The Sleeping Giant’s picnic area is now home to many new trees and shrubs, thanks to the efforts of SGPA and its volunteers. Since the area was devastated by a tornado in 2018, SGPA has worked with CT DEEP and park staff to restore the area by planting native trees and shrubs. A first round of planting occurred in the Fall of 2021, when a dozen trees were planted. This year’s planting, hosted on October 2, 2022, saw another 14 trees and 23 shrubs added.
The efforts were overseen by SGPA’s Environmental Stewardship Committee, chaired by Gail Cameron and supported by committee members Matt Viens, Chris Fagan, and Eric Hansen. Gail writes ” We showed what an outstanding organization the SGPA is…it took team work and love for the Giant to get it done”. Indeed, many dedicated volunteers helped with the planting project, accompanied by Park Manager, Jill Scheibenpflug.
An array of species native to the Eastern United States were selected to revegetate the area. These trees will offer a variety of ecosystem services, such as food for pollinators, thermal cover, and mast for animals. In addition, the trees will serve as shade for visitors, help stabilize the surrounding site, and serve as an educational opportunity on the importance of climate resiliency.
“Our reward will be watching the picnic grove become a special place for friends and families to gather, and the wildlife will benefit from the flowers, berries and cover that it will provide” notes Gail.
SGPA thanks all involved in this effort, including Board Members, volunteers, SGPA’s trail crew, and park staff. We also thank Pride’s Corner Nursery in Lebanon for their help in selecting and delivering the trees and shrubs, and Quinnipiac University for a generous donation towards the purchase of the trees.
Photos from the planting day, courtesy of Julie Hulten
This story was written by SGPA Board Member, Aaron Lefland.