A hike emphasizing geological history, live raptors and the chance to create a home for fairies or bluebirds are just a few of the activities for nature lovers at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Canton Land Conservation Trust this Saturday.
The organization will host a free family festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mary Conklin Sanctuary, 144 Indian Hill Road in Canton.
The event includes:
- Geological history hikes with Craig Feibel at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Nature hikes with Jay Kaplan at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- Mushroom hikes at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with Marlene Snecinski
- Reptile demonstration at noon with Brian Kleinman of Riverside Reptiles in East Granby
- Flight of the Raptors performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Ongoing children's activities including Bluebird house construction with instructions to participate in Bluebird study conducted by Sessions Woods in Burlington.
- Fairy House creation at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- EMS Mock Campsite
- Discovery box, scavenger hunts
- Pizza, donut holes and cider by the Flatbread Company, Whole Donut and Hickory Ledges Farm
The free, rain or shine event is one of two celebrating the land trust’s 40th Anniversary.
Event co-organizer Karen Berger said she hopes for good weather and that people will help appreciate the effort to protect and preserve land and enjoy the trails.
"It is the land trust's fervent hope and desire that people in Canton and the surrounding area will come out and enjoy the property and see what the land trust has to offer," Berger said. "It's all about getting people on to the land."
Also on Saturday, the trust will host a Harvest Moon Dinner Dance at Ski Sundown from 6:30 to 10 p.m. However, tickets for the event, with food, live music and, weather permitting, a harvest moon hike to the top of the mountain, are only available through today (Sept. 25). For more information e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Canton Land Trust started in 1972 with a $1,500 grant from the Ford Foundation and a year later received its first gift — a 1.3-acre meadow at the corner of Cherry Brook and East Mountain roads.
In 1975, the trust received its first large parcel with a gift of 64 acres from Wilson Smith.
Beginning in 1985, several parcels donated by the Thomas M. Perry Charitable Trust help form a protected area of nearly 500 acres on either side of Breezy Hill Road near the New Hartford town.
On Onion Mountain, holdings of nearly 300 acres back up to the Onion Mountain Park maintained by the Simsbury Land Trust.
In all the trust has more than 2,000 acres of protected land, some of which was purchased with the assistance of state grants.
“The accomplishment speaks for itself,” said land trust president Barry Deutsch.
In addition to the grants and the donations, the preservation and caretaking of the properties is the result of the hard work of volunteers, he said.
The land trust has 21 board members who remain active and involved despite the fact that most have full-time jobs, he said.
“They do a lot of work,” he said. “It’s a great group of people.”
The land trust maintains several hiking trails open to the public. Deutsch said he believes more people are discovering the properties as a result of publicity surrounding the 40th anniversary.
“This has gotten a lot of attention,” he said.
More about the land trust can be found at http://www.cantonlandtrust.org
In addition Canton resident Jane Latus has posted several blogs for the trust’s 40th anniversary. They can be found here.