South Windsor celebrates Trail Days

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Mon., Jun. 13, 2011
As part of their World Conservation Badge, Cub Scouts Ryan, Samay and Will maintain the Monarch Waystation at the Major Michael Donnelly Land Preserve. Here, they are looking to see if there are any signs of the Monarchs on the milkweed plant. Photos by Martha Marteney.
As part of their World Conservation Badge, Cub Scouts Ryan, Samay and Will maintain the Monarch Waystation at the Major Michael Donnelly Land Preserve. Here, they are looking to see if there are any signs of the Monarchs on the milkweed plant. Photos by Martha Marteney.

South Windsor celebrated Connecticut Trails Day on Sunday, June 5, at the Major Michael Donnelly Land Preserve, located at 1165 Sullivan Ave. This town-owned property runs from Sullivan Avenue to West Road, and passes over the Podunk River with a series of pathways and bridges. Parking is available off Sullivan Avenue and West Road.

South Windsor Open Space Task Force members were on-hand to provide information about the preserve, other properties in town and projects in which the OSTF is involved. “There’s been a constant flow of people,” said OSTF member Betty Osborne. Nearly 50 people signed the guest book and many more participants did not sign in.

Members of the South Windsor Walk and Wheel Ways were also available to answer any questions about their activities. “We had a nice turnout,” said SWWWW member Kim Nowell.

Wayne McKinney also had information about the National Wildlife Certification process for homeowners and for the town. McKinney is spearheading this project. He has had his property certified, and expects it will take two years to obtain the town’s certification.

“We came for Trails Day and the geocaching,” said Bloomfield resident Joseph Krukowski, who attended the event with Jennifer Murray, also of Bloomfield.

Geocaching is a sort of treasure hunt using a global position system to locate a site. According to Will Vees of South Windsor, there are more than 5,000 geocaching sites in Connecticut. More than 20 of those are within 2 miles of the Donnelly preserve, and at least five are on the preserve. Since Vees first started geocaching in 2002, he has found more than 3,000.

“The important part is the adventure and getting outside,” said Vees. “I started finding places I had no clue about.” Some sites can be located by foot, others by boat. At the site of the geocache, there is a hidden box, which contains a log book and often items for trade. The website georcaching.com can be utilized to identify locations, to log found geocaches and to track items that are traded. “It’s a fun hobby,” said Vees.

Cub Scout Pack 389 was stationed near the Monarch Waystation off Sullivan Avenue, which the pack constructed as an Earth Day project last year. According to Pack Chairman Steve Lewis, the Scouts are working to earn their World Conservation Badge, which requires a community service project. “The Monarch [butterflies], because they cross countries, is a real world conservation project,” said Lewis, noting that the Monarchs that land in South Windsor travel from Mexico.

As part of their project, the Scouts learn about the importance of the milkweed plant. “The adults use the flowers for nectar and lay the eggs underneath the milkweed plant,” explained 8-year-old Samay. The Scouts will be releasing caterpillars into the Monarch Waystation later this summer and will monitor the butterflies’ progress until they fly away.


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