How We Care for the Land
nce a property has been acquired, the GLT takes on the responsibility to care for the land forever. Stewardship is a dynamic process that involves planning for the long-term management of each property, conducting periodic inspections, restoring habitats, and reacting to severe storms. Our experienced professional staff, supported by teams of trained volunteers, oversees all stewardship efforts on our preserves.
Before a property is acquired, it is evaluated by GLT’s professional stewardship staff to determine the parcel’s conservation values. These include wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, drinking water resources, native plant populations. This evaluation is the focus of the GLT Board’s decision to accept a property and becomes the basis for a vision for the preserve and a plan to achieve the vision. These plans take into consideration the natural features of the land as well as perceived threats to them. The plans provide structure for property inspections. All stewardship plans call for annual monitoring and inspection reports; some may require specific restoration work or a special project to promote biodiversity. Volunteers of all ages are involved in many of these special projects including native tree and shrub planting, meadow restorations, and removal of invasive plants. With limited resources, the staff must prioritize projects each year.
In recent years, severe storms have caused the loss of hundreds of trees across GLT preserves. Addressing dangerous limbs and trees take priority over other projects. The loss of trees also opens up new areas for infestations of invasive plants. Such events require adaptations of management plans.
Wildlife corridors and natural communities of plants and animals know no boundaries, so the GLT works to engage community members in our land conservation efforts. Through educational events and workshops, the GLT reaches beyond property lines to inspire owners of neighboring land to adopt environmentally friendly lawn-care and home maintenance practices to add to the overall health of the neighborhood
VOLUNTEER WITH GLT’S STEWARDSHIP TEAM
The GLT has an extensive network of stewardship volunteers who help with preserve monitoring, individual work projects, and ongoing maintenance projects. Annual (or more frequent) monitoring of our preserves is done by stewardship file leaders. Leaders are chosen for their extensive volunteer work, commitment to the preservation of land, and willingness to regularly head out into the wilds of Greenwich. The GLT’s professional staff provides training and materials to all leaders who review GIS and aerial maps, property deeds, and then venture out to conduct a complete property inspection. Trained stewardship leaders may take teams of volunteers on numerous properties, inspecting and thereby protecting our open space.
Throughout the year, the GLT runs weekday stewardship work sessions where volunteers don work gloves and boots to undertake projects ranging from invasive plant removal to trail building and fence repair. Volunteers learn about Greenwich’s natural heritage (local streams, plants, geology, trails, wildlife and more) while being outdoors. This is a great way to meet neighbors and make new friends while strengthening your connection with the Greenwich community. The GLT welcomes both individuals and groups of volunteers. Corporate, church, school and other groups are encouraged to contact the GLT to find a suitable project for your interests. Volunteer with our stewardship team!