Thursday, November 17, 2016

Day 17: Sharon Drive Preserve

Wildlife sanctuary within large wetland complex in south Cheshire.

Ten Mile River Preserve
Size:8.9 acres
Nearest Road: Sharon Drive
Public Access: Yes
Acquisition: February 1990
Donor: Richard Fiske, Ravenswood Properties

In December 1990, Richard Fiske (with Ravenswood Properties) donated 8.9 acres to the Cheshire Land Trust, creating the Sharon Drive Preserve.

The property makes up a portion of a large wetland between Higgins Road to the north, South Main Street and North Brooksvale to the east, and Sharon Drive to the west.  Most of the non-CLT owned portion of the overall wetland system is associated with the Brookshire condominiums.

The majority of the Sharon Drive preserve is a densely vegetated wetland.  The vegetation is primarily small trees and shrubs.  The property, like a handful of CLT properties, contains a sidewalk along the Sharon Drive frontage.  CLT, as a private non-profit entity, is required to clear this sidewalk (and all its sidewalks) after snowstorms.  This  is an example of maintenance activities that CLT must undertake and one reason why CLT seeks financial support from the community.

A look at historic (1934) photos of the property shows signs of old channeling within the wetland.  This may have been done in an attempt to drain at least a portion of the land. While the land within the Sharon Drive Preserve itself has not substantially changed over the past 75 years, there are many notable changes around it.  In particular, the land that currently holds the Cheshire Shopping Center and other businesses between South Main Street and North Brooksvale Road was largely wet in the early 1930s. (Higgins Road is at the top of the photo, South Main Street and North Brooksvale are on the right.)

The Sharon Drive Preserve is one of three CLT properties that overlay the South Cheshire Aquifer (the others are Fresh Meadows and Brooke Memorial Preserve).  This is one of two large areas within Cheshire that contain soils and geology that act like underground drinking water reservoirs for the town.  The Regional Water Authority operates wellfields within each aquifer that pull the water from the ground, and distribute it to the businesses and homes of Cheshire that are tied to public water.  More information about the aquifers is available on the CLT website, and through the websites of the Town of Cheshire's and the Regional Water Authority via a basic web search.

The Sharon Drive Preserve is open to the public, but there are no formal trails.  Because of this, and the wetness of the property, we recommend appreciating it and observing wildlife from along Sharon Drive and North Brooksvale Road.

Do you live or work next to or near the Sharon Drive Preserve?  Tell us about what you've seen on this land!  Please join the Cheshire Land Trust at 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment