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Earth Day vernal pool hike at Trout Brook Valley

The Eastern Box Turtle is one of the dozens of high priority conservation species conservationists have pointed out. —Scott Kruitbosch photo

The Eastern Box Turtle is one of the dozens of high priority conservation species conservationists have pointed out. —Scott Kruitbosch photo

Trout Brook Valley’s many vernal pools are the setting for an Earth Day hike with Aspetuck Land Trust and conservation biologist Anthony Zemba from the Connecticut Audubon Society. In this guided hike on Saturday, April 20, from 1 to 3, he will explain the importance of vernal pools to the ecosystem in Trout Brook Valley. The hikes are free and open to all but terrain will be moderate to difficult. RSVP to David Brant dbrant@aspetucklandtrust.org.

Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area is host to over 100 plant and animal species of conservation concern including the Eastern Box Turtle and Jefferson Salamander which are two of the dozens of high priority conservation species, conservationist noted. Especially sensitive are the over 60 ephemeral wetlands/vernal pools found throughout the preserve, they noted. Vernal pools are filled by snow melt and spring rains and contain amphibians that form the foundation of the forest food chain. The land trust’s yearlong environment and conservation study conducted by the Connecticut Audubon Society details this ecosystem.

Aspetuck Land Trust is a local non-profit land conservation organization founded in 1966 to preserve open space in the towns of Westport, Weston, Fairfield and Easton. ALT preserves provide passive recreation and educational opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy nature, while preserving the flora and fauna and rural characteristics of local communities. ALT maintains 44 trailed nature preserves and other conservation-only properties on over 1,700 acres of land. ALT has over 1,000 local members who support us through annual membership contributions. For more information visit aspetucklandtrust.org.

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