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CT Botanical Society Grant to Survey Fen

Press Release

SLT Receives CT Botanical Society Grant

Southbury, CT – September 18, 2023

The Southbury Land Trust was a recent recipient of a grant from the CT Botanical Society. CBS was founded in 1903, with a membership composed of amateur and professional botanists. The CBS grant awarded in the amount of $1,000, is for a vegetation assessment of the Phillips Farm Preserve fen.

Lauren Brown, CBS Grants Committee chair and a CBS colleague made a visit to the Phillips property with Southbury Land Trust members. “We very much enjoyed visiting your site,” said Brown after awarding the grant, and called the survey worthy of their support.

Botanist and wetland scientist Elizabeth Corrigan has been contracted to undertake the fen survey in fall 2023; additional visits will be conducted in spring and summer of 2024.

When SLT first acquired the property, a cursory overview of the fen was conducted by then consulting botanist Bill Moorhead. He noted that the area may be an important resource for plants, birds, and wildlife and potentially would include state-listed native plants. “The wetland community is one of the more significant ecological features of this parcel,” said Moorhead at the time.

The fen encompasses approximately six acres. Fens are rare water features. According to the EPA, a fen is a peat-forming wetland that receives nutrients from mineralized groundwater. Fens are typically less acidic than bogs. The Conway School of Landscape Design, credited with the Phillips/Lovdal Farm Preserve Land Management Plan noted that only a few fens are documented in Connecticut.

Southbury Land Trust is a 501(c)3 conservation non-profit. SLT has protected farms, forests, meadows, watercourses, and scenic vistas totaling more than 2,000 acres in the town of Southbury since the group was created in 1978. These open space properties serve as important habitats to the wildlife and plant communities within them. Additionally, most SLT properties are open to the public for passive recreation and many have trail networks, routinely maintained by the land trust.

Flowers blooming in the fen
Flowers blooming in the Phillips Fen


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