• New England Cottontail Initiative
All phases of this project have been completed in accordance with our NRCS Conservation Program Contract. The program began in 2014 with our first rabbit habitat regeneration process involving 8 acres. This consisted of a clear-cut, spreading of tree limbs and brush over the newly cut area (called slash), and the construction of a number of brush piles. The following year, February and March of 2015, the process was repeated on 4 acres. Additionally, over the last 4 years, we’ve been vigilant in trying to keep the invasives at bay in these areas with herbicide treatments and cuttings, with our last herbicide treatment being performed this past fall.
These areas over the past 4 years have been very productive, supporting a number of birds that have returned to a habitat that is favorable for nesting and breeding, such as the towhee, field sparrow, and grey cat bird.
There’s no sign or evidence of the New England cottontail at Boyd but we’re hopeful that they may show up someday, knowing that they have been seen at areas not that far away.
Our long term goal now at Boyd is to maintain these early successional habitat areas through rotational cuttings in sections, at different times, over approximately 15 acres, to assure a constant wildlife habitat of thickets and young forest areas.
• Pollinator Habitat Program
On September 13, 2017, Kelly Gill, Pollinator Conservation Specialist and a member of the Xerces Society along with Todd Bobowick, local NRCS biologist, paid a visit to our Wigwam Brook Wildlife and Boyd Woods Audubon Sanctuaries to evaluate certain areas of our sanctuaries that may be eligible for support and funding to develop and and maintain native habitat diversity for pollinators.
We received Kelly’s report on October 31, 2017, stating our objectives, identifying the current conditions of the areas of interest, and providing recommendations and methods on how to accomplish our objectives.
At our November monthly meeting a sign-up sheet was passed around for those interested in taking part, at the ground level, of this very important and beneficial project. A meeting will be held after the new year to review the report and to discuss if and how we are to proceed. We’re looking for ideas, suggestions, and support. Anyone wishing to get involved please contact: Rich Martin at, email@example.com or 860-736-7714.