Hubbard Sanctuary was donated to Joshua’s Trust by Mollie Hubbard in 1985. Her parents bought the property in the 1930’s and operated a farm there for many years. Mollie was a member of the Natchaug Ornithological Society and worked at the University of Connecticut as a scientific illustrator. The parcel is 31.1 acres.
Adjacent to Hubbard Sanctuary is Agnes’ Pasture, a 12.5-acre addition to the preserve which was acquired from Agnes Fuller in 2011.
Together, Hubbard Sanctuary and Agnes’ Pasture are ecologically and culturally significant. They help to maintain the peaceful character of Chaplin’s historic village and provide scenic vistas around the Town of Chaplin’s Garrison Park. Because of their varied habitats, the preserves host a variety of bird and animal life. The 1.3-mile yellow trail takes you through the Town of Chaplin’s Garrison Park, loops up and through Agnes’ Pasture, and the State’s Natchaug State Forest. Along the trail is an open habitat hayfield, two ponds, young forest habitat within Agnes’ Pasture, and mature mixed hardwood forests, offering a scenic experience for hikers, birders, and wildlife viewers.
Grassland Bird Management at Hubbard Sanctuary
Joshua’s Trust partners with a local farmer in Chaplin to manage the 15-acre hayfield at Hubbard Sanctuary for Bobolinks and Savannah Sparrows, two declining species of grassland-nesting songbirds. Grassland birds, which build their nests on the ground in the grass and raise their young from early May through August, are disappearing due to habitat loss as farming declines, fields are left to revert back to forest, and modern machinery allows farmers and landowners to mow earlier and more often during the breeding season. In 2015, the Bobolinks arrived at Hubbard on May 13th. The farmer has agreed to harvest the field in mid-July after most fledged young birds are old enough to escape a passing mower. Please avoid walking through the field and please leash your pets to avoid disturbing the Bobolinks, which will cause them to abandon their nests. We thank you in advance for your cooperation.
View an Info Sheet on this Project:
Hubbard Sanctuary Grassland Birds Info Sheet
Please Note: Because the neighboring State-owned land allows hunting, visitors to Hubbard Sanctuary and Agnes’ Pasture are advised to wear blaze orange during the hunting season from September through January.
About the Property
Location: Chaplin, Connecticut, off Route 198 near Chaplin Town Hall and Garrison Park
Donors: Mollie Hubbard
Acres: Hubbard Sanctuary, 31.1 acres. Agnes’ Pasture, 12.5 acres
Preserved: 1985, 2011
Stewards: Carl and Julie Lindquist, Deb Field, Ann Lewis