Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary has great news!
A grant promoting community development and tourism in central and western Massachusetts has been approved by the state, providing $27,800 towards the cost of a desperately needed new septic system. Receiving this grant was possible because Senator Steven Brewer's office called to let the sanctuary know of its availability. Sanctuary long time friend, Karen Spiewak also notified us through e-mail about this grant opportunity. Without a new septic system (the present one had failed) we no longer would have been able to keep the visitor center open for all, free of charge. Eco-Pro Septic did an amazing job installing the system. Green Hill engineering donated the site plan saving us a lot of funds! Thanks so much for all that enabled us to receive this grant and to complete this project!!
A great thank you to the George W. Wells Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, for granting Capen Hill Nature Association, Inc.,the amount of $20,000.00 payable over one year(2014) for operating support to continue programming and maintenance of the Sanctuary!
Capen Hill Seeks Donations for Land Preservation
McIntire Land Acquisition
Exciting News! Capen Hill is no longer a 72 acre nature sanctuary. After raising $25,000 by the support of the community, the 14 acres were purchased! Capen Hill is now an 86 acre sanctuary! Visitors can look forward to a scenic swath of land consisting of a landscape which is a birdwatcher’s paradise! The habitat here is different than the existing acreage with low growing shrubs, some marshy areas, woods and beautiful rocky ledges. It is so quiet and peaceful there. The sanctuary will eventually have a few trails throughout the property but the main goal is to maintain it as a true sanctuary so wildlife can continue to thrive there. There is so much biodiversity. This was a large project for Capen Hill and the purchase would not have happened without the support of local businesses, individuals, groups and the Heritage Elementary School. Also thanks to Attorney Robert Levite and Lisa Westwell for their hard work with the legalities involved with the purchase. We cannot thank you enough. Barbara Frederick, Executive Director and Capen Hill’s Board of Directors.
Land Contributors: Thanks to the generous individual donations and to the following contributors: F.W. Madigan Company, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, Southbridge Savings Bank ,Country Bank, Dudley Conservation Land Trust, Opacum Land Trust, Home Town Bank, Coins for Capen Heritage School Project, Karl Storz Endovision.
The Great Wall of Capen Hill
I am still in awe. What started as a small project finished as a large masterpiece. The only label that immediately popped into my head to call this finished work was The Great Wall of Capen Hill!
Jerry Suprenant, a long time friend, volunteer, staff member, and naturalist of Capen Hill built this great wall at the age of 75! What an inspiration. It all started during the fall of 2007 when Capen Hill had a huge pile of rocks by the visitor center. Jerry took note of this pile and went to work. A beautiful stonewall was built bordering the entrance of a trail that leads to Capen Hill. That was just the beginning as Jerry’s ideas started rolling.
On the left side of the trailhead was an overgrown edge of the visitor center’s parking area. Jerry started to build another wall that was to be a small border to the left of the trail so we thought! After months of hard work, this small project turned into a 100 foot wall (double thickness wide) that borders the entire parking area! With the aid of Ray McDuffie and the Capen Hill Kubota, rocks were dug for the wall, dirt was moved to enlarge the parking area, and a few dead trees taken down.
With much love and determination, Jerry worked throughout the year. I loved the noise of the hammer chiseling the rocks into workable pieces. Large rocks were incorporated into the wall in various places. It is a New England work of art. Months later the noises have ceased and the wall is complete, a wall that will be around for generations to come. Ruth Wells, founder of Capen Hill would be pleased. One must come and see why it should be called the Great Wall of Capen Hill. Barb Frederick (Sanctuary Director)
Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary Receives Award for their work in environmental education.
Given by the Southbridge Credit Union
HI FROM CAPEN HILL--
Some youngsters and staff members join Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary Summer Camp's Director, Barbara H. Frederick, third row, second from right, as she receives a $1,000 check from Thomas J. Smalarz, President and CEO of the Southbridge Credit Union, and Business Development Manager Paul D. Raffa, back row, left, in SCU's Community Champions Fund. In four 1-week sessions, a total of 200 four to 12-year-olds do hands-on nature studies in pond life, fossils, plants, wildlife, and other conservation and environmental activities as well as arts and crafts and healthy, supervised running around. Campers come from Central Massachusetts and Northeastern Connecticut. The 72-acre camp, in Charlton, was established in 1977. SCU's Community Champions Fund supports four nonprofit community-based organizations annually, now for 15 years. --Les Gardner Photo