|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
September 19, 2012
|CONTACT: Michael P. O'Connor|
Come Celebrate the Grand Opening of Mass Audubon's Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary on Sunday, September 23, 2012
GROTON, Mass. — On Sunday, September 23, 2012 from 3-5 pm, Mass Audubon will celebrate the grand opening of Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, the permanent protection of nearly 400 hundred acres in Groton. The event will include family friendly activities; a live animal demonstration from Drumlin Farm’s Audubon Ark; a short natural history talk on what you can see out on the trails; and guided walks of various lengths led by Mass Audubon naturalists on newly upgraded trails. Light refreshments will be served. All activities are free and the public is welcome.
“The Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary is the result of an extraordinary gift made to Mass Audubon as part of the land that was developed by David Moulton and Robert Lacombe. The Town of Groton holds a conversation restriction over the entire property and we are grateful for the vision, determination, and collaboration of so many individuals and organizations who came together to make this project possible,” said Mass Audubon President Laura Johnson. “Mass Audubon is thrilled that this spectacular landscape will be open for public enjoyment, and we look forward to sharing the experience of this land with the community and beyond.”
This spectacular land contains vernal pools, forested upland, and freshwater wetlands including an active heron rookery and a beaver pond that provide habitat for several unusual species. The Commonwealth designated the property as among the most important to protect due to the hundreds of plants and animals that depend on the habitat, including the rare Blanding’s turtle.
Mass Audubon worked with the Student Conservation Association, an AmeriCorps trail crew and led a volunteer effort to make sense of the existing trail network and simplify it so the visitor has a high-quality trail experience. A favorite loop trail brings visitors into the sanctuary past the power lines to heron rookery and then toward the exposed rock outcrops where porcupine live. There have been three documented moose sightings on the property since Mass Audubon has taken over the stewardship of Rocky Hill.
“It is wonderful that we are finally able to welcome visitors to Rocky Hill Wildlife Sanctuary,” says Gail Yeo, Mass Audubon’s Central/West Regional Director. “I look forward to working with area residents on stewardship of the land and am so pleased that Mass Audubon is a partner in protecting this beautiful natural landscape for current and future generations to enjoy.”
The celebration will start at 3pm. A guided walk along the trails will begin at approximately 3:45pm; walkers should wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes. All are welcome, and light refreshments will be provided. The grand opening event will be held rain or shine.
The sanctuary entrance is located on Cardinal Lane just off Route 119 and Robin Hill Road in Groton. Parking for the event will be along the road near the tent and trail head. For more information, please visit www.massaudubon.org or contact Allison Kern at 781-259-2127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mass Audubon works to protect the nature of Massachusetts for people and wildlife. Together with more than 100,000 members, we care for 35,000 acres of conservation land, provide school, camp, and other educational programs for 225,000 children and adults annually, and advocate for sound environmental policies at local, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1896 by two inspirational women who were committed to the protection of birds, Mass Audubon has grown to become a powerful force for conservation in New England. Today we are respected for our sound science, successful advocacy, and innovative approaches to connecting people and nature. Each year, our statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries welcomes nearly half a million visitors of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds and serves as the base for our work. To support these important efforts, call 800-AUDUBON (800-283-8266) or visit www.massaudubon.org.