Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Day 15: Sylvan Lane Preserve

Forested open space and wetland.

Size: 5.5 acres
Nearest Road: Sylvan Lane
Public Access: Yes
Acquisition: May 1986
Donor: Richard Ziegler

The CLT's Sylvan Lane Preserve is tucked away at the end of Sylvan Lane, off Oak Avenue just south of Cornwall Avenue.  The property was donated to CLT in May 1986 by Richard Ziegler.  The property neighbors land associated with the Birchwood condominium complex to the south and east, with the Linear Park farther east.

Appropriate to its name, the Sylvan Lane Preserve is mostly wooded with hardwood species.  There are several large willow tress close to the Sylvan Lane cul-de-sac.  Willows are commonly found close to or in wetland areas, and much of this preserve is wet.  There is also a moderate cover of understory species, including spicebush, another common wetland indicator.

This is one of several CLT properties that contain utility easements.  The natural gas easement that passes through the Sylvan Lane preserve is easily seen in the airphoto above.  A benefit of such utility easements is that they create small breaks, in forested areas, that provide a bit of habitat diversity for wildlife species.  Because utility companies typically want or need vegetation along their lines to be low-growing (e.g. grasses and shrubs, not tall-growing trees with extensive roots), these areas provide important habitat diversity.  If not maintained, they would revert back to forestland, nudging out species that prefer or need grass and shrub habitats.

Willow tree silhouette - Sylvan Lane Preserve
The Sylvan Preserve is open to the public, but has no trails, and is rather wet during portions of the year.  There is a small CLT sign indicating the property at the end of Sylvan Lane.

Do you live next to or near the Sylvan Lane Preserve?  Tell us about what you've seen on this land!  Please join the Cheshire Land Trust at www.cheshirelandtrust.org to help us protect and maintain this and other great open space properties around Cheshire.  
More about the CLT's wetlands preservation efforts are on the CLT website at http://www.cheshirelandtrust.org/Wetland-Protection-properties.htm

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