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Perched on the steep and topographically complex northern reach of Whitcomb Hill, Weantinoge’s Bright Woods Sanctuary is Phyllis Wojan’s gift to the people of Northwest Connecticut. The easement includes over one thousand feet of Gunn Hill Brook, an important tributary of the Upper Housatonic River and a fine trout stream. The property is a true, functional wildlife refuge. Phyllis has documented the presence of over seventy-six species of birds on the property, including red-headed woodpeckers and sharp-shinned hawks, both of which are on the Endangered Species List. Cooper’s hawks, a threatened Species, have also been sighted here. Her mammal list encompasses thirty species, including the Least Shrew, the only endangered mammal in Connecticut; this may be the most northerly recorded observation of this species. Phyllis’ animal list also includes eleven species of amphibians and five reptile species. These observations best testify to the rich biodiversity of the tract.
Further enhancement of the ecological function of Bright Woods is provided by its location within a larger protected-areas network anchored by the nearby Dark Entry Forest Preserve and its proximity to the Housatonic River and state forest holdings including nearby Wyantenock State Forest. Building large protected blocks and protecting natural corridors is one of Weantinoge’s regional missions, and Bright Woods is a key element of that work.Return to Land Easements