By Lisa Capobianco
During the past year, the Southington Open Space Committee has collaborated with students and faculty from the University of Connecticut to start a forestry management plan and assessment at Crescent Lake, with the goal of maintaining the health and productivity of the forest.
This project caught the attention of Chris Martin, the director of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency’s Forestry Division.
After hearing about the town’s efforts to maintain the forest at Crescent Lake, Martin encouraged the town to apply for the CT Grown Program, a marketing logo aimed to identify locally grown agricultural products in the state. If the Department of Agriculture gives the final seal of approval, Southington could become the first municipal forest in the state to receive the title of “CT Grown.”
“It is quite an honor for this community to be considered for that,” said Town Councilor Dawn Miceli.
Martin said he was impressed by Southin-gton’s proactive approach to maintaining the forest of Crescent Lake, especially when Uconn Professor Thomas Worthley from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources cut down ash trees, milling logs into lumber that students could use in the vocational-agriculture and technical departments at Southington High School.
“They have essentially done everything required,” Martin said. “It brings a sense of local community pride—it is something that the community should embrace.”
Miceli said the forestry management plan will continue with another tree milling demonstration at Crescent Lake will take place Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m., and the event will be open to the public.
Led by Professor Worthley, the public can take a walking tour and demonstration, which will highlight key wildlife habitat features and offer insight into forest management concerns, according to a press release from the Open Space Committee.
The event will also feature a demonstration of chain-saw safety, tree felling and portable sawmill to show one approach to applying forest management recommendations.
On Friday, Nov. 8, Professor Worthley will hold an informational session at the Marion Schoolhouse to discuss the Crescent Lake Forest Management Plan. He will describe the planning process, covering key findings and concerns, explaining the recommendations and options for management recommendations, according to the press release. The event, which also welcomes the public, will take place at 7 p.m.
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By Lisa Capobianco