Sunday, May 15, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
On a wet and drippy Saturday, April 23, 2011, the dedicated Van Otterloo Preserve work party gradually assembled. First wave to arrive was Dale Bertoldi and Vikki Reski at around 9:00. Dale and Vikki had scouted for a tree behind the road side stone wall to hold the Land Trust Plaque. A litter pickup on the Town of Bloomfield Mountain Road right of way began until the next dedicated volunteer arrival.
Skip House, Tami Hochman, John Hochman and Remie Hochman brought the additional manpower and the tools donated by Lowes for the earth day trail building. Anne Farnum was near at hand as Skip House led the team to the lower Van Otterloo trail. Skip and Anne had been laying out trail for several weeks with bright yellow tape attached to tree branches and shrubs. All participates had equipped themselves with gloves and sturdy footwear. Loppers, hand pruners, machete and hand saws were the tools of choice as we madly hacked our way through vines and wild rose. We clipped low hanging branches and sawed small trees and tripping hazards in the pathway. Our goal was the infamous falls near the concrete bridge at the center of the Van Otterloo Preserve. There the path would turn north and run parallel to the water course. The stream flows south to eventually become Tumbledown Brook flowing into West Hartford around the Wampanoag Country Club before turning north to flow back into Bloomfield into Tumble Brook.
Half way to our goal the third set of reinforcements arrived. Gail and Victor Herson attacked the invasive plants in and around the trail with such vigor that all were inspired with such renewed force that we made haste to that water fall that teased us from afar. In the spring the water flows with an appreciated amount of seasonal bounty. In the summer, the brook takes its leisure.
See below the map that Cary Henderson provided to the Land Trust the week following our heroic EARTH DAY AT VANOTTERLOO.