Robbins/O’Leary/Blain Preserve

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The 158-acre Robbins Preserve sits in the northeast corner of Thompson.  With a pristine section of Five Mile River running through the center of the property, the Robbins Preserve is one of the land trust’s best preserves in terms of diversity and public access.  Although much of the land had previously been farmed, 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.

The Preserve is a combination of three separate parcels.  The first parcel acquired was in June 2012 and consisted of 126 acres purchased from Malcolm Robbins 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. A second, 5-acre parcel was donated in late 2012 by Norma O’Leary and the third, 27-acre parcel was purchased by the land trust in 2018.

There is a network of easy to walk, family friendly trails on the Preserve with access via a parking area at the end of Fred Davis Rd.