Notes from our 2019 Annual Dinner and Silent Auction

Our 2019 Annual Dinner and Silent auction is in the rear view mirror and what a great time we had! Consider joining us next year!

First, we’d like to thank all our sponsors and partners, and we are so very lucky to have such an engaged and engaging community!
GOSA focuses our auction, indeed all our “business”, in the local community, and we’d like to thank all of our very generous auction donors.

Special thanks go out to our Sponsors who made this year’s event special:
The New London Day, Densmore Oil, Chelsea Groton Bank, The Dog Watch Cafe, The Brian Smith Family Fund, Duncklee Cooling & Heating Inc., Nutmeg Building & Remodeling LLC, Carson’s Store, JPO Productions LLC, Schooner’s Beverage Company, Connecticut Forest & Park Association, The Law Offices of Eric Santoro, and the Friends of Ft Hill.
Let’s not forget the fun and ambiance provided by Tusia Photography in our green screen with local and fun backdrops, and James Harris Guitar who provided a lovely addition to our cocktail and silent auction hour!

Held at The Mystic Marriott, our guests made the evening a delight! So many old friends re-connecting, new friends being made, and special new opportunities offered like a special outdoor nature photography class and a CT Forest & Park Hike in June!
A little bit of something for everyone!

We hope everyone can join us again next year for this event which we target to fund our regular stewardship duties!

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Notes about GOSA Stewardship Volunteers

Volunteering for GOSA’s Stewardship team is one of the most fun and rewarding activities Dan and I are involved in. We have made so many new friends and have met and worked with some the most interesting, knowledgeable people during our work parties.

There are currently 54 active members on the stewardship team, with some volunteering once a year and others as much as twice a week. All time donated is greatly appreciated and our members are valued for their caring attitudes, unique abilities, and willingness to work hard together to accomplish GOSA’s goals. So far this year, these great people have donated over 500 hours of their time to beautify and maintain GOSA’s five properties!

Those 500 hours are the equivalent of a $12,715  donation to GOSA in order to have that very work done! According to The Non-Profit Times, “The value of a volunteer’s time hit an all-time high during 2018 at $25.43 an hour, up 3 percent from 2017.”

Routine trail maintenance, including clearing and removal of invasive plants, downed limbs and trees, and the mowing of grassy areas and meadows, is on-going. (Of note, we get into a bit of archaeology too as numerous rock walls, old foundations, and even old farm machinery, have been exposed during maintenance work parties.)

In addition to routine maintenance, numerous projects also have been undertaken to beautify the areas we maintain. At the Sheep Farm, on Hazelnut Hill Road, bog bridges and a footbridge to span the Fort Hill Brook were recently made and installed by GOSA volunteers in the area below the waterfall. This will connect to a property to be known as Sheep Farm South. A walking trail is being marked in this area; work is on-going.
At Avery Farm North, the areas along Lambtown Road have been cleared of debris and invasives, revealing rock walls and old foundations. An area has been prepared for a pollinator garden to be planted this spring, while a nearby bog is currently being cleared of saplings, to provide optimal growing conditions for the Atlantic White cedars growing there.

The hope is to maintain areas of natural beauty for everyone to enjoy, from the woodland paths, to the open meadows, to the bogs and ponds, to the critters and creatures that abound. There is definitely is something for everyone on our beautiful properties!

New volunteers are always welcome. On the job training, tools, fun and friendship are provided!


Lynn and Dan
Stewardship Volunteer Coordinators

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Building Bridges

What a great turn-out we had last week for our footbridge build and installation at the Sheep Farm! 13 volunteers helped to unload two pick-up trucks filled with lumber, nails, screws, power tools, rebar, sonotubes and concrete mix, and carried all of it about a quarter mile to the build site near the base of the waterfall. 
With Dan O. providing music, and Marie providing snacks and drinks, the party began!
Earlier in the week, in preparation for the build, the lumber was
cut to size and pre-drilled with holes as needed to make assembly of the bridge support as easy and efficient as possible. With that done, it was time to install the sonotubes and concrete, and set the framework into place. Only a few minor adjustments needed to be made to achieve perfection, and the surface planking was installed.
Ryan and Tom did a great job with that and, before you knew it, our bridge was completed!
What a wonderful effort put forth by some of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet!
We’d especially like to thank our newest volunteers, Dan N. and Landon, for their hard work today, as well as to day hikers Zac, Rebecca and their pup who so willingly carried supplies down to us while on their hike through the Sheep Farm! If you see a GOSA work Party on a property, be sure someone will ask you, "Woodja?"
We appreciated your help!
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