|View of Brooksvale Preserve from South Brooksvale Road.|
Monday, November 7, 2016
Day 7: Brooksvale Preserve
Wooded wetland abutting the Farmington Canal Linear Trail in the Brooksvale section of southern Cheshire.
Nearest Road: South Brooksvale Road
Public Access: Yes
Acquisition: June 1976
Donor: Socrates H. Mihalakos
The Brooksvale Preserve was donated to the Cheshire Land Trust by Socrates H. Mihalakos in June 1976. At the time, it was CLT’s first new acquisition in about three years. Notably, Mihalakos served as the moderator at the CLT’s first organizational meeting on March 26, 1969.
The property is bordered to the south by South Brooksvale Road, not far north of the Cheshire-Hamden town line. To the west is the Farmington Canal Linear Trail, and residential properties are to the north and east. (CLT also has a conservation easement over properties to the west of the Linear Trail that will be described on Day 19. Stay tuned.) The long, thin shape of the preserve creates the wooded backdrop for about 1,600 feet (1.3 mile) along the east side of the Linear Trail.
The Brooksvale Preserve contains very wet wetlands and mucky soils. Historically, it was most likely connected to the large wetland system visible to the west of the Linear Trail (between South Brooksvale Road and Lock 12) before being separated from it by the Farmington Canal and then the New Haven-Northampton railroad bed, both in the 1800s.
The property is mostly wet, with a small stream draining to the south. This stream meets up with Willow Brook a bit north of the Hamden town line. The preserve is mostly covered with shrubs and small red maple trees, a vegetative grouping commonly called a red maple swamp or red maple wetland.
The Brooksvale Preserve is open to the public, but be forewarned that it’s mostly a very wet wetland. Our recommendation is to appreciate it’s aesthetic qualities while passing by on the Linear Trail, or when traveling down south Brooksvale Road, and keeping an eye out for wildlife making use of this preserved land. Look for a CLT sign along the road, about a hundred feet east of the paved trail crossing.
Do you live next to or near the Brooksvale Preserve? Have you ever passed it on the Linear Trail? 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