Walks and talks: Bradley Park tour, development and water quality

Blooming azaleas and sweet pepperbush, and a boardwalk meander through a red maple swamp, are some of the highlights awaiting those on a guided walk through Bradley Park on Sunday, May 17, at noon.
Two days later, on May 19, there will be a talk at Wilton Library about landscaping to protect water quality.
The walk is the last this season of a group of guided walks though town parks sponsored by the Wilton Conservation Commission, the conservation committee of the Wilton Garden Club and the Norwalk River Watershed Association. Conservation Commissioner Susan DiLoreto will lead the walk from the entrance at Oak Ledge Lane. She will focus on the geology of the park, trees and understory plantings, and wildflowers. She will also talk about etiquette in the town’s open spaces.
Bradley Park encompasses 82.5 acres on Wolfpit Road. Six trails varying in length from one-third of a mile to just over a mile take visitors through woodlands and along a small stream. The boardwalk trail through the red maple swamp is a major feature of the park, but there is also a dry ridge top as well as impressive rock ledges. Tree species include oak, maple and tulip poplar. There are also many ferns and shrubs.
Walkers will not only see and learn about native plants of interest but also invasive species common to this area. At the end of the one-hour walk there will be time for questions and refreshments.
RSVP to 203-210-5240.

Thoughtful landscaping

What happens to the local ecology when the earth is covered with impervious surfaces?
Dr. Michael Dietz will address that question with a talk on low-impact development on Tuesday, May 19, at 7 p.m. in the library’s Brubeck Room. He is a water resources educator, program director of CT NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officers) at UConn, and a faculty member of the UConn Center for Land Use, Education and Research.
Low-impact development, known as LID, considers a number of issues related to water including:

  • What happens to runoff?

  • What’s the impact of hardtop on groundwater?

  • What happens to wastewater that comes off buildings?

  • What are rain gardens and how are they useful?

Managing rainfall at its source involves using open space, rooftops, streetscapes, parking lots, sidewalks and medians. Low-impact development helps prevent flooding and the pollution associated with storm water runoff.
Dietz is expected to talk about Wilton in particular and how these issues relate to this area.
His talk is sponsored by the Wilton Conservation Commission, the conservation committee of the Wilton Garden Club, the Norwalk River Watershed Association, Wilton Library, and Wilton Go Green. Registration is recommended. Information: 203-762-3950, wiltonlibrary.org or norwalkriver.org.