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Update from the Aspetuck Land Trust

If you live in Fairfield County and want to go for a walk the Aspetuck Landtrust has noted that their trails are open for hiking with a few guidelines.

Photo credit: Bruce Lindsay — at Hilla Von Rebay Arboretum, Westport, CT .

First, leave your dog at home. While we all love dogs, our four-legged friends they create too many opportunities for close human contact that can enhance opportunities for viral transmission between people. According to the CT Forest and Parks Association, the COVID-19 virus reportedly can be spread on dog fur just like it can survive on other surfaces.

The other reason to leave your dog at home is because — love is in the air – it’s breeding season for wildlife. Because they are keeping their preserves open while many nearby towns are closing their parks and beaches, their trail traffic is increasing.  All these extra dogs in the woods create big problems for wildlife who have to fight for their survival every day.  For example, Trout Brook Valley has over 50 vernal pools.  Too many dogs wading into these pools destroy hatching amphibian egg masses and cause real problems for all the animals up the food chain that depend on these critters for food.  Biology 101. The food web is connected. We are all connected and if this crisis has taught us anything it’s that we must be mindful of the vulnerable.

Second, please follow social distancing guidelines. We are taking our guidance from the CT State Parks (take solitary hikes) and Governor Lamont (no groups of more than 5 people). If you can do that we can keep our preserves open.  If you see people with dogs let them know what the land trust policy is and explain why.  If you see people getting too close, remind them we are in a global pandemic and they are putting others at risk by not using common sense. Also, please don’t park illegally in the street. We don’t want to overburden our first responders when they have more important things to do.  And if the parking lots are full in Trout Brook come back another time or visit another property.

For a list of Nature Preserves click here.