On Wednesday, May 25, Outdoor Sports Center closed its doors for the day and the whole staff joined together with the Wilton Land Conservation Trust for a community cleanup day. A team of nearly 30 individuals met at Schenck’s Island in Wilton Center to help remove invasive plants and clear an area of the park that is owned by WLCT.

The Wilton Land Conservation Trust is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of open space in Wilton, and it currently owns or holds conservation easements on 119 separate parcels totaling nearly 835 acres in Wilton.

Like most of Wilton’s amenities, the Land Trust relies on the benevolence of donors, and the enthusiasm of volunteer workers. Maintaining over 800 acres of wild space takes quite a lot of stewardship effort to battle back the invasive plants that quickly take over fields and forests, out-competing our native species.

Outdoor Sports Center was looking for a way to foster teamwork while giving back to the community in a meaningful way, and WLCT had the perfect project for the OSC. The Outdoor Sports Center team spent the day clearing multiflora rose, winged euonymus, and other invasive plants from an area on the southern half of Schenk’s Island. They cleared off an old stone wall and created a clearing to plant the beginnings of a blueberry patch.

After the clearing was accomplished, they went about planting 30 highbush blueberry plants. This project adds to about 15 blueberry plants that were planted last year in the same location. Highbush Blueberries were chosen because they are native, and they are helpful to the bumblebee population, with the added benefit of passers-by being able to enjoy a few fresh berries.

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Anyone who would like to pitch in and help restore the native, diverse habitats in town can find several ways to help. Learn more about becoming a member of the Wilton Land Conservation Trust or sign up for one of the WLCT volunteer opportunities by visiting the WLCT website.