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Signs of the Times

November 4, 2005

There will be a ceremony to celebrate the installation 20 handsome fiberglass-sealed interpretive signs along a one-mile trail at its 156-acre Brinton Brook Sanctuary in Croton-on-Hudson on Saturday, November 5, 2005 at 2:00 PM.

The new signs highlight notable natural features of a rich mixture of habitats, each with its own characteristic animal and plant life. The trail, part of more than three miles of trails (see trail map) in the sanctuary, passes through a red maple swamp, upland deciduous forest, open meadow, fields, young forests, and along vernal ponds and a brook.

The entrance road to Brinton Brook Sanctuary is on Route 9A in Croton-on-Hudson, about 0.3 miles north of the Sky View Home. A small dedication ceremony will unveil the new trail signs on Saturday, November 5. Parking facilities at the entrance of the sanctuary are rather limited, so the unveiling will be a small gathering of Saw Mill River Audubon board members and a few local officials, followed by a one-hour guided walk.

“Our overall goal is to help all sanctuary visitors gain a heightened awareness of the value of open space and native habitats. The addition of these signs at Brinton Brook Sanctuary will, we hope, also increase appreciation of nature and encourage visitors and neighbors to participate in the ongoing stewardship of open space”, said Anne Swaim, the education director at Saw Mill River Audubon.

The original 112 acres of Brinton Brook Sanctuary were deeded to the National Audubon Society in 1957 by Laura and Willard Brinton to protect their land permanently as a wildlife refuge. After Laura’s death in 1975, an addition 17 acres were added. Saw Mill River Audubon has managed the sanctuary since 1957. In 1991, ownership of the sanctuary was transferred to the chapter from National Audubon. The chapter sponsors annual bird and wildlife walks, cross country ski outings, and a summer butterfly count.

Saw Mill River Audubon owns eight separate sanctuaries, protecting more than 300 acres of critical wildlife habitat in Westchester County. Seven of the sanctuaries are open to visitors free of charge, seven days a week, from dawn to dusk: Brinton Brook and Graff Sanctuaries in Croton-on-Hudson, and Cameron-Murtfeldt, Choate, Haas, Pinecliff, and Pruyn Sanctuaries in the Town of New Castle. Sanctuaries are maintained by a part-time caretaker assisted by volunteers. Volunteer Trail Walkers monitor individual sanctuaries and report on their conditions.

Saw Mill River Audubon is dedicated to conserving natural ecosystems through education, advocacy, and sanctuary stewardship. It owns and manages eight sanctuaries and serves more than 25 communities near the Saw Mill River—from Peekskill to Tarrytown—including Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Chappaqua, and Pleasantville. For sanctuary maps and membership and volunteer information call 914.666.6503 or visit www.sawmillriveraudubon.org.



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