A Message from Dan, President of the GCT

For the past 50 years the GCT has worked hard to fulfill our mission to the Town of Groton “… to acquire, preserve and provide public access to lands with significant conservation value.” To date, the GCT’s accomplishments are impressive: GCT currently maintains 36 preserves protecting agricultural lands, forests, wetlands, and water sources, including the 160-acre General Field and the 138-acre Skinner Forest. Its five currently held Conservation Restrictions will permanently keep open another 64.2 acres of developable land, helping to maintain Groton’s rural character. Just this year, we spent time and money on two large invasive projects. On Shepley Hills, we created an innovative Barberry removal method, cutting and applying herbicide to control this invasive.

On the Bates property, invasives and brush removal work was done in all three former meadows, along the entry way, and at the stone bench. We have many properties where mowing and brush clearing not only project the area from invasives, but encourage the nesting of wildlife. Speaking of wildlife, property management would not be complete without our constant “debate” with beavers over who owns which property. And if you are like me, just looking out your window gives you an idea of the incredible bittersweet problem our area suffers. Tireless teams of trustees and volunteers take to the woods to clear patches of overgrown bittersweet, free long-standing trees, and re-open trails. So you get an idea of the work involved with maintaining these beautiful pieces of land we have been so diligently preserving.

At this time of year, we invite members to join in for a donation of time or money – there is no minimum. We depend on our members’ financial support to provide funds to operate and fulfill our mission. I am mindful of the need to spend our money effectively – to get results. Your membership dollars have enabled the GCT to do that for more than five decades. The victories are sometimes small, such as the mowing of Still Meadow.

Sometimes they are large, such as enabling us to hire interns during the summer to work with trustees to catalog and identify all the species we protect. Cumulatively, it is a record of accomplishment we can all be very proud of. And, 100% of dues and donations stay right here in Groton, working directly to help preserve our environment, our quality of life.
Use a donation of time to become an active land steward, or joining in on one of our work teams. All of our volunteers have a special talent that can help the GCT!

For 50 years, the Groton Conservation Trust has provided landowners an economically viable alternative to selling land for development. The GCT has conserved over 1,500 acres of land through acquisition of fee title and conservation restrictions. This is land that will never be developed and will forever provide habitat for wildlife, protection for water
supplies, and quiet places for people to get out and enjoy spectacular woodlands, wetlands and headlands that make our community such a beautiful place to live.

The GCT is run entirely by the hard work and dedication of volunteers. The lean operating budget is raised, in part, through annual donations from members, and we hope we can continue to count you among our supporters!