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Great day to explore nature

June 1 - perfect beginning of June and perfect day for Wilton Preserve Festival. Blue lupine was in full bloom with blue Karner Butterflies, nature walks, Beth Bidwell’s live animal lectures, displays and Cornell Hill Fire Tower open. All thanks to the preserve's volunteers.

Whether it’s parking cars in freezing temperatures for the Preserve’s Moonlight Ski or on a perfect June day for the Festival, Wilton volunteers are there to help the Preserve.

The help is needed, too. With two full time staff - director Margo Olson and Sarah Cartwright and intern Brian Solinsky (soon to leave for med school) volunteers keep the trails clear, keep the fire tower open on weekends, plant blue lupine (only food source for blue Karner butterfly).

With 2400 acres under the Preserve’s guardianship volunteers are vital. Most come from Wilton.

That was something former Supervisor Roy McDonald was sure would happen. 20 years ago when he became aware much of Wilton east of the Northway was home to the endangered blue Karner butterfly.

Roy realize if the Town of Wilton could work with the County, the State and the Nature Conservancy the butterfly could be preserved and Wilton could create a resource for our entire area.

Today with 2,400 acres (on the way to Roy’s vision of 3,000 acres) centered around Camp Saratoga, the Preserve offers up to 15 miles of trails across 5 parcels of land, recreational hunting and fishing, skiing and snowshoeing in the winter with volunteer trail grooming. Volunteers from the Preserve conduct educational programs in the schools, evening walks to hear the night owls, park cars for the June Open House. and in the winter groom those trails. (Thanks Pieter)

More volunteers are needed. Visit wiltonpreserve.org and sign up to help. You will find many of your neighbors are doing their bit.