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Expansion of Smyth Sanctuary

8.1 Acres • Deep River, CT

Partners: Deep River Land Trust & Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection

Protecting wildlife habitat

great view of water and ridge

The Connecticut River Gateway Commission provided the Deep River Land Trust with $30,000 in matching funds for a CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Open Space Grant to expand conserved property in town.

With the Gateway Commission’s contribution, a $104,000 state grant and community donations, the Deep River Land Trust acquired two parcels of land in 2019.

A small 0.4 acre piece on Pratt Cove was incorporated into the land trust’s existing Evelyn & Hawthorne Smyth Sanctuary. A larger 7.7 acre upland parcel across Essex Street became the new Rattling Valley Ridge Preserve.

An observation deck on the Smyth Sanctuary allows visitors to watch otters, egrets, herons, swans, turtles and other wildlife.

The Rattling Valley Ridge Preserve links the Smyth Sanctuary on Pratt Cove with the land trust’s Florence Bidwell Sanctuary and The Nature Conservancy’s 6-acre preserve bordering Pratt Cove connecting critical habitat.

Rattling Valley Ridge hikers can expect excellent views of the cove while walking through a relatively open forest canopy. Along the way, you’ll find large glacial boulders and outcroppings of Avalonian bedrock. The forest contains maple, hickory, beech, oak, and cedar and you may see wild turkeys, hawks and coyotes.