Skungamaug Meadows in Tolland is a 27 acre preserve of which much is bounded by an extensive Coventry Fish and Game Club property. The preserve is characterized by glacially deposited sandy soils. Prior to its donation, it had been used as a sand and gravel quarry and a location for growing and storing landscaping plants and shrubs.
The use of the land for gravel operations covering 6 acres has resulted in open habitats with plants typical of dry, nutrient-poor soils. The landscaping operations have resulted in another 2.65 acres of open fields lying upon richer wetter soils.
Most of the gravel pits have already entered into the early succession phase; but the most recent one, active until acquisition by the Trust, had been graded, covered with topsoil, and seeded to stabilize the soil. The gravel pit areas have more recently been roughed-up in order to mitigate the caked topsoil and encourage egg-laying turtles looking for exposed gravelly soils.
The Skungamaug River flows north to south near the western border. It is a shallow meandering river with some associated wetland shrub areas. There is a forested buffer along the river and the south boundary, and a somewhat wider forested margin exists along the north side of the preserve.
This preserve is actively managed for invasive plant species control and some wildlife management for a few targeted species. It provides good potential for butterfly watching as well as birding and it offers varied habitats and connections to the river. A residential subdivision shares a boundary with Skungamaug Meadows. Two large residences have been built (spring 2015) to overlook the preserve and there remain several undeveloped lots.
part of Tolland’s open space subdivision requirements
Eric Thomas, Anne O’Neill
From I84, take Rt. 195 south (Merrow Rd.). After passing Big Y plaza, take a right onto Goose Lane. Go about 1 mile and take a right onto Lemek Ln. Park in cul-de-sac.