Naromi Land Trust
Monday, February 19, 2018
Forever. Sherman.
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Naromi Land Trust
P.O. Box 265
Sherman, CT 06784
Phone: (860) 354-0260


Big News!  Naromi is Apply for Accreditation!


Achieving this designation will bring Naromi Land Trust another step towards keeping its promise to you and fulfilling its creed FOREVER. SHERMAN.  

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Naromi Land Trust is pleased to announce it is applying for accreditation. A public comment period is now open.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant's policies and programs. Naromi Land Trust conserves approximately 12% of Sherman and it is important to Naromi that we operate at the highest standards in order to preserve and protect this land for future generations.

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Naromi Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. The full list of standards is available on the commission's website.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit, or email your comment to Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax)518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

Comments on Naromi Land Trust's application will be most useful by Friday, May 26 to be incorporated into the application process.

For more information about Naromi Land Trust, visit or call 860-354-0260. 


Hartford Courant Article - 10/8/17

"Hiking the Wilds of Sherman and the Appalachian Trail"  by Peter Marteka
Click HERE to read this lovely article about Naromi's Herrick Trail and its relationship to the Appalachian Trail. 

Thank you everyone who joined us for our Annual Picnic last Sunday.  I think it was a wonderful event and fun was had by all despite the weather!  Hope to see you next year and we hope to be able to include a view of the Hadlow Field!



West Briggs Hill Preserve Restoration

Naromi again had the honor of working with another team of AmeriCorps volunteers at our West Briggs Hill Preserve.  This was a different group than the one we worked with in March and we enjoyed much better weather conditions!  NLT Vice President Chris Jellen, Board member  Ian Gribble, and volunteer Geoff Gwyther led the AmeriCorps Moose 4 team in clearing and marking the trail, invasive plant removal, improving drainage, and rebuilding sections of the stonewalls.  Becky Hrdy, NLT President Marge Josephson, and Board member Ashleigh Blake all volunteered time also.  
The West Briggs Hill Preserve is an 84 acre preserve on Briggs Hill Road.  The trail meanders near beautiful stone walls near the road then up a sometimes steep hillside to a clearing. Barberry, multifora rose and other invasive plants are extensive in this area of the preserve and used to render the trail impassable.  After 450 man hours in 2017, the transformation of this preserve is remarkable.  There is more work to be done, but this 2+ mile trail is now open to the public!
Thank you to AmeriCorps Moose 4 team: Brandon Shepard, Jacob Allen, Adam Bagley, Josh Kenon, Gus Merwin, Kenneday Morris and Becca Marcott; to the GreenPrint Collaborative for coordinating the AmeriCorps team's work with Naromi and other land trusts; to Steep Rock Association for providing tools; and to Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust for providing housing for the team.






















Photos by Amanda Branson, Ian Gribble, and Geoff Gwyther

Spring Birds in Action

Videos by Dennis Larkin

Big News!  Naromi is Applying for Accreditation!


Achieving this designation will bring Naromi Land Trust another step towards keeping its promise to you and fulfilling its creed FOREVER. SHERMAN.  

The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Naromi Land Trust is pleased to announce it is applying for accreditation. A public comment period is now open.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant's policies and programs. Naromi Land Trust conserves approximately 12% of Sherman and it is important to Naromi that we operate at the highest standards in order to preserve and protect this land for future generations.

The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications. Comments must relate to how Naromi Land Trust complies with national quality standards. These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. The full list of standards is available on the commission's website.

To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit, or email your comment to Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, Attn: Public Comments: (fax)518-587-3183; (mail) 36 Phila Street, Suite 2, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

Comments on Naromi Land Trust's application will be most useful by Friday, May 26 to be incorporated into the application process.

For more information about Naromi Land Trust, visit or call 860-354-0260. 

Early Spring Butterflies

Click on the links below to learn more about each butterfly.
Pictures by Dennis Larkin

 Mourning Cloak                                 Comma                                                  Cabbage White

Mourning Cloak

The Frogs Frolicked

Sunday, April 3rd was the day -  over 20 folks from very young to older, met and traversed the trails of our Towner Hill Preserve. The group was rewarded by sighting salamander egg masses and tadpoles and by the loud mating calls of male wood frogs.  The large vernal pool nestled between the double hilltops of Towner Hill is a paradise for local amphibians - they have the necessary wet area for mating and egg laying surrounded by upland forest for the adult life of the frogs. 

Naromi Hosts Americorp Volunteers to Steward West Briggs Hill Preserve

On Wednesday, March 22, Naromi Land Trust had the honor of working with 12 young AmeriCorps volunteers on a habitat and trail improvement project on its West Briggs Hill Preserve.  Led by Naromi Board Members Ian Gribble and Stephanie Warren, Volunteers Geoff Gwyther and Becky Hrdy, Executive Director Amanda Branson and Board President Marge Josephson, the students braved clear cold windy weather and deep snow to clear and mark boundaries and to open and mark a new section of trail at the 84 acre preserve.  The trails start at Briggs Hill Road, go around some unusual rock outcroppings, and then meander uphill past historic stonewalls to a natural 2 acre clearing.  The middle hillside had become so badly infested with barberry over the years that the former trail was impassible. One of the stewards who conducted a recent monitoring visit there described the barberry as akin to "Sleeping Beauty's Brambles."


The AmeriCorps group, with its many hands, made significant progress that day toward Naromi’s rehab of the habitat and trails of the preserve.  Because of the prior work by Greenwoods Land Management who had mowed the trail and the clearing just before our deep snow, making a beautiful wide swath, the volunteers were able to access the interior woods and further cut back invasive vines and uncover old walls.


Naromi was one of several NW CT  land trusts invited to participate in the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative program that utilizes AmeriCorps volunteers to complete community stewardship projects.  


AmeriCorps is a network of local, state, and national service programs that involves over 70,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, health, and homeland security.  Most AmeriCorps members are between the ages of 18 and 24 and serve with more than 2,000 non-profits, public agencies, and community organizations during their ten month enrollment period. 


Although there is more work to do at the West Briggs Hill Preserve, Naromi encourages the public to enjoy all of the

hard work that was put into making the preserve more accessible and ready for the community. 


For information about Naromi Land Trust’s properties and hiking trails, please go to our website at for more information and trail maps.  Or email us at    And remember - we want to hear your ideas, see pictures from your adventures on our preserves, and we appreciate your help.


Naromi Land Trust with Americorp Volunteers at the West Briggs Hill Preserve.  Left to Right:  Kneeling  Kaeliegh Watson, Naromi Executive Director Amanda  Branson.  First Row:  Joe Sewall, Kimora Felton, Dan Shefner, Aly Shoup, Kenzie Leach.  Back Row:  Naromi President Marge Josephson, Quon Hall, Naromi Volunteer Geoff Gwyther, Alex Unger, Jay Gilmer, Nathan Devey, Tayla Hunt. Back:  Naromi Volunteer Ian Gribble.




There is much discussion about the current state budget that Governor Malloy has presented.  Several environmental initiatives/budgetary cuts are currently being discussed at the state level that greatly impact the funding that small land trusts such as Naromi rely on, potentially impacting everyone's ability to enjoy and take advantage of State Parks and campgrounds, as well as reducing our ability to protect our environment.

Click HERE to read more about the talking points about the budgetary cuts for Open Space Funding, State Parks and the environment.  

National Invasive Species Awareness week is taking place from February 27 through March 3 with agency and congressional meetings taking place all week long in Washington DC with additional events taking place around the country.  
NISAW is also offering webinars from 2:00 - 4:00 each day for those who cannot attend an event!  Click HERE to learn more about the events taking place or to sign up for one of their webinars.

NOTE:  The Hike at Pootatuck State Forest took place on Sunday, January 22nd.  There is no hike on Sunday, January 29th.  Thank you and we apologize for the inconvenience!




Feel free to click on any of the pictures to learn more about each bird a All About

Carolina Wren                         Chickadee                                       Coopers Hawk                  


Fox Sparrow                            Junco                                              Blue Jay                                      


Northern Cardinals          Cedar Waxwing                           Red-Bellied Woodpecker




Webelos Pack 84 Stewards Mallory Trail


Naromi’s Mallory Trail winds behind the Sherman Historical Society through the woods to the Sherman Town Green. It is a lovely wooded trail that covers easy rolling terrain and includes a wetland boardwalk. Mallory Trail is enjoyed by many people during the year.

Over the course of this past year some trees had fallen across various portions of the trail making traversing the trail a bit more difficult. Naromi reached out to Jose Ordinas-Lewis and Mike Hatcher, the leaders of Webelos Pack 84 in Sherman, to assist them in clearing the fallen trees.

On a chilly day in late November the boys of Webelos Pack 84 along with Mike Hatcher, Jose Ordinas-Lewis, Joel Bruzinski, Rick Riccardi and Naromi Board member Ashleigh Blake set out on the Mallory Trail to clear the fallen trees. Mr. Bruzinski cut the larger fallen trees with a chainsaw while the boys used a bow saw to cut the more manageable portions. The boys then moved the cut wood off the trail. The importance of trail maintenance was discussed as well as safety when using saws.

Pack 84 finished the job just in time, as it began to rain the troop headed back to the scout house for further discussion on a scout’s responsibility to the outdoors. The Mallory Preserve is also the site for the Sherman Girl Scouts Gratitude Trail.

Naromi would like to express their thanks to Webelos Pack 84 for a job well done!

Webelos Pack 84 Front Row:  Max Riccardi, Devon Harris-Keohane, Nate Bruzinski, Mateo Ordinas-Lewis (kneeling), Michael Hatcher, Quinn Delamere, Aidan Mendell.  Back Row: Mike Hatcher, Jose Ordinas-Lewis, Rick Riccardi, Joel Bruzinski


Gratitude Trail 2016



Naromi Land Trusts Names Executive Director

September 26, 2016

Amanda Branson has been named Executive Director of Naromi Land Trust in Sherman, CT. She will be Naromi’s first Executive Director.  Margery Josephson, President of Naromi Land Trust, in announcing this new position, said “Amanda Branson’s many years of land trust experience, coupled with her knowledge of Naromi from her consultancy work for us over the years, gives us our best possible Executive Director.”  Since 2007 Amanda has been working with Naromi, supporting the Board of Directors, ensuring compliance with national standards, and managing Naromi’s program activities, like editing its popular eNewsletter and website. She will guide Naromi though the accreditation process of the national Land Trust Alliance and help our Board achieve Naromi’s goal to implement its creed: “Forever. Sherman.”

Amanda has been working with non-profit organizations since 2003 providing services to help groups connect to their community, accomplish their goals, and streamline their operations. Amanda leads the Connecticut Records Project, a joint program of the Land Trust Alliance and the Connecticut Land Conservation Council that teaches land trusts sound record-keeping practices and conduct audits of property and organizational records. Over the last few years, fifteen land trusts have participated in this project. Amanda also provides services to land trusts throughout Connecticut including coaching on sound record-keeping practices, accreditation preparation support, and building organizational strength. 

Amanda lives in Kent with her husband Clark and their three young children.  Amanda has a BFA in Printmaking with a Minor in Art History from Maine College of Art. She has exhibited her art in Maine, Connecticut and New York and maintains a studio practice.

Please join us in welcoming Amanda as our new and first ever Executive Director.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Amanda at



 Look on our Facebook Page for more pictures from the Annual Picnic!




Kestrels at Hadlow

We are overjoyed to report that a pair of American Kestrels produced three healthy offspring this summer at Naromi's Hadlow Preserve.  Naromi has worked with Art Gingert, kestrel conservationist from West Cornwall, since 2010.  He has set up 86 kestrel nest boxes in 27 towns throughout northwest and north-central CT and monitors boxes and breeding kestrels from late March into July.  Nest boxes are placed in open country on barns, pressure-treated posts and on isolated trees like the black cherry at Hadlow. 
Here is an excerpt from Art's report to Naromi: 
I visited the Hadlow Preserve at the very end of this year's breeding season, on July 8th.  Both adult kestrels were on site, perched along the treeline and stone wall at the northern border of the preserve, and I was very pleasantly surprised to find three healthy, 18-19 day old female nestlings in the nest box.  
There were many meadow vole fur "castings" in the nest box, so the nestlings have been well fed with rodent prey at this site.  I saw this a lot this spring and early summer, as these very common meadow mice apparently survived our previous mild winter in good numbers and have bred abundantly.

This has been a banner year for successful kestrel pairs in CT, as Art and colleague Tom Sayers in eastern CT have each worked with some 50 pairs of this species-of-special-concern.  Here is an article about kestrels in CT and about Art's longterm project (begun in 1977). 
Many thanks to Art and Tom Sayers for their years of work with kestrels and also to Amelia deNeergaard for the Hadlow kestrel photos!
Renew your membership or become a member for the first time!
What are the special aspects of Sherman which you love?  Perhaps the scenic sunsets across Upland Pastures or the wide open vistas from the agricultural fields of Hadlow Preserve?  Maybe the extensive steep woods along Candlewood Lake at Atchison Cove or the variety of bird-life in Wimisink Wildlife Sanctuary or the vernal pools teeming with frogs and salamanders in the Spring atop of Towner Hill?  Or perhaps the stunning view up the Housatonic River from the Herrick Trail?  All of these are the direct result of the accomplishments of Naromi Land Trust since its inception in 1968. Naromi Land Trust exists because of the commitment of volunteers.  These volunteers are your neighbors who love and value the work and accomplishments of Naromi over the past 49 years and have chosen to spend their time to build on those accomplishments. 

By making a contribution to Naromi you become an active participant of a community that makes preserving Sherman and its rural character a priority. Upgrade your level of giving this year or become a member for the first time; we have a gift for you.

Sherman's natural wealth belongs to all of us.  Every one of us benefits from it.  Share our pride in Sherman's open spaces, wildlife habitats, water quality, agricultural lands and scenic vistas.  Naromi is your land trust.  Naromi is the keeper of Sherman's open space.  Please help us ensure that Naromi can continue to maintain what you love about Sherman.  FOREVER.


NLT's Annual Meeting

It was a hot evening at the Lake Mauweehoo Clubhouse for Naromi's Annual Meeting on July 8, 2016.  

Here is the slideshow presented by Dennis Larkin at the Annual Meeting.  All of these photos were taken by Dennis in Sherman. Remember that if you feed birds, raccoons and bears will probably attend the feast also! 

Wimisink Wildlife Sanctuary Recognized as Important Bird Area

Read Audubon Connecticut's press release about the five new Important Bird Areas in Connecticut.

Festival of Dinners 2016 was a night to remember!

Many of Naromi's supporters came to toast Naromi with old friends at the JCC on May 21 and went on to meet new friends at dinner in homes around Sherman.  Deep thanks to the members of the Benefit Committee, Bill & Maureen McCann, Margaret Cook, and most especially our Hosts who opened their homes on behalf of Naromi: Chris Wagner & John Allen, Lisa & John Cilio, Libby & Sam Edelman, Lori Finck, Great Hollow Nature Preserve, Marianne Vandenburgh & Ralph Gorman, Catherine & Philip Korsant, Amy McIntosh & Jeffrey Toobin, and Virginia & Robert Walther.





















Festival of Dinners

Festival of Dinners is sold out!  We are accepting names for a wait list.  Click on the box for more information or to make your reservation now.

Conservation Easement Incentive

In a great victory for landowners interested in conservation, the federal enhanced tax incentive for conservation easement donations has been made permanent! In strong bipartisan action, the House voted 318-109 and the Senate voted 65-33 to pass the bills that included the incentive. The president signed it into law on December 18, 2015, and it applies retroactively to January 1, 2015. An earlier version of the incentive expired December 31, 2014. The incentive, considered by many to be the most important conservation legislation in 20 years, encourages landowners to a place conservation easement on their land to protect important natural, scenic and historic resources. Here is what it looks like:
  • Donors can deduct 50% of their adjusted gross income up to the amount of the gift;
  • Allows qualifying farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income; and
  • Allows donors to carry the deductions forward for up to 15 years.
Donating a voluntary conservation easement can be one of the smartest ways to conserve the land you love, while maintaining your private property rights and possibly realizing significant state and federal tax benefits. If you would like to take advantage of these tax benefits, contact NLT today and start working on a conservation easement! 

We are grateful to the Naromi Supporters in 2015!

Volunteers                                 Other Special Supporters
Bruce Alexander                       Jill Finch
John Allen                                 Larry & Lynn Freed
Pat Bailey                                  Gary Goldring
Ashleigh Blake                          JCC in Sherman
Julie Bohan                               Litchfield Distillery
Nate Bruzinski                         Bill & Phyllis McGoldrick
Hilma Carter                            Charles T. Morris
Margaret Cook                         Robert & Amy Poster
Catherine Cooke                      Henry & Sabine Renard
Karen Cowperthwaite            Alice Schneckenberger
Doug Cushnie                          Colette Shulman
Karen Cushnie                         Chris & Laura Theodoros
Ernie Dech                                Amy Macintosh & Jeffrey Toobin
Paul Duncan               
Libby Edelman                        In Memoriam
Sam Edelman                          Tom Joyner
Lori Finck                                Marlene Sanders
John Foley
Jen Freed
Bill Garrison
Helen Garrison
Stan Greenbaum
Ian Gribble
Michael Hertzberg
Becky Hrdy
Andy Hubbard
Chris Jellen
Erick Jellen
Marge Josephson
Tom Keane
Joe Keneally
Dennis Larkin
George Linkletter
Don Lowe
Denise Maciejewski
Liz Mard
David McCabe
Bill McCann
Maureen McCann
Justin Molito
John O’Donnell
Masumi O’Donnell
Chris Theodoros
Christina Wagner
Stephanie Warren
Clay Winters
Please contact us if you feel your name was omitted.

Who could these two be?

Thank you to all who joined in for the Farewell to Fall Cocktail Party

Distant views, delectable bites and delightful company was enjoyed by all!
NLT Board Member Ian Gribble serving David & Jane Weider and Hosts Libby & Sam Edelman; Past NLT Board Members Angela Dimmitt, Donald Heald and Weantinoge Heritage Executive Director Catherine Rawson; Barbara Ireland, Libby Edelman and Marilyn Dwyer; Roger Ireland, NLT Treasurer Stephanie Warren and Egon Gerard. Photos by Marge Josephson.

Naromi's Picnic - What a spectacular day!

Clockwise from top left: Two Naromi Presidents - Dick Donohoe and Marge Josephson; Jumping haybales; Walking atop Hadlow Fields and enjoying the distant views; The candidates agree - Naromi's Picnic is the place to be!  Photos by Dennis Larkin

FrOGS Celebration October 24-25

Bring your entire family and join FrOGS in a celebration of the beauty and importance of The Great Swamp.  More info here.

Naromi's Annual Meeting is Friday July 10 at 6:30 PM

 Here is NLT's 2015 Annual ReportHere is the event page.

Weed Warriors June 27, 2015

Thank you so the 2015 Weed Warriors:

Pat Bailey, Ashleigh Blake, Julie Bohan, Nate Bruzinski, , Chris Jellen, Erick Jellen, George Linkletter, Denise Maciejewski, Bill McCann, Stephanie Warren!















Naromi's Spring Benefit: A Festival of Dinners


What a Wonderful Night!





From top left: John O'Donnell, Michael McCaffrey, Pauline Ores, Egon Gerard, Bill Garrison, Egon Gerard, Colette Shulman, Millie Loeb, Marge Josephson, Jill Finch, Clay Winters, Stephanie Warren, Masumi O'Donnell, Barbara Griff, Chris Jellen, Mary Rindfleisch, Joe Keneally, Marge Josephson, Bill Garrison, Robert Winshell, Barbar Griff, Amanda Branson, Stephanie Warren, Henry & Sabine Renard, Jeffrey Toobin, Marlene Sanders, Amy McIntosh, John Dwyer, Chris Wagner, Helen Larvick, Clay Winters, Jill Finch, Angela Dimmitt, John Foley, Steve Roffwarg, Doug Feltman, Barbara Griff, Robert Winshell


Wimisink Wildlife Sanctuary

The Wimisink swamp at the north end of Route 39 is one of Naromi's great success stories.   In the 1980’s Naromi was able to aggregate five parcels of land to create the 55 acre preserve now known as the Wimisink Wildlife Sanctuary. A gift, a purchase, and a swap of ownership began the process of transforming a wetland which had become overrun with various invasive plants into a productive habitat for many kinds of wildlife.


Over the years Naromi has successfully worked to eradicate or control invasive plants in Wimisink such as the tangles of roses and bittersweet vines, the tall phragmites, and the widespread purple loosestrife. Beavers also moved in and began work on their dams creating areas of open water. Slowly native plants have been able to repopulate the wetland and wildlife variety has exploded. Providing access started in the 1990’s with a scout built observation platform. And in 2013, Naromi Land Trust completed construction of an easily accessible Boardwalk into the wetland enabling everyone to enjoy the natural world and to engage in study and observation of the plants, birds, butterflies and animals which call Wimisink home.


This summer we were delighted to learn that amongst the already bustling bird, amphibian, and waterfowl populations, a pair of nesting American Bitterns had fledged four offspring. Nesting Bitterns are unusual anywhere inland in Connecticut and are a sign of the robust health of this ecological area. Visitors came from all over the state to go out on the boardwalk and observe the Bittern family.

Girl Scouts


Girl Scout Troop # 40072 spent a wonderful afternoon on the Mallory trail on Sunday.  Lead by NLT Director Chris Jellen, they learned about Naromi and expressed their gratitude all at the same time. The group of 5th grade girls wrote down things they were grateful for, covered them in durable plastic sleeves, designed sticks to mount them on, and placed them along the trail for others to enjoy.  They have taken on the responsibility of walking the trail frequently to make sure the sticks are staying up and in good condition. 


This weekend they plan to attend the Historical Society Farm Day on Saturday and the Naromi Picnic on Sunday to ask others what they are grateful for. They will add those thoughts to the Gratitude Trail. They also left an envelope of 4X6 cards at the Mallory Trail head and are inviting everyone to participate by finishing the phrase, “I am grateful for ... “.   Stop by often between now and Thanksgiving and walk the trail.  With your help, it will grow in gratitude!   

Bird List

List of birds seen in Sherman May 3rd to May 20th.

Spring Birds in Sherman





















 Click on the photo for more information on each species: Common Yellowthroat, Gray Catbird, House Wren, Female Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole, Phoebe, Indigo Bunting, Red-winged Blackbird, Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager.  All Photos by Dennis Larkin.

Bird Hike 5/3/14

The bird enthusiasts on the Naromi annual Bird Hike this year saw and/or heard 41 species during the morning. Hike leader and bird expert Angela Dimmit had her spotting scope set on a green heron in the distance at the outset and also pointed out the painted turtles sunning themselves.


 At the Wimisink Swamp boardwalk area they found 17 species, and including, an osprey was hunting over first the southern then northern ponds, then without diving, headed north towards the Housatonic.  Then a red-tailed hawk flew over, harassed by crows, a  pair of wood ducks flew up, saw a kingbird.


later on the walk the upland ecology of the Strauss Preserve yielded another 24 species  including nine warblersblue-winged, northern parula, yellow, yellow-rumped, black-throated green, prairie, black & white, ovenbird, common yellowthroat. 


The long lasting cold weather slowed the leaf-out of trees this year with mixed results - no leaves makes it easier to see the birds, but no leaf buds means less food to attract the birds.  As the trees began to catch up and more migratory birds  have arrived daily;  keep your eyes and ears open right now for them.  ....No great blue heron appeared that morning, but they have been around for a month or so.

Send an email back to Naromi if you would like a full listing of the birds currently in the area -- keep in mind that some of them are year-round residents, some of the winter ones have gone farther north to breeding grounds, some migrants only pass through briefly, and some migrants come to our area to raise their young.

Salamander Walk

It was a perfect night for humans (warm, full moon, clear sky with stars), so a group of 25 of all ages came out.  We had flashlights, some with high boots for wading in the edge of the ponds.   However, the salamanders had found the previous night to be better for them.    Three salamanders and several frogs were seen --- hundreds of peepers and wood frogs were heard!     Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening even without overwhelming sightings.    Those who saw the salamanders were really impressed with their size (about 8 inches).

John was disappointed not to be able to uncover  the numbers he had seen on 4/11, but I think the group understood that amphibians prefer rain. We learned a lot about the ponds and behaviors and habitat of salamanders.  Some of the group plan to go out to a vernal pool on the next warm rainy night to search again.

Bluebird Box Building Day!

It was a great day to build Bluebird Boxes at Babbling Brook Farm!


We have received several reports of Bear sightings this spring.  Here are some notes from the Bear Reality Presentation as compiled by John Foley:

Bears are NOT true hibernators and some will remain active throughout winter, while others that do den, will arise from their winter slumber by March. After spring emergence, natural foods are usually in short supply, so bears then seek tasty alternatives such as the bird seed we people put out. A black bears diet changes with the seasons.  During spring months, bears seek out wetlands to eat skunk cabbage and grasses. In summer months, bears prefer to eat berries, fruits, and insects. During the fall months, acorns are the desired food choice.

Seeing a bear is an unforgettable experience, but unintentional and intentional feeding lead bears to associate homes with bird feeders as a food source. These bears then become "problem bears" and will not only associate your home as a food source, but also neighboring homes. Bears become accustomed to seek out bird seed as an easy to get food and will overlook natural food sources. Many of these bears suffer dietary problems from improper diet, while many others are shot and killed illegally by people who misunderstand the bears intentions.  Other bears which remain near houses may meet their fate in a car collision. According to the CT DEEP bears are rarely relocated now because there are no more empty areas. Exceptions are only made when a bear has found its way into very suburban areas and is unable to leave safely on its own.

Keep in mind that the black bears are not after people; attacks are almost non-existent.  Most often a bear will move on when it sees a person but -  like many people and our pets they may want to finish their meal if they are interrupted; e.g. eat all the seed in your feeder before leaving the yard.

  • DO remove bird-feeders and bird food from late March through November.
  • DO eliminate food attractants by keeping garbage cans inside a closed garage or shed. Add ammonia to trash to make it unpalatable.
  • DO clean and store grills away after use.
  • DON'T intentionally feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to finding food near your home may become "problem" bears.
  • DON'T leave pet food outside overnight.
  • DON'T add meat or sweets to a compost pile.
A simple saying applies, "A fed bear is a dead bear."    

It is the Year of the Salamander!

Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation has declared 2014 the Year of the Salamander!  Check out
the CT DEEP webpage for more salamander info and activities.  In celebration, Friends of the Great Swamp is presenting an evening with Dr. Jim Utter, John Foley (NLT Board Member), and Beth Herr to learn about Salamanders and Vernal Pools, Sunday March 9th at 2 PM, at the Patterson Library, 1167 NYS Route 311 in Patterson.

Salamanders in Love

Steep Rock Association Board member Peary Stafford penned this lovely story about visiting a vernal pool during the reproductive cycle of spotted salamanders several years ago.  He has been gracious enough to share it with us:
Try this the next time you're enjoying your dinner or a glass of wine on a rainy April night: put on a pair of boots, grab your rain gear and a strong flashlight, and head off for the hemlock forests of Steep Rock.  Once there, get out in the rain and stare into a pond for an hour or so.  If the time is right and you're discreet with the light, you might just get a glimpse into the intimate world of salamanders in love. Read more here.


This coyote was seen hunting for more than an hour in the daylight hours in northern Sherman.  This photo is by Dennis Larkin.  Here is some great info on coyotes:

Pileated Woodpecker

Check out this great shot by John Foley of a Pileated Woodpecker at work.


Ticks are out in force these days.  If you want to know if ticks you find are diseased you can have it tested.  University of Massachusetts provides tick testing services by mail for a fee.  The results are emailed you and and you get a secure link so you can view the tick and see the results there too. This is all within 3 days! Other services don't come close to getting results so quickly! They save the tick indefinitely and you can order future tests on other diseases if needed (ie if you are still sick).  Their database contains anonymous info by town on all ticks ever submitted to them. Check out the website.

Quarry Visit

Check out this great blogpost about our visit to the Quarry in Patterson, NY.


It was a spectacular day at Kemp's Meadow in Hadlow Fields.  Many, many old friends and many new friends came out to enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, pies, cookies, brownies, and apples, not to mention the kites and James Eyring's birds!  Thanks to all the volunteers who helped us host another great picnic.
Photos by Marge Josephson, Dennis Larkin, John O'Donnell, Pauline Ores, and Stephanie Warren
James Eyring addresses his audience (top);  Barred Owl; Hooded Peregrine Falcon; Hadlow Field with a pair of kite flyers (bottom)

Quarry Hike

These photos are by Marge Josephson & Susan Locke.  More photos are on Facebook.



Land Trust Days

Connecticut's Northwest Corner land trusts have organized this fall to offer a slate of programs in celebration of "Land Trust Days", scheduled to take optimal advantage of the season's great opportunities for observing the beauty of the change of seasons, our native wildlife, and engaging in outdoor recreation.

Bear Scat

This is a sure-fire way to know a bear has been nearby!










Celebrate the AT in CT

There are 50 glorious miles of Appalachian Trail in CT.  Come out and celebrate with a Grand BBQ at Macedonia State Park.  Check out the full announcement and the list of activities.

FrOGS Annual Art Show and Celebration

Thomas Memorial Center, Christ Church, Pawling, NY
October 26 - from 11 AM to 5 PM & Sunday, October 27 - from noon to 4 PM
Free event held at Thomas Memorial Center, Christ Church, Pawling. Show exhibits and sells work of local artists and crafters, and features live animal presentations by Jim Eyring (raptors) and by The Nature of Things (reptiles, amphibians, mammals), children's activities, educational exhibits, live music and light refreshments...and this year, some surprises.

Paddle on Squantz Pond 9/7/13

On a picture-perfect Saturday morning a mixture of canoes and kayaks paddled the full perimeter of Squantz Pond on Naromi's annual Paddle Day.  Stan Greenbaum and Chris Jellen coordinated and led the group of particpants from Sherman, New Fairfield and Brussels, Belgium.  Cliff Jensen took some marvelous photos and shares them with us here.

Cute Little Buggers

Sherman's turtle expert and member of the NLT Board of Directors John Foley shared this photo of five baby box turtles just after they emerged from the nest.

Hummingbirds, Hummingbirds, Hummingbirds!

Thanks go again to Dennis Larkin for this one.

Swallowtail Butterfly

This cooperative Swallowtail showed off all sides of its lovely body so we may admire it as it works this Butterfly Bush.  Thanks to Dennis Larkin for a wonderful video.

Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on July 12, 2013


My Summer at Naromi

By Amy Gruar
With the arrival of late May I returned to Sherman for the summer holidays, in search of work and hoping to not get landed with the coffee-fetching internship that every college student fears. When I managed to work out a project with the Naromi Land Trust, the work that followed was a pleasant surprise!  
I worked ten hours a week under Program Manger Amanda Branson to preserve documents of enduring value that pertained to Naromi's fee and easement properties, updating and cleaning out the paper and electronic files. Not only did I learn a great deal about legal documents and the workings of a non-profit land trust, but I also gained an invaluable knowledge of my hometown of Sherman.  
I realized also that I had totally taken for granted the scenic vistas, trails, and overall rural charm that I grew up with in Sherman, and that these beautiful preserves would not be possible without Naromi's board of volunteers, charitable donors, and supporters throughout Sherman. Reading the narratives behind Naromi's acquisition of various parcels of land has been intriguing and has provided a new context each time I take a hike within the area. Coupled with my work at the all-organic Bloomingfields Farm on Route 55 in Sherman, Naromi also helped me to gain a new appreciation for sustainability and environmental stewardship.  
Now, as the summer comes to a close and I return to college, I hope I can bring the skills I've developed to other conservation efforts in my future career!

Midday on July 19th, the bear in this photo ambled through a field on Church Road. We were close enough to see the identification tags on the ears and sent a report to CT DEEP Wildlife Division.   They responded that this is a female who was given the ID tags as an 8 month old orphan cub in New Milford in 2008.   There have been no reports of her being a problem to anyone.   It was good to learn that ID tags do not necessarily mean a bear has been a problem.   So, if you see a bear, DEEP appreciates getting a sighting report on its website page.  They use the information to get an idea of the relatively density of bears in the state.  The identification tag information should include the color and the letter and/or number on the tag(s).  In this case they were pleased to know that an orphan cub had survived to become a healthy adult and to know its current location.  


This bear has come back to the same location this week, but not bothered any birdfeeders or garbage bins.  Thanks goes again to Dennis Larkin for the photo.  Stay tuned for more reports!  Not sure if we should hope for more activity or no more sightings.



Butterflies & Moths in Sherman

These photos were taken by Dennis Larkin.  The photo on the left is a red-spotted purple.  Dennis found this specimen perfectly preserved on the floor of the garage.  The photo on the right is a hummingbird moth.  These are fascinating insects that are probably out working your flowerbeds right now!








Birds in Sherman

Thanks to several Naromi Volunteers we have photos of birds in the area during the last month.












 Clockwise from top left:
  Mother and three baby turkeys by Lauren Jellen.
  Baby hawk by Ken & Ronnie Erdmann
  Great Horned Owl by Dennis Larkin













Sherman Steps Up!

Thank you to all the new volunteers who signed up at the Volunteer Fair as a part of the Sherman Chamber Ensemble Picnic on June 29th!

Annual Meeting 2013

Celebrating 45 years of conservation awareness, Naromi's Annual Meeting will be held on Friday July 12, starting at 6:30 PM.   


Got bees on your mind? For our 45th Annual Meeting, we have the privilege of listening to Ray Crawford of the Backyard Beekeepers Association.  He will tell us about all our native pollinators (bees of all kinds, flies, ants, etc), help differentiate between other stingers (yellow jackets, hornets, etc), and talk about the many pressures on pollinators.  Ray will bring live bees, behind glass, so we can get close and observe bees doing their work.  Naromi's Annual Meeting will be held on July 12 at 6:30 PM at the Lake Mauweehoo Club at the corner of Rte 39 and Leach Hollow Road.

Black Bears

The black bear population in our area is on the rise and sightings are becoming more and more commonplace.  Naromi, along with the JCC, hosted an educational presentation about black bears in April.  For those of you who did not attend, or who would like a refresher, check out the information on CT Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection's website or print out their fact sheet.


 Mile-a-Minute Vine

Mile-a-minute weed has recently been confirmed in two new towns in Connecticut, New Haven and Farmington.  A single vine was found in each town and removed.  Additional surveys are being planned to determine how widespread the occurrences are.  This invasive annual vine has now been confirmed in 34 towns in the state.


Be on the lookout for mile-a-minute and report any suspect plants via the CT Invasive Plant Working Group website.  Additional information on mile-a-minute, including an updated distribution map can also be found on the website.  Check out our Resource page for more invasive plant resources.


Trails Day 2013

Naromi is celebrated CT Trails Day on June 1 & 2.  CT Trails Day is a statewide event organized by Connecticut Forest & Park AssociationIt was a brutally hot weekend, but a few hikers came out on Saturday to hike the AT and a crew worked for all of Sunday afternoon at the Brookland Preserve.  Thanks to Chris Jellen and Marge Josephson for leading the weekend and to Stan Greenbaum, and John and Masumi O'Donnell for all their hard work.  The crew released the Batchelder Glade plaque from barberry.  It is a dedication to one of Naromi's founders Lois Batchelder. 
 Photo by Masumi O'Donnell

Memorial Day Parade

This year, for the very first time, Naromi had a delegation in Sherman's Memorial Day Parade! There were more than twenty Naromi friends and enthusiasts including a baby in a backpack to septogenarians, dogs and horse & carriage. Big thank yous to Claire Rocky for making signs modeled after the iconic Naromi trail markers, to Gretchen Briggs for the horse and carriage, and to the crowds of paradewatchers who warmly and enthusiastically welcomed us along the route!  Banners, designed by Chris Theodoros and Amanda Branson, NLT's Program Manager, revealed Naromi's new tagline: Forever. Sherman.  This represents the unique role Naromi plays in our community as the only organization that has a mandate to fulfill our Mission in perpetuity.












Late May through June is the time of year when turtles are most often seen crossing roads and in gardens. A majority of these turtles are gravid (egg-bearing) females looking for a sandy location to nest.
Unfortunately, its also the time of year where many are crushed both deliberately and non-deliberately on black tops as well as from mowing equipment. Motorists and bicyclists who are willing to help can due so by simply moving the turtle off the road and placing it in the direction it was going. If its a large Snapping Turtle; the best way is to find a blunt object such as a branch and gently try to "push" it off the road. DO NOT pick the turtle up by its tail because severe injury can occur to the turtles spinal column. Above all, be safe and do not attempt stop traffic.

John Foley, our local turtle expert and Naromi Board Member, is looking to document Box and Wood Turtles. If any are observed crossing the road, please contact him immediately at (203) 417-7745. Any prior sighting locations would also be of much interest.

Visit to the AT Boardwalk 5/12/13



Seniors Visit the Wimisink Boardwalk 5/9/13


Wimisink Boardwalk Opening

Over 50 people of all ages turned out on a beautiful day to celebrate the ribbon-cutting opening of the new fully accessible boardwalk at the north end of the Wimisink Swamp Preserve on Route 39 North in Sherman.  From two month old Eben Gifford to two native Shermanites in their 80's, Roger Munch and Carl Josephson,  all enjoyed the length of the boardwalk and the view across the swamp to the beaver lodges and the two lengths of beaver dams.  After the ribbon cutting jointly by Naromi's president Marge Josephson, First Selectman Clay Cope, Land Manager Hunter Brawley, State Senator Mike McLachlan, and State Representative Richard Smith, all followed Catharine Munch as she inaugurated the first wheelchair use of the boardwalk.





















This project was made possible by a grant from the fund created by GE as part of the clean-up of PCBs in the Housatonic River. The Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Iroquois Gas and Pipeline Company have funded several stewardship projects in and around the preserve.  Nancy Ferlow, Fernando Rincon, and Diane Blais from NRCS (see above photo with NLT sign) and Ruth Parkins from Iroquois were there to celebrate with us.
The boardwalk is open for use by the public from dawn to dusk each day.   Dogs must be on leash and loud noises avoided so wildlife are not disturbed.  The land trust requests that viewing be only from the road and the boardwalk; wetlands are too fragile to tolerate foot traffic.  Parking should be only in the graded area, off of Route 39. One section is reserved for handicapped parking.   A short walk south along the highway is a trail leading to a small observation platform which gives a view of another section of the Wimisink Preserve.  Please contact the land trust if you have questions, concerns or special observations to report:  860-354-0260 or


Invasive Plants

In honor of Earth Day, we just posted material on our Resource page about invasives.  Click here to check it out!  
The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group is the leading group in Connecticut working on invasive plants.  They are working particularly on Mile-a-Minute vine and Giant Hogweed.  Neither of these intruders has been seen in Sherman yet, but there have been sightings in many surrounding towns.  If you think you have seen these plants, please report it on their website or contact Naromi as soon as possible.


Boardwalk Opening on Earth Day TOMORROW

Celebrate Earth Day with us!  Naromi Land Trust will be having the formal opening of its new Boardwalk in the Wimisink Swamp Preserve tomorrow, April 22nd at 1 pm.  It will be held at the site at the north end of Route 39 North in Sherman (just before Route 55). 
This project was made possible by a grant from the fund created by GE as part of the clean-up of PCBs in the Housatonic River.  The fund is administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the CT DEEP. Town Commissions have also played a part in the process.  We would like to have all of the parts of government, as well as the public see the result of all of the planning. 


Check out the article about the project, with more construction photos, in the Danbury News-Times.  


The Towner Hill Frog Frolic Redux

Saturday, April 6th @ 2Pm

The frogs and amphibians are awake and singing their mating songs! So off we go again up to the top of Towner Hill to see the spring awakening.  Meet and park at The White Silo Farm where we will carpool to the trail head.  Allow 2 hours for this moderate degree of difficulty hike and PLEASE leave your dogs at home because they scare the frogs.  Children are welcomed and encouraged to come!  Call the office (860) 354-0260 for updates due to inclement weather.


The Bear Reality

Saturday, April 13th  4-6PM At the JCC , 9 Route 39 South, Sherman

Everything you wanted to know about bears but were afraid to ask! 

Come hear Master Conservationist and life-long bear enthusiast Felicia Ortner discuss bear lifestyle, physiology, behavior and natural history. Learn more about the black bear – rarely aggressive toward humans – and find out which precautions you can take to keep bears away from your trashcans, compost heaps, beehives and bird feeders.  Please call the JCC at (860) 355-8050 or Naromi at (860)354-0260 for more information.

Free admission, donation requested

Co-sponsored by the Naromi Land Trust and the JCC in Sherman

The Moe Preserve Hike

Sunday, April 14th  1 PM

 The Moe Preserve is a little know and rarely visited 38 acre preserve at the west end of Chapel Hill Road on the New York line.  The bordering land in
Pawling is under preservation agreements with other groups thus Moe is part of a much larger ecologically valuable area at the upstream end of the
New York City watershed.  Its drainage area eventually flows into Timber Lake and Quaker Brook in Sherman.  More detailed information to come.


Earth Day Weekend

Saturday and Sunday, April 20 & 22

Naromi is planning a Grand Opening Ceremony for the Wimisink Preserve Boardwalk.  Stay tuned for more details!

Annual Frog Frolic at Towner Hill on March 17th

A great group of 17 met on March 17th to walk up Towner Hill and enjoy views to east, south, and west, as well as the open oak woods.  The early spring frogs, however, decided it was still winter and were neither seen nor heard.  As soon as there are a few warm nights their sounds should be in vernal pools everywhere.  The trail to Towner Hill's large vernal pool area is open to go on your own or call if you would like a guide for your visit (860-354-0260).  









Snowshoe/Cross Country Ski Hike: A Great Success!


Naromi Mentioned in Wall Street Journal

On January 18, Naromi Land Trust was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, along with Metropolitan Museum of Art, in an article entitled "IRA Donations Get a Break; New Rules Reinstate Tax Treatment for Gifts to Charity." Naromi was referenced as an action oriented organization due to our efforts to keep you informed of the most updated tax legislation. Given the number of appeals being made surrounding the fiscal cliff, it's nice to know we stood out!   To learn more please contact your tax professional.

Field Trip to View the Eagles

The field trip to the Shepaug Dam organized by Naromi Land Trust went extremely well even given the foggy conditions this past Saturday morning.  Not only were there a fair amount of eagles, both adult and immature, but they were very active.  It was not uncommon to see four or five eagles in one eye shot as they were fishing!  There was a naturalist on hand to answer questions said that occasionally a school of fish would get swept thru the dam - "lunch is served"...This trip was sold out several days in advance.  Please contact the office at 860-354-0260 or if you are interested in another trip to the Shepaug Dam organized by Naromi.  For more information on the eagles at the Shepaug Dam visit


 Hike at the Red Pine Area of the Pootatuck State Forest 1/6/13

Thank you to our Dedicated Volunteers!

Over the past couple years, particularly after the major storms, the Brooklands Preserve has enjoyed anonymous stewardship and maintenance. At long last we have learned the identity of the Brooklands steward-the Rev. Paul Astbury. Naromi is grateful to Rev. Astbury to have kept the trails clear and available for use for all of us!

Naromi would also like to thank Dave Rogers and his crew for clearing a tangle of trees that were brought down by Storm Sandy at the Strauss Preserve

Hike at Pootatuck State Forest Dec. 2, 2012


Naromi Highlights from 2012


Report Storm Damage

As you get out on Naromi trails in the coming weeks, please report any damage or fallen trees or debris blocking trails to the Naromi office at 860-354-0260 or email to  This is a big help to us to keep the trails clear and in good shape after storm events like Hurricane Sandy.

Annual Picnic

Many thanks to the work of the many volunteers who made this year's Naromi picnic such a success at the Lake Mauweehoo Club. Set up, serving, clean up -- all went smoothly.
We had over a hundred during the course of the event -- really amazing on a cool raw day; the most we have ever had for a rainy day picnic.  The cooks, as always, did a great job  - lots of compliments on the hamburgers - and that is a tough assignment since the attendees come in batches.  Many good salads and great desserts kept showing up.... just when you think they are gone, more arrive.

Annual Picnic Family Checklist

A comfy blanket
A folding chair
A dessert, or a salad.... (anything is welcome!)
A kite (don't forget the string!) 
A football or soccer ball....
A frisbee!
A camera!
Friends who may not yet know about Naromi!
Just yourselves!

Annual Picnic

Naromi's annual Picnic is just around the corner on October 7 starting at 12-noon.  This is a great event for families and a great opportunity to meet the folks in the community who love Naromi as much as you do!

Hike on August 25, 2012

Check out this video on our Facebook page of the rat snake hikers encountered at the Roger Perry Preserve.  Take a look at the latest edition of Naromi eNews for more photos and details about this great hike.  Just click on the link above.

NFSAW Dog Walk at Mallory Preserve

The New Fairfield/Sherman Animal Welfare Society held its first annual Dog Walk and Pet Fair on August 18th.  Naromi Board members manned a information table and directed dogs and walkers to the Mallory Trail.  Naromi sponsored several dogs, identified by a green scarf, as modeled by intrepid Peg.

Emerald Ash Borer located in Connecticut

Click here for the Press Release from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. 

Thank you Volunteers!!!!!

Naromi Land Trust would like to thank the following volunteers and supporters for extraordinary service in the past year.  Naromi would not be able to do our important work without the generosity of volunteers.

Naromi Members July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012

Outgoing Board Member
Dan Leary, Director

John Allen, Anonymous, Tim Beatty, Pat Corrigan, Dave Cronin, Angela Dimmitt, Jen Freed, Bill Garrison, Eric Gorman, Stan Greenbaum, Ian Gribble, Roger Hibbert, Bob Iannucci, Chris Jellen, Erick Jellen, Marge Josephson, Mary Kaley, Justin Korsant, Philip Korsant, Dennis Larkin, Dan Leary, Daniel Leary, Rob McConaghy, Kathy Miville, Laeri Nast, Sam Nast, James Pollack, Mac Rand, David Roberts, Rep. Richard Smith, Stephanie Warren, Robin Zitter

Organizations and Businesses
Citizen News
Great Blue Outfitters
Sherman IGA
Sherman Historical Society
White Silo Farm & Winery

There are surely people who deserve to be on this list who may have been inadvertently left off.  We apologize for any unfortunate omission. We are grateful to the countless others who support Naromi!

Naromi's Annual Meeting on July 13th

It was a packed room on a hot night a the Lake Mauweehoo Clubhouse for the Naromi Land Trust Annual Meeting.  Marge Josephson presided and welcomed the group. Bill Garrison presented a financial report (click here to see a summary).  After the election of Board members (see below for more on that), Marge delivered a report of highlights of the past year's activities:  

Naromi held more than 20 events during the past year including hikes, volunteer stewardship workdays, its second paddling trip, and the Annual Picnic and Annual Meeting. Naromi also held its second annual celebration of Earth Day in April with a volunteer workday in the morning, hike in the afternoon and a cocktail party in the evening. More than 300 people participated in Naromi events in 2012.


Naromi has focused on the ongoing restoration of Babbling Brook Farm. During the past year two failing culverts were removed from the streamcourse and a third was replaced with a more adequately sized culvert. Ongoing invasives eradication and native plantings continued with a large team of volunteers who dedicated a morning in April and planted more than 125 native riparian plants in a few hours. On other preserves Naromi has been working to maintain its existing trails, clearing downed trees and invasives and re-routing badly eroded sections. 


Marge then introduced the speaker for the evening, Lauren Coyle. Ms. Coyle is a biologist who works at the Livingston Ripley Wildlife Conservancy in Litchfield CT. She brought three LRWC Avian Ambassadors, an Australian Wood Duck, a North American Wood Duck, and a Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Several lucky members of the audience got up close and personal with the Black-bellied Whistling Duck.
Click here for draft Minutes of the Annual Meeting.


Paddle 6.30.12

The Paddle on the Great Swamp was a great success!  The trip sold out days in advance.  A large group of boaters spent more than two hours exploring this nearby treasure, and only Chris Jellen got wet.  It was in service of helping folks around some obstacles, not a capsize! 

Get Your Ducks in a Row: Mark Your Calendar for the NLT Annual Meeting July 13th

Bird is the word at Naromi's Annual Meeting on July 13 at the Lake Mauweehoo Clubhouse.  We will welcome Lauren Coyle, of the Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy and her Avian Ambassadors, in this case ducks. These Ambassadors are living and breathing examples of biodiversity. We will learn how the different species have adapted to a variety of habitats and diets.  At the end of the program, participants will have a chance to get even closer to the ducks and even touch them.  There will also be a brief business meeting and a report of Naromi's work over the past year.  Join us at 5:30 for twilight on the lake and light refreshments.  Program starts at 6. 

 Hike on the New AT Boardwalk: A Great Day to Walk on Water


On June 9th a large group of folks from Sherman, New Fairfield and Wingdale/Dover gathered in Pawling to walk the newly finished Appalachian Trail Boardwalk. The group observed the turtle crossings of the tracks (an ongoing project to help turtles cross the railroad tracks, instead of getting trapped in between). The group then looked at the beaver lodge and ever-expanding beaver-created pond next to the boardwalk (it is now almost a foot higher on three sides than the surrounding swamp). It was a great day to walk on water!

Birding with Naromi 2012

With the help of Angela Dimmitt, expert on birds, the group saw and/or heard 58 species of birds despite the cloudy and later misty morning.   Highlights were  Great Egret and Green Heron at Wimisink swamp area (unusual to see each of these).  In the more upland fields and woods at the Strauss Preserve the group found Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, 4 kinds of vireos and 11 kinds of warblers. The spring migratory season is great for birding because so many species are on the move and singing, and because it is easier to locate the birds because the trees are not yet fully leafed out.
More Spring migrant species have been arriving every day, so keep your eyes and ears open for them.  Hummingbirds will be looking for the feeders in the same locations as last year. If you make a visit to the Wimisink area, be stealthy on your approach to the observation platform and you may be rewarded with a glimpse of the wood ducks, mallards, and black ducks.

If you are interested in joining a guided bird walk, contact Naromi at 860-354-0260 or

More Earth Day 2012

Check out this nice article on the planting at Babbling Brook Farm on State Rep. Smith's website.

Earth Day 2012

On Saturday, April 21st Naromi organized the best celebration of Earth Day in Sherman yet.  There were events all over Sherman for every age from 8 to 80+.

First, an eager team of volunteers descended on Babbling Brook Farm to help plant native wetland plants as part of Naromi’s Earth Day Celebration. The planting was part of the on-going restoration of Babbling Brook that has been funded by a $60,000 NRCS Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) grant. One special guest was State Representative Richard Smith (R, Danbury) who helped plant a tree in honor of Earth Day. 

Last fall Naromi removed two failing stream culverts in the brook and replaced a third under the watchful eye of NRCS Resource Conservationist Todd Bobowick. In the fall of 2009 Naromi began clearing invasive plants from the floodplain surrounding the stream and with the help of these willing volunteers able to plant 125 native plants and trees on the site in a few hours . This work would never have been possible without two incredible volunteers: Robin Zitter who graciously to do the planting plan and order the plant material, and Tim Beatty who donated a full day with an excavator to remove large invasive plants.  
Also on Saturday Naromi led a hike at the Mallory Trail and had a social event with wine-tasting at White Silo Farm.  Guests enjoyed the wine and nibbles by White Silo Farm & Winery, a behind the scenes tour of White Silo, music of Doug Mahard, and were challenged to say Naromiyocknowhusunkatankshunk.  Naromi's name is derived from the Naromiyocknowhusunkatankshunk Brook, a native American name meaning “water from the hills..."

Hike at Cranberry Mountain

 A group of Sherman folks, and a few from New Fairfield, came out on April 15, 2012 to enjoy an easy hike at Cranberry Mountain just over the state border in New York.



 Volunteers Help Naromi Land Trust
A Herrick Trail section was re-routed on March 22nd.  The storms of the last few years had washed out part of the connector section between the  river overlook and the Appalachian Trail.  Volunteers are Hunter Brawley, Chris Jellen, Stephanie Warren, Marge Josephson from Naromi and David  Roberts, Dave Cronin, Bob Iannucci, Roger Hibbert, Mary Kaley, Kathy Miville from Western CT AMC  Western CT Appalachian Mountain Club members often combine the Herrick Trail with their hike on the AT from
Bulls Bridge to Route 55 (see photos).  In two hours, with chain saws, loppers, and rakes, the ten created a new trail section to replace a badly eroded one. A fantastic job well done!  Take a walk on the Herrick Trail,  enjoy the view north up the Housatonic and then go uphill along the new section to the junction with the AT.  (map can be downloaded on the Properties page).
Then, as part of the Sherman Annual Road Clean Up Day on March 24th, Ian Gribble and his Spring Lake Garden Design crew pitched in to help Naromi clean up numerous items that had been dumped along Wagon Wheel Road between the roadway and the stream and wetlands at the far north end of Squantz Pond.  Into the truck bed were pulled up cushions, bed springs, tiles, old boot, a bicycle, plastic compound buckets, several tires, as well as scattered bottles and cans. Many Kudos to Ian Gribble, Samuel Castillo, Miguel Tenesaca and Hunter Brawley for their hard work.

Brookland Preserve trails were hard hit with downed trees from the storms of 2011. These have been cleared recently. Naromi and all who walk through that preserve send our thanks to the Mr or Ms Anonymous who did such a remarkable job! 

Egg Masses at Towner Hill 3/20/12

Frog Frolic Hike March 18th

On Sunday March 18th, twenty-one people came out on a spectacular almost-Spring afternoon and were witness to a robust chorus of quacking from wood frogs and chirping peepers.
Here's a video from this day's concert. 

Frog Frolic Hike March 11th

The frogs at Towner Hill had just begun to sing last Sunday afternoon, helped by the warm temperatures.  Sixteen people joined hike leader Marge Josephson to hike the trail from White Silo to the vernal pools atop Towner Hill. 
Here is a video of the youngest enthusiast enjoying the chorus.

Early Spring Work Day March 10th

Irene's Woods:

Robin Zitter operates a chainsaw and Rob McConaghy helps clear the brush at Irene's Woods.  The downed trees were a result of the fall storms.

 Hadlow Fields:

John Allen, Bill Garrison, and Marge Josephson spent several hours clearing barberry from the borders of Hadlow fields. 

Winter Hike February 19th

A group of 32 people and 3 dogs came out on a spectacular February day!

Winter Hike January 15th   

A small group of hardy folks came out on a cold day to hike Irene's Woods on January 15th.  

Seeking Board Members

Naromi seeking new Board Members to join our team! We're looking for a few dedicated individuals passionate about conservation in Sherman who are ready to roll up their sleeves behind the scenes.  Contact the office if you are interested - we would love to hear from you!

Threats in Your Garden

Even though we have more months of winter to endure, its not too early to start thinking about invasives and your garden.  In case you missed it - check out this editorial published in the Litchfield County Times on January 12 entitled " Boxwood Threat a Yawn? No Way".  


Naromi's Annual Membership Drive

Naromiyocknowhusunkatankshunk!  Naromi Land Trust derives its name from this 29-letter American Indian name for the lovely brook in the north end of Sherman.  It means "water flowing from the hills."  

Naromi Land Trust provides the community with opportunities for passive recreation, nature observation and education on our thirteen preserves with trails, and more than twenty other open space preserves. With these holdings comes enormous responsibility.  Unlike other kinds of non-profits, land trusts, including Naromi, have promised to shoulder their preservation responsibilities in perpetuity.

In order to keep this promise, Naromi needs your support as a member.  Your membership helps us to protect the scenic and natural resources throughout Sherman, and to preserve the rural character of our community.  
Please be on the lookout for Naromi's annual membership appeal in your mailbox, or become a member by contributing online today!  

Click here
to see Naromi's Highlights from 2011.
Click here for an updated map of Naromi's holdings, including descriptions of several featured hikes.

 Thank you to all those who came to Naromi's Annual Community Picnic!

Special thanks to everyone who volunteered and who brought a side dish or dessert to share.  It was a beautiful day atop Hadlow Fields at Kemp's Meadow.  About 125 folks came out to enjoy the views, the turtles, the food and the kite-flying.

Naromi's Fall Family Picnic - October 9th noon to 3 pm

Celebrate the spirit of fall at the Naromi Land Trust’s Annual Fall Picnic on Sunday, October 9, at 12 PM high atop the Hadlow Fields in Sherman. This spectacular setting has one of the most glorious views in northern Fairfield County. This is always a wonderful community event, open to all.  Come enjoy fall colors, kite flying, a hike, and the views.

If the weather is warm enough (70 degrees minimum) or rainy (so the Picnic is held indoors at  the Lake Mauweehoo Clubhouse), John Foley will bring his turtles to the Picnic.  John was the presenter at our Annual Meeting this year and brought his turtles there.   Many folks got to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures.  This will be a real treat for those who missed it the first time or who would like to spend more time with them.  Scroll down on this page to see photos from the Annual Meeting and of the turtles themselves.

Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs will be cooked on site and beverages will be provided. We ask that guests bring, if possible, a salad or dessert to share. The Hadlow Fields are reached off of Cozier Hill Road (0.3 mile east of Rte. 37 or 0.8 mile west of Rte. 39).  In the event of inclement weather, the location will be the Lake Mauweehoo Clubhouse at the intersection of Route 37 and Leach Hollow Road.

Please call the Naromi office at 860-354-0260 to RSVP, with any questions, or if you would like to volunteer to help; or email us at We look forward to seeing you there!


Streambank Restoration at Babbling Brook Farm

With funding from the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), a program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Naromi has been working to restore the streambanks of Babbling Brook.  This effort is part of Naromi's revitalization of Babbling Brook Farm.  The project began with removal of invasives and other debris in 2009, continues this year with mowing, and now removal of two failing culverts and replacement of a third with a more adequate one.  The project has been overseen by Todd Bobowick, a fisheries expert with NCRS.  The new culvert design will help prevent erosion and keep high water within the floodplain. 
Above, several members of Naromi's Board visiting the replaced culvert at Babbling Brook Farm; Bill McGoldrick, Chris Theodoros, Chris Jellen, and Marge Josephson, and Hunter Brawley, Land Manager (center).  Photos from throughout the project below.

Wimisink Boardwalk Project

Naromi has been awarded a grant from the Housatonic River Basin Natural Resources Restoration Project to build a boardwalk for education, including wildlife and plant study/observation, and passive recreation for anyone and everyone.  The grant is administered by CT DEEP, US Fish & Wildlife Service and NOAA. The project has been permitted by Sherman Land Use Commissions and construction is planned for Fall 2012.

As a part of the planning and study for this project, Naromi hired a butterfly expert to survey the Wimisink Wildlife Sanctuary.  Here is the list of species present there:  Spicebush Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Summer Azure, Pearl Crescent, American Lady, Little Wood Satyr, EYED BROWN, Silver-spotted Skipper, Peck's Skipper, European Skipper, Least Skipper, Great Spangled Fritillary, Little Glassy Wing, Dun Skipper, Black Swallowtail, Summer Azure, Monarch, Delaware Skipper, Hobomok Skipper, Dion Skipper, Orange Sulphur, and Viceroy. We featured photos of many of these taken in Northern Sherman by Dennis Larkin in the July 2010 edition of Naromi eNews. 
The EYED BROWN is listed as a Species of Special Concern by the state. The population at Wimisink was viewed with frequency and ease and the expert considers the preserve to be a state stronghold of the species.  The Dion Skipper is listed as a Threatened Species.  This species is difficult to observe, so the location of even a single individual among  the extensive favorable habitat suggests a viable population. 
Odonates, or insects including dragonflies and damselflies, were not surveyed in detail, but the following species (all expected in the habitat) were noted during the butterfly work:  Ebony Jewelwing, Common Spreadwing, Swamp Spreadwing, Eastern Forktail, Fragile Forktail, Variable Dancer, Common Green Darner, Easterm Amberwing, Blue Dasher, Eastern Pondhawk, Spangled Skimmer, Slaty Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Twelve-spotted Skimmer, Widow Skimmer, Halloween Pennant, Cherry-faced Meaowhawk, Dot-tailed Whiteface, and Black Saddlebags. 

Thank you to everyone who came to our Annual Meeting!  

Fifty people came out on a rainy evening to learn about Naromi's activities during the past fiscal year and learn about turtles from John Foley.  Naromi elected Christopher Jellen, Elizabeth Mard, William McGoldrick all for another three-year term, and Chris Theodoros was elected for his first three-year term.  We will include a profile of Chris here soon.  The Board would like to express gratitude to outgoing Board members John Allen and David Schneiderbeck for their years of service to NLT.  Here are Minutes from the Annual Meeting.  We are grateful to the community for their support!

 Annual Meeting: July 8, 2011


Great Swamp Paddle

Thirty intrepid paddlers came out on the morning of June 19th to paddle the waters of the Great Swamp.  The group met at 8 am, was outfitted by Great Blue Outfitters and was on the water by 9am.  The trip took about two hours and fun was had by all.  The group was too large and raucous to observe much wildlife.  And everyone stayed dry!

Trails Day

More than thirty people came to hike the trails in Great Hollow on Trails Day spanning ages and species (a few leashed dogs joined in).  The group managed to stay together and had a great time!  


Work Day

Seven dedicated volunteers came out on the morning of April 16, 2011 to the Kemp's Meadow section of Hadlow Fields.  They cut invasive vines and shrubs, cleared underbrush to free apple trees, neatly piled the brush and raked the area.   Kemp's Meadow was named for a much loved and missed friend of Naromi who served as a Board member and Treasurer.  This meadow is the site of Naromi's Annual Picnic in October.       


Close to seventy people came to the cocktail party in the evening on April 16th.  The big room at the Jewish Community Center was beautifully decorated by Liz Munch Mard.  The hors d'oerves were expertly prepared John Allen and Stephanie Warren, who were yeomen for the evening, and served by volunteers led by Margaret Cook.  The Silent Auction offered many desirable items, including terrific wildlife photos, gift certificates to local nurseries, garden clean-up and coaching, and native plants.  (See below for a list of individuals and businesses who generously donated to the auction.) Naromi is grateful to all who participated in our celebration of Earth Day!
Auction Donors
Bloomingfields Farm, Claire's Garden Center, Angela Dimmitt, Friend of Naromi, Marge Josephson & Dennis Larkin, New Milford Agway, Scott's Landscaping & Nursery, Spring Lake Garden Design, and Victoria Taft's Garden

Frog Frolics at Towner Hill

Eight people gathered to hike up Towner Hill on Tuesday March 22, 2011 to bear witness and observe the Spring activities of wood frogs.  It was a cold day and the frogs were shy.  The group did see some egg masses, evidence of their activity and purple skunk cabbage turbans poking up through the thawed ground.  Then on Saturday March 26, 2011 a group of 14 gathered to try again.  It was a warmer sunny day, but with biting winds.  The frogs were much more active and the egg masses were plentiful.  The also saw Red-backed Salamanders migrating near the vernal pool.  While you are outdoors, keep you ears open to the sounds of wood frogs and soon, the chorus of peepers.

Wood Frogs at Towner Hill! 

Click here to see a video of the vernal pool at Towner Hill and hear the Spring chorus of the wood frogs.     


Tax Incentive Extended

The US Congress has renewed a federal tax incentive for conservation easements.  This incentive has lead to significant conservation work all across the country.  The incentive raises the deduction a donor can take for donating a voluntary conservation agreement from 30% of their income in any year to 50%, allows farmers and ranchers to deduct up to 100% of their income; and increases the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.  More information is available from Land Trust Alliance.

Naromi Highlights from 2010

Please click here for a list of highlights from 2010.  Click here for an archive of our eNewsletter.


More news to come.  Check back soon. Be sure you are receiving our eNewsletter to get notices via email!