Cheshire Girl Scouts show off their Girl Power!
Members of Girl Scout Troop 60302 came out to the Cheshire Land Trust's Brooke Preserve on Sperry Road to create animal habitats on Saturday, November 21. The troop was finalizing the work for their Animal Habitat badge. The girls were helped by Girl Scout Troop Leader Elizabeth Roth, CLT Lead Steward Katie Bateson and CLT President Joy VanderLek.
Before getting to work, the group learned why these types of edge habitat "brush piles" were so important and they had a chance to talk about what animals might make use of them and why. Habitats along woodland edges near a clearing are helpful for a number of reasons. The brush piles can be used for nesting and the way in which the habitats are constructed can help animals retain heat in cold weather and offer cool shade in the summer. The brush piles are also very important for concealment. Turkeys and small birds (sparrows) or animals such as rabbits, raccoons and skunks can use the habitats to hide from larger predators, including coyotes, bobcat or owls and hawks.
Following directions on the habitat build from the National Resources Conservation Services the group broke into groups and set off to collect the necessary materials: logs, branches, twigs and leaves. Thanks to recent windstorms, the girls had plenty to choose from close at hand. A base of larger logs are laid down to begin. The next row of large logs are laid perpendicular to the first. The diameter of the branches decreases with each additional row, but placed using the same technique. Finally, the lightest branches top the brush pile. These branches still have their leaves attached, which offers the most protection.
Great teamwork by the girls made for a quick build, and the land trust had two habitat brush piles in a short amount of time. It also allowed the group to get in a short hike, checking out the beautiful Brooke Preserve property.