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Audubon Adds Signs Of Improvements To Sanctuary Land In Westport

Sanctuary Manager John Laiacone recently put up the new Smith Richardson sign.
Sanctuary Manager John Laiacone recently put up the new Smith Richardson sign. Photo Credit: Stephanie Galea, Connecticut Audubon Society

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Connecticut Audubon Society is continuing to make improvements at a preserve in Westport -- including Audubon signs it considers "welcome mats," to let neighbors know the area is open and walkers are welcome.

The H. Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve is on Sasco Creek Road, in Westport. The two new signs are on the preserve, both north and south of I-95.

One of the major projects is restoring a meadow on the 12-acre north parcel, and it's nearly complete. The group reports that eastern bluebirds, tree swallows and eastern kingbirds are already nesting there -- and a pair of bobolinks, rare in Connecticut, stopped by during their migration.

The group has worked over the last several years to remove the invasive vegetation -- including Asiatic bittersweet, multiflora rose, mile-a-minute weed and barberry -- planting grasses instead.

Next up is restoring the south parcel of the preserve, which is also choked with invasives. The neighborhood group Friends of Smith Richardson has already been helping, with two community cleanup days.

The group also plans a meadow of native wildflowers, to attract pollinators, as well as planting conifers and hollies, for the saw-whet, barred and great horned owls the sanctuary is known for.

For more information about the Connecticut Audubon Society, visit its website or Facebook page.

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