Thompson

Robbins/O’Leary/Blain Preserve

 

The 124-acre Robbins Preserve sits in the northeast corner of Thompson and was purchased in June 2012 through a partnership between the land trust, the Nature Conservancy, and an Open Space matching grant from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The land was purchased from Malcolm (Mac) Robbins and was once working farmland owned by Mr. Robbins’s father. The Robbins Preserve is one of the land trust’s best preserves in terms of diversity and public access.
In more recent years, the property was worked for sand and gravel, and the sandy soil supports plant species such as pitch pine, alder, and sweet fern, and early successional habitat is abundant. It also supports one of the best populations of variable sedge, an endangered species in Connecticut. The land also provides suitable habitat and a host plant—wild indigo—for the frosted elfin butterfly, a state-listed threatened species. Forested wetlands and vernal pools on the property support a variety of amphibian species, including blue-spotted salamander, a state-listed species of special concern. Several uncommon bird species live on this property, the most exciting of which is the whip-poor will. Other interesting bird species include prairie warblers, brown thrashers, pine warblers, black-throated green warblers, and great horned owls.
A pristine section of the Five Mile River cuts through the center of the property, and it is bounded to the east by Quaddick Town Farm Road. You can park at the gate at the northern end of the property. A variety of gravel roads provides walking trails, although none of them are currently marked. An eagle scout is in the early stages of developing a good defined trail system and trail map.