steep Rock Association in Washington is seeking volunteers to help monitor its preserves’ boundaries April 20 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.
The land trust has more than 30 preserves scattered throughout town.
They range from wetlands to mixed hardwood forest; some are old apple orchards while old growth forests and glacial boulder fields dominate others.
The one thing they all have in common is that SRA must walk their boundaries annually, monitoring the preserves for ecosystem health, signs of trespass, and presence of wildlife.
Volunteers will participate in indoor training at 8:30 a.m. at 116 Christian St. in New Preston, where they will learn how to use a smartphone as a GPS, what to look for at the preserves and how to mark and record findings.
Volunteers will then be sent out to the preserves and return later to discuss their findings and have lunch.
Terrain and hiking difficulty vary widely.
Participants will have the option to register for easy, intermediate or difficult routes.
Easier routes consist of hikes totaling approximately 45 minutes or less through flatter terrain while more difficult routes demand hiking over two hours through steeper areas.
Some degree of bushwhacking is necessary in most all of the preserves, so participants should wear/bring sturdy waterproof boots, thick pants, long-sleeved shirts, sunscreen, bug spray, a water bottle and cell phone.
An adult must accompany children under 18.
Registration is required by visiting https://steeprockassoc.org/events-programs/.