Friends of Goodwin Forest Winter 2016
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Friends of Goodwin Forest        winter 2016
Footbridge over Cedar Swamp Brook.  Photo by Pete Vertefeuille
To see more of Pete's work, click on the photo above.  It will take you to his online albums.
Goodwin By the Numbers  2015
2,885 volunteer hours were reported.  This equals 72 weeks of one full time staff person. 
2,379 youth and adults participated in programs at the center.
13 groups (264 youth, 97 adults) used the Youth Camping Area
Master Naturalist Level I had 13 graduates and 5 students with extensions to finish. Master Naturalist Level II had 21 participants who completed the course on Nov. 7th; 2 students are now completing projects.
294 Facebook followers (invite your friends to follow us!)
12,000+ unique visitors to the FGF website

President's Note
After six years, I think it is time to step down and let others take the lead.  I have enjoyed starting this group and working to develop a long-term strategic plan.  It is time to start thinking about how our group can continue to grow and sustain itself.  Leadership transitions show strength and commitment of members to an organization.  I have  great passion for the Goodwin Center, staff, members, and volunteers.  I want the friends group to be strong and viable for future generations.  In order to accomplish this task, we need new leaders who share this vision and our goals.  Please consider how you can contribute.  If you would like to help lead us, nominate a candidate, or make a suggestion, let me know.  We are putting a slate of new officers together for our next meeting on Feb. 23.  It has been an honor to have led the group this far and we would not have been as successful without the hard work of our friends group, especially:  Stan Crawford, Fran Zumpano, Kim Kelly, Bill Marshall, Steve Broderick, Emma LoRusso, and Juan Sanchez.  Our foundation is strong and our future is bright.
Thank you everyone!
Lynne Warren
President, Friends of Goodwin Forest 

Goodwin Conservation Center Director
Beth Rhines

Volunteer Hours
Report your volunteer hours.  CFPA has made it relatively easy for us to report our hours
(use this link!) 
We can not underscore the importance of documenting your work. 

Director's Message
What do you value about the Goodwin Forest Conservation Center? In my first couple months as Program Director, I have learned that Goodwin Forest Conservation Center is valued by many. Some come for our great educational programs. Other enjoy our trails on foot, bike or hoof. And still others visit our beautiful gardens or attend special events such as Friend’s Annual Trail Run.


These values are fairly easy to notice. But there are many more reasons that people value Goodwin, just under the surface. Visitors come into the center to share fond memories of spending their childhoods in Goodwin’s forests. Others value the ecosystem and species diversity that is preserved in this open space. Our volunteers gain value from sharing the enjoyment of their hard work and success with others. Some value the services and products that we receive from the forest, and the rich history of working with the land that started with James L Goodwin himself. And of course, the beauty and the peace that is added to our lives through our interaction with this property.


That’s a lot of value. Which is why Friends of Goodwin Forest was originally created, to support and sustain this value into the future.  


The Goodwin Forest Conservation Center would not be what it is today without the support of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Forest and Park Association, and the possibilities for the future of Goodwin are many. We have come a long way since the first Friends meeting, and want to continue to grow into the future. What will most significantly define the future of Goodwin is in large part dependent on the actions of supporters like you.


Now, more than ever, Goodwin needs your support as we grow. If you have not already, consider attending a Friends meeting. Tell a friend about Goodwin Forest Conservation Center, volunteer your time, or make a donation to the Friends of Goodwin. When we turn our values into action we can accomplish a lot.


Happy New Year, and thank you for your support!


Beth Rhines

Program Director    
photo by Lynne Warren
Master Naturalist Notes



The Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis, is a medium-sized, bright blue, migratory bird with a melodius song. The brilliant color and song make the bluebird a favorite with birders and non- birders alike. They are insectivores, or omnivores and are found in woodlands, farmlands and orchards.
During the era of frontier development, conversion of forest to farmland, orchards and homesites created ideal habitat for the bluebird. Further, wooden fenceposts provided additional nesting sites. These factors led to a proliferation of bluebirds in the eastern United States through the mid-1800’s.
In the late 19th century, introduction of the English house sparrow and European starling began a period of bluebird population decline. These invasive species competed with the bluebird for nesting sites and often destroyed bluebird eggs and nestlings. In the 20th century, the use of harmful pesticides, metal fence posts, clearing field borders and growing human populations led to serious bluebird population reductions.

Fortunately, the favored status and acceptance of nesting boxes helped bring bluebird populations to sustainable levels. Placement of thousands of nesting boxes has contributed significantly to ensuring a future for the bluebird. This success is an excellent example of sound wildlife management practices.
for the full story, click on the link here
Master Naturalist Notes
Our most important Natural Resource
The Goodwin Forest and Conservation Center is a very special jewel in Eastern CT, blessed with incredible history and abundant, diverse natural resources.  In the past decade, we have heard so many stories and memories of how people’s lives have been connected to Goodwin. Reminding us once again how special Goodwin is to the local communities and the state.  With that said, it only makes sense to recognize that one of our most valuable natural resources here is the people who love and support the Center.  So many have given so much to the Center, and the 17 miles of beautiful trails;  keeping the memories and history alive while opening the door for an exciting future. With the incredible efforts of the Friends of Goodwin Forest, the future is exciting.
This leads us to why it is so important to know how much time volunteers give to the center , the forest and  the trails. Being able to communicate the impact so many of you have is critical to our future plans.  We are working with CFPA to make the volunteer hour reporting process more user-friendly.   By using this link to record your hours, we will be able to show CFPA, DEEP, and our surrounding communities the importance of our center.
This year we will also be hosting a CFPA/FGF Volunteer workshop on April 23rd.  This event is for new, current and potential volunteers to become better acquainted with CFPA/FGF programs and our network of volunteers.  So Save the DATE and look for more information to come!
Thank you for all that you do!
See you on the 23rd!

Gardener's Corner
 Boy has time flown by as we have been installing the Center's gardens, Discovery Trail, and Arboretum.    Over the years we have had the opportunity to really get to know our plants well, from how they behave in the gardens, to propagation techniques, and of course wildlife values.  We actually consider them to be part of our they will get scolded, praised, and of course nurtured.
  So lets celebrate one of our really dependable shrubs, Calycanthus florida, commonly called Carolina sweetshrub ( it has quite a few common names , we will get to that in a bit.) There are  three of these easy going shrubs in the Arboretum, providing wonderful fragrant maroon  flowers late spring early summer. These flowers provide nectar and later seeds for wildlife, along with great habitat cover..
Michael Dirr, author of Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, says Sweet shrub is a “Worthwhile plant for every garden, especially welcome in the shrub border or around and outdoor living area where the sweet strawberry-banana-pineapple scent can permeate the entire area.” “This is a trouble-free plant that can be meshed into any garden setting.” This medium to large sized shrub can reach 6’-10’ tall and spread 6’-12’ wide. It is hardy zones 4-9. It will grow in sun or shade and is adaptable to most soil conditions, and is native from Pennsylvania to Northern Florida.
  We would suggest buying it in flower so you can be sure the specimen has good fragrance. As with all plant propagation there are occasional 'duds'. Our specimens are not as fragrant as they should be, but otherwise are spectacular garden plants. Prune right after blooiming as they bloom on new wood. They do have a tendency to sucker a bit.....which we love because they are very easy to transplant or share with others.
Now to the common names. There are  a few, Carolina sweetshrub, Carolina allspice, straw-berry bush. sweet bubby, and sweet Betsy. So where did sweet bubby come from? Well legend has it that when ladies were headed to church in the summer heat, prior to AC, they would ensure their sweet smell by stuffing the flowers into the front  of their dresses!
This is a very dependable shrub that deserves a space in the garden/landscape. There are also a few cultivars worth mentioning.
  • 'Athens' is a selection with yellow-green, highly fragrant flowers. Although the flowers are beautiful up close, they do not show well against the foliage from a distance. This plant is ideally appreciated at close range, near a doorway or beside a patio bench.
  • Pale yellow-green flowers of Athens sweetshrub
    Pale yellow-green flowers of ‘Athens’ sweetshrub.
    Joey Williamson, ©2010 HGIC, Clemson Extension

    • 'Michael Lindsey' is one of the best cultivars available. Dark flowers are exceptionally fragrant, and foliage is darker and shinier than the species. Its form is dense and compact. Fall color is reliably bright yellow.
    • 'Hartlage Wine' is a hybrid between Calycanthus (syn.Sinocalycanthuschinensis and C. floridus. Flowers are 3 inches wide, maroon to wine colored, with wide petals and a light fragrance. It grows larger and more upright than most sweet shrubs, at least 8 feet tall by almost 8 feet wide to 15 feet tall by 10 feet wide.

    Join us in the gardens! 

Please Share!
The Junior Conservation Ambassador (ages 9-12) course is going to be offered at Goodwin late spring.  Please share with anyone who may be interested.  Click on the picture for more details.
The friends have meetings a few times a year and are open to anyone who would like to attend.  They are generally informal and yield the opportunity to share ideas about how to best fulfill our mission.  Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 1:00.  If you can not attend but would like to make suggestions, please email us at
Annual membership reminders have been mailed.  Thank you for renewing! 
Memberships can be renewed on our website if you prefer:
(Click here!)
The Friends of Goodwin Forest is a local, all volunteer group whose mission is to enhance, support and advocate for the education, recreation and conserva-tion activities of the historic James L. Goodwin State Forest and Conservation Education Center.  We work cooperatively with the Connecticut Forest & Park Association and the Connecticut Department of Energy and the Environment (DEEP).
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Copyright © 2016 Friends of Goodwin Forest, All rights reserved.

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