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Notes from the Trail with Dan – June 2024

Hi! It’s me again Dan O’Connell, GOSA President, with an update for you our valued GOSA members on the many current GOSA activities. Our amazing Board of Directors is utilizing their talents and giving their time to make our organization stronger in fulfillment of our mission. Many volunteers are doing the same in support of various committees, which are a crucial part of what we do. This time of year is very busy for our volunteers. Our Stewardship crew has started planning and coordination of their spring/summer routine to keep our trails in good shape to support everyday use. Support from our membership is greatly appreciated and makes it all possible.

Our Finance Committee has been busy preparing and submitting required reports to government agencies (i.e., the 990 Form), upgrading our financial software, tracking grant applications, in addition to day-to-day transactions. Our Finance Committee is a dedicated, diligent group of people who do an amazing job.

Our Property Planning Committee continues coordinating forest management studies on our properties to support the development of property management plans based on professional recommendations. State funding will help us act on these recommendations to keep our forests and streams healthy. Our new Center Groton Property is currently being surveyed and we hope to have the results soon. Trail work, maps, and signs will follow the completion of the surveys. The Property Planning Committee is reaching out to local Native American tribes to help us protect historic stone structures built by Native Americans.

Our Stewardship Committee has begun mowing grassy areas adjacent to trails and parking areas. Erosion is becoming more of an issue so plans are in the works to minimize the damage. Invasive plant battles continue (mostly Mugwort and Knotweed). Our Stewardship crew is a hardworking, fun group of people who genuinely love volunteering their time to keep our properties well maintained for community use. Hikers often offer complements to the crew during our work parties. The comments and our volunteers are sincerely appreciated!

Our Community Outreach Committee is having a very productive spring. GOSA’s partnership with Groton Public Schools, Town of Groton, and Groton Parks and Recreation (GO GROTON) has resulted in opportunities for many people in our community to get outdoors and experience nature. They have hosted 11 hikes for schoolchildren (grades K-5) and still have 4 more before the end of the school year! Imagine the impact these experiences have on these young people. We also have been hosting a monthly Community Hike for people of all ages and hikes for our friends from the Thrive 55+ group. Our next Community Hike will be on June 2nd at Candlewood Ridge. Hope to see you there!

Our Communication Committee continues sharing GOSA news and happenings via our website and social media. They are currently working on a short documentary series highlighting the history of GOSA, Sidney Van Zandt’s impact in our community, and the continued efforts of GOSA to protect our local waters, land, and wildlife today and in the future. Stay tuned for more details!

Our Acquisition & Land Research Committee continues to keep watch for properties that match our purpose and mission. The Nominating & Recruitment Committee actively looks for people to join our committees and learn more about the Board of Directors. There is much to be done and we would love to have more volunteers to keep things going. Please check out our website to get involved.

Groton is an amazing place to live with so many ways to connect with nature and the outdoors. We are proud to contribute to a wonderful community by protecting, maintaining, and offering our properties and trails for people to experience and enjoy. Thanks for supporting us and our mission.

A fifth-grade student said while hiking with us recently, “I do some of my best thinking when I’m in the woods.” He gets it!

See you out there,


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