Property Description The Alana Cole Conservation area comprises 18 acres with a 1/2 mile loop trail.
The property was bought in 1989 from Alana Cole, using a combination of financial resources, including funds earned by the City of Lebanon from the sale of timber from some wildlife cuts in Boston Lot, private donations, Federal funding from the Land & Water Conservation Fund, and funds from the Land Conservation Investment Program. The property is permanently protected under a conservation easement held by the SPNHF.
LocationLocated in the northwest quadrant of the City, access is gained from East Wilder Road. There is a small parking area, as well as a kiosk just to the north of the road terminus. The trail along the river is relatively flat, providing an easy stroll for viewing the river. A visible segment of the historic “Old Horse Trail” is located near the eastern boundary of the property, connecting with present day Wildwood Road. Together with the adjacent Chambers Memorial Preserve property, nearly one mile of frontage along the CT River is protected.
The property features a variety of geomorphic features of glacial origin. The wooded ridge along the Connecticut River is an esker, formed as a stream bed of sand and gravel approximately 15-12 thousand years ago, at the bottom of the glacial ice sheet that covered this area. The property overlays a high yield aquifer and provides protection to the quality of the groundwater.
The property consists of unmanaged forestland comprised of three distinct wildlife habitats including shoreline habitat, and riverbank floodplain forest consisting of white and red oak species, as well as hemlock-hardwood-pine forest along the eastern edge of the property where the topography slopes on the esker.
Flora and Fauna
The property is home to chipmunks, foxes, frogs, waterfowl and songbirds, and white tail deer. White pine, hemlock and white oak dominate the forest, while dogwoods are found in the moist soils near the river. The woods are home to numerous wildflowers including fringed polygala, wild sarsaparilla and pink ladyslippers, woodland hound’s tongue, and Canadian germander.
Management PlanView the Alana Cole Conservation Area Management Plan (PDF)