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2011 - Issue 3
Mark Cadman photographed
this screech owl at his home.

April Arrives

This third newsletter is being sent a little earlier than planned as there is an exceptional opportunity coming up that is highly recommended to readers. We've mentioned a number of times the collection of photos and information on the Vernon Depot website and the town of Dobsonville that existed in the area. Next Wednesday, April 13, at the Vernon Greenways Volunteers annual Spring Kickoff Meeting their featured speaker will be presenting a talk and slideshow on 'The Rails Before The Trails.' More on the presentation below.

The Vernon Greenway Volunteer's meeting is also an opportunity to tell you more about that organization and the contributions they make to the community and to the Tankerhoosen Valley. We've created a Profile Page for them summarizing and highlighting their information.

We're also introducing a new section on the issues that affect the Tankerhoosen Valley that those using the area should understand and follow. It takes a little energy on the part of everyone to preserve and maintain what we have here. We'll focus on environmental issues that towns address in one way or another so that you can make your voice heard on these issues. First up is the Plan of Conservation and Development.

The number of activities planned for this season in the Tankerhoosen Valley is impressive. We had no idea just how much is available and highlight below opportunities coming up in the next month.

And finally a rare opportunity for anyone who has yearned to live in the heart of the Tankerhoosen Valley - a reasonably priced, well maintained home is available on Valley Falls Road.

Jon Roe   

» Go to The Tankerhoosen website.

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Vernon Greenways Volunteers Kickoff/Vernon Depot Slideshow

Two years ago I attended a talk at the Vernon Historical Society on the old Vernon Depot at Dobsonville. It was a slideshow narrated by DON SIERAKOWSKI and it introduced me to the extraordinary website on the Depot created by SCOTT LENT and friends. It whetted my appetite for more information on the area and was one of the inspirations for starting this website so that others could also learn about the resources here.

After two years the talk is being offered again next Wednesday, April 13, as part of the Vernon Greenways Volunteers Spring kickoff meeting and is open to the public. If you have any interest in local history, railroad history or just enjoy walking the Rail Trail I'm sure you'll find this presentation fascinating. Walking the Rail Trail will never be the same.

You'll also have the opportunity to learn about the work of the Vernon Greenways Volunteers and their plans for the coming year. If you enjoy the outdoors and want to get involved in maintaining and improving our parks and trails this is one of the organizations to support. More on the organization below.

» Go to Activities page.

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Recreation: Other Activities

A summary of the many events that will be taking place during the next month in the Tankerhoosen Valley. Many are for children, particularly during school vacation. The Activities Page on our website lists upcoming events, immediate events are listed at the top of our Home Page and are also posted on our Facebook Page as a reminder for you.

Saturday, April 16: Opening day of fishing season. Learn more.

Saturday, April 16: The Vernon Parks & Recreation Department kicks off their outdoor activity season with a two hour moderately difficult four mile hike in the scenic hills around Valley Falls Park. Learn more.

Thursday & Friday, April 21 & 22: During Vernon's April school vacation the Belding WMA is offering two opportunities to learn about wildlife in the Tankerhoosen Valley. On Thursday at 10 a.m. learn about frogs, toads and salamanders. On Friday at 8 a.m. take an Earth Day bird walk. Both events held at Bread & Milk Road. Learn more.

Friday, April 22: Earth Day - Take a walk. Pick up litter. Enjoy the Valley.

Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 7: The Vernon Historical Society will hold its 'Annual Book Sale' at their museum on Route 30. The sale features a wide selection of used hardcover and paperback books, DVDs, VCR tapes and books on tape. Learn more.

Saturday, April 30: The Vernon Parks & Recreation Dept. hosts a 'Nature Walk At Valley Falls Park.' Join the wildflower/nature walk at 9 a.m. Learn more.

Saturday, May 14: The Belding WMA leads an 'International Migratory Bird Day Walk.' Learn to identify birds by sight and sound. Begins at 8 a.m. on Bread and Milk Road. Learn more.

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Trails: First Hike Of The Season

On Sunday, March 20, the Northern CT Land Trust (NCLT) led the first hike of the season along the Rail Trail from Valley Falls to Talcottville. People were ready to get out as there was a large group.

The day was sunny, clear and brisk - perfect hiking weather. The walk was an opportunity for the Land Trust to point out a number of their properties including the Webster Preserve near Valley Falls Park and their new Talcott Ravine property. Some of the hikers detoured through the Ravine area. Hikes of that area are planned for later in the season.

» Learn more about NCLT and their activities.

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Organization: Vernon Greenways Volunteers

The Vernon Greenways Volunteers assist the Vernon Parks and Recreation Department through the maintenance, enhancement and proper use of the 30+ miles of trails in Vernon. With a large percentage of Vernon's trails and parks located in the Tankerhoosen Valley many of the Greenways maintenance activities are also focused here. However a number of their special projects such as the Valley Falls Braille Trail restoration also benefit this area.

DON BELLINGHAM, who leads the Volunteers, and GEORGE ARTHUR are currently completing an update of Vernon's Trails Maps in time for the 2011 hiking season. The maps were last updated in 2005. The Greenways Volunteers have planned a number of hikes each month for the upcoming season.

As highlighted above the Greenways Volunteers are kicking off their season this week. It's an opportunity to learn more about them and consider getting involved in an activity which benefits the town, this area, gets you and your family outdoors and is a chance to get to know and work with your neighbors.

» Go to Vernon Greenways Volunteers Profile

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History: Timeline

Confused as to what happened when? To put events taking place in the Tankerhoosen Valley in perspective with significant events in Vernon, Connecticut and the United States we've created a Timeline of history from Columbus arrival in 1492 to the present. As we add sections to the website we'll also place them on the Timeline.

» Go to Tankerhoosen Valley Timeline.

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Issues: Why The POCD Matters

Vernon's Plan Of Conservation And Development (POCD) provides a framework for the use of land, population distribution and traffic circulation within our town. The Plan encompasses a long-term vision of the community but also offers guidance for short-term decision making. Developing the Plan is the responsibility of the Planning & Development Commission and Vernon is in the midst of a two year process that will determine the choices we make over the next ten years.

Work began in the Fall of 2009 and Task 6 of 8 is currently underway and nearing completion. This is the preliminary draft which, if everything is on schedule, will be presented to the public for review and comment in May and be completed in October.

The Plan will have a long term impact on the Tankerhoosen Valley. It will guide the decisions the Planning & Zoning Commission makes and be a guideline for the town for the next ten years. Developers and builders will push the plan one way, and preservation and conservation groups will pull the plan the other way. The result will be a compromise, but if you have a strong interest in the Tankerhoosen Valley it's important that everyone take an active role - read the document, listen to the recommendations of our advocacy groups, attend the Information Meeting in May and the Public Hearing in September. Take an active role in creating the town you want to live in.

» Read more about Vernon's POCD.

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Live In The Heart Of The Valley

We didn't plan to get into real estate, but this is an opportunity we have to pass along to those of you who enjoy the Tankerhoosen Valley. There are very few houses along Valley Falls Road, but one of the nicest and best maintained has just come on the market. The house at 50 Valley Falls Road has over two acres, abuts the Rail Trail, has a clear view of open fields, lovely landscaping, has privacy and yet is close to the highway. It's also reasonably priced; a rare opportunity.

» Get more information on the property.

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Our Facebook Page

Between newsletters stay current with news and updates on our Facebook Page. Recent postings include notice of upcoming events and hikes, photos from area events, and news items relating to the area. Visit the Page to receive updates.

» Go The Tankerhoosen Facebook Page

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