The preserve was donated by Walter J. Moran in January 1969 to the Nature Conservancy which Dr. Richard Goodwin, Connecticut College Professor of Botany and CC Arboretum Director (1944-1975), helped establish. In 1989 the Nature Conservancy transferred the deed to the West Farms Land Trust, now known as the Waterford Land Trust. Goodwin stated “The tract is in an interesting stage of ecological succession from agricultural land to forest. These magnificent trees and the varied ground cover of wildflowers will be ours to enjoy in the years to come.” It was noted at the time that one of the ancient oaks was in poor shape, and “said parcel is being conveyed for the purpose of studying the process of forest growth taking over the land once cultivated.”
“The major features of this preserve are two ancient white oaks, which have produced many seedlings, some now nearly a foot in diameter” Dr. Goodwin wrote in March 1969. At the time, the property was an overgrown field, dominated by highbush blueberries and the two oaks. In January 2020, WLT members visited the preserve and found a mature forest canopy consisting of red, white and black oaks as well as swamp maples. The forest floor is full of princess pine with an occasional patch of sheep laurel. There are no remains of the ancient white oak on the northside of the preserve. Sadly, the remaining oak on the south side of the preserve was severely damaged by a storm in 2019, and only 1/3 of the tree remains standing.
There were no trails in 2020, but a neighbor, Mark Hester volunteered to mark new trails and help clear them. A new property sign was erected in October 2022.
Best to park and enter from Lisa Lane which is off Lynch Hill Rd.
“This area was acquired with the assistance of the Nature Conservancy.”