Sunday, November 6, 2016

Day 6: Willow Brook Preserve

Pocket of wildlife habitat and watershed protection next to the West Main Street commercial district.

Size: 8.50 acres
Nearest Road: West Main Street
Public Access: Yes
Acquisition: June 1973
Donor: Walter Jarvis

The Cheshire Land Trust’s Willow Brook Preserve contains 8.5 acres of protected land next to Cheshire’s busy West Main Street commercial district.  This property was donated to CLT by Walter Jarvis in June 1973.

Access into the Willow Brook Preserve is via a narrow 50-foot wide strip from West Main Street.    Look for the gas pipeline markers and CLT sign near a bench along the sidewalk across from Deepwood Drive.  There is no formal trail, so explore at you own risk. Woodhaven is a gently undulating area with a complex mix of uplands and wetlands.

Willow Brook Preserve is bordered to the north by West Main Street, to the west by condominiums, and to the east largely by Country Lumber.  The property’s namesake, Willow Brook, runs through the southern portion of the preserve.  The brook’s surrounding wetlands make up a good portion of the property, but there are small upland areas that braid through.  This preserve, along with some other CLT preserves, are located high in the Willow Brook watershed, meaning they are in the area where the stream begins.  Having preserved wetlands near the source of the stream help to maintain its water quality and hold floodwaters after heavy rains before it begins traveling along the Linear Park towards the Mill River.

Pines, oaks, beeches
Princess pine

A portion of the property contains scrub-shrub marsh vegetation and open water through most or all of the year.  The surrounding slightly higher areas have a mix of young an mature trees, including both hardwoods and conifer species.  Somewhat large oaks are scattered about.  A pipeline easement that runs along the eastern side of the property provides additional upland scrub-shrub conditions. The mix of shrub, young forest, and more mature forest provides excellent habitat conditions for many native wildlife species including birds, reptiles, and mammals.

In addition to its watershed and habitat values, this CLT property provides a natural aesthetic backdrop for the surrounding developed areas.

Do you live next to or near CLT's Willow Brook Preserve?  Tell us about what you’ve seen on the land!  Please join the Cheshire Land Trust at to help us protect and maintain this and other great open space properties around Cheshire.

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