August 2012 - Bloom Preserve makeover

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Whispers in the Forest
Newtown Forest Association
Connecticut's Oldest Private Land Trust
The Newtown Forest Association (NFA), Connecticut’s oldest private land trust, recently began
implementation of a land management plan to restore a meadow on it’s
Bloom Preserve in
northern Newtown.

Due to a lack of access to the interior of the Preserve, what was once open meadow became
impassable with Multiflora Rose and Russian Olive, invasive species that drastically changed the
wildlife habitat value of the property by crowding out native meadow grasses and plants. An Initial
entry and paths were cut with a mower by Bloom Preserve neighbor Glen Ekstrom in order to
establish a way to inspect the property for future stewardship plans.

“We are grateful for Glen Ekstrom's efforts and his willingness to work with the NFA to restore yet
another valuable piece open space and safe guard and enhance the natural resources found
there,” said NFA President Bob Eckenrode.

Bloom Preserve  History
Located on the Brookfield / Newtown border near Obtuse and Tower Roads, the nearly 16-acre
Bloom Preserve graces a steeply sloping hillside that leads to a summit that was once an ancient
glacial plateau. A lichen-covered rock wall and many trees frame the view from the top of the
property, which offers a magnificent panoramic vista that extends to Georges Hill, southerly to Mt.
Pleasant, and westerly to Whisconier Hill.

Little was done with the Bloom Preserve following its acquisition by the NFA in late 1976.
Following site visits in the past several years, some held in conjunction with the Brookfield Open
Space Legacy Trust (which owns an 18-acre property abutting the Bloom Preserve), the NFA
formed a management plan for the property.  The Preserve is frequented by the local deer
population and is also overrun with the Barberry bush, a major host plant for deer ticks, among
many other invasives.  The short-term goal in removing these invasive species is to return the
property to its natural meadow state. In the long term, the property will be managed to preserve
native plant species while still allowing for passive recreation and seasonal mowing of the
meadow.  Wild, natural open space meadows are critical habitats for native song birds and
butterflies and disappearing at alarming rates due to development and unmanaged reforestation.
Future plans include the possible development of hiking trails to enhance access the different
areas of the property and connect to the Brookfield Open Space property.

For more information on the Newtown Forest Association, visit www.NewtownForestAssociation.
org; also, please “like”  the Newtown Forest Association Facebook page.