Interns go away legacy at the New Canaan Land Trust

On the ultimate day of their 4-week internship with the New Canaan Land Trust, New Canaan High School seniors planted rare American chestnut seedlings on the Land Trust’s Hicks Meadow. Accompanied by New Canaan resident John Kriz’s aid, the group obtained the blight-resistant seedlings from the American Chestnut Foundation and supported reintroducing this once-strong tree to its native range.

New Canaan Land Trust

“The tale of the American Chestnut is exceptional,” stated Kriz of Wilton’s Cannon Grange, a group concerned with the reintroduction effort. “A blight killed nearly all of our chestnut timber approximately 100 years ago, but scientists have figured out a way to breed resistance into the species and are working to restore the populace.”

After learning approximately the tree’s tumultuous history, Land Trust interns George Dumbauld, Richard Ettinger, Julen Sprackling, and Hans Toft-Nielsen planted the seedlings. They guarded them against predation by constructing small cages around every plant. While the seedlings may be small today, chestnut bushes can develop for hundreds of years and change into majestic, big-canopied timber. With a chunk of success, the Land Trust may also have one of the first blight-resistant chestnuts.

“Our interns discovered that planting a tree can be a very selfless act,” said Land Trust Executive Director Aaron Lefland. “Those seedlings will take a few years to grow into beautiful, nut-generating bushes. We wish that George, Richard, Hans, and Julen will return with their kids and grandchildren to revel in the fruit of their labor.”

The interns also completed several initiatives, such as path improvement, creating content material for social media, and compiling historical statistics of approximately the Land Trust’s nearly 75 residences and easements.

While the Senior Internship Program has ceased, Monday, June 24, 2019, marks the Land Trust’s Summer Steward Internship Program’s start. Ten new interns will be part of the Land Trust and help restore native habitats, enhance the path machine, and learn about nature and the surroundings.

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