There are many groups, government bodies and organizations that are involved with the Tankerhoosen Valley in preservation, advocacy, education and stewardship roles. Many rely on volunteers and we encourage you to get involved with those that resonate with you and your interests.
Staff Supported Organizations
The organization names in color are a link to that organization's website. For some of the organizations we have included a Profile. A Profile is a quick way to learn more about the organizations and compare them in a standard format. It will also help you access the information on their websites.
Conserving Tolland is a free standing group which has a single focus of advocacy. In the past ten years they have preserved 1200 acres in Tolland. They host community events to educate residents about conservation and wildlife. They also host recreational events to encourage people to enjoy the trails. Their website includes maps, photos and hiking trails of many of their properties.
The Belding Wildlife Management Area is a 282-acre parcel of land in Vernon that was donated by Maxwell Belding to the State of Connecticut. A 1981 Memorandum of Understanding identifies the Department of Environmental Protection as the steward of the land and instructs the agency to use modern wildlife, forestry, and conservation practices to maintain and improve the land. Jane Seymour, Wildlife Technician, CT DEEP.
The Friends of Valley Falls, Inc. is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Organized in 1972, the friends mission is to promote the betterment of Valley Falls Park and Valley Falls Farm through responsible stewardship of their lands and buildings, preservation of their historic qualities, and public education on the value of their natural resources and biodiversity.
The Hockanum River Linear Park Committees are active in all of the 4 towns along the river, and these groups work to keep the river and woodlands clean; to maintain the hiking trails along the river; and to promote activities such as kayaking and canoeing, jogging, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, bird watching and photography, both on and along the river and its tributaries.
In Vernon the Hockanum River Linear Park committee (HRLP) is a subcommittee of Vernon Parks and Recreation. It assists in the maintenance, enhancement and proper use of three trails along the Hockanum River.
The Hockanum River Watershed encompasses 9 towns and 77 square miles in north central Connecticut. The watershed consists of several sub-watersheds, including Charters Brook, Marsh Brook, the Tankerhoosen River, Shenipsit Lake, Lydall Brook, Bigelow Brook and Hop Brook. These sub-watersheds drain into the Hockanum River, which joins the Connecticut River and eventually empties into Long Island Sound.
The Master Gardeners of Tolland County are part of the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System. Located at the Tolland Agricultural Center at 24 Hyde Avenue in Vernon the Master Gardeners create and maintain the experimental gardens on the TAC grounds including the Daffodil Labyrinth and the People's Garden. Each year they conduct a program training people to become Certified Master Gardeners. Deb Prior, Program Coordinator.
» Go to Master Gardeners Profile
The New England Civil War Museum and its library, works to convey the lessons of the American Civil War. They exist to perpetuate the memory of the Civil War and of those who helped to save the Union, through the preservation and display of relics of that war. The museum also has an educational outreach program focusing on historical education of youth and promoting lifelong learning among adults. They are the only museum in Connecticut devoted to the fighting men of the War of the Rebellion and are located inside the longest continuously used Civil War veterans hall in the United States at Town Hall in Rockville. Matthew Reardon, Executive Director.
The North Central Conservation District is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting private landowners and municipalities with environmental information. Services include a comprehensive review of development plans, wetland boundary review, erosion control and stormwater plan review, and workshops on natural resource topics. This is a staffed organization that provides advisory services related to land use in north central Connecticut, including the Tankerhoosen watershed. Located in the Tolland County Agricultural Center.
The Northern Connecticut Land Trust (NCLT) is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in the northeastern part of Connecticut. The Mission of the Trust is to preserve the natural resources of the northern Connecticut region including agricultural land and other ecologically important open space. NCLT is integrally involved in protecting land in Ellington, Enfield, East Windsor, Somers, Stafford, Tolland and Vernon. They hold 6 properties in Vernon including 5 in the Valley Falls area.
» Go to NCLT Profile
The Rockville Fish & Game Club, which was established in 1925, is a member oriented and owned Sportsman's Club, dedicated to outdoor activities including: hunting, fishing, recreational shooting, and archery. The land and facilities owned and operated by the Club includes: a large main Club House on Fish and Game Road with two nearby fish ponds. Located on approximately 93 acres south of Fish & Game Road and around 38 acres on the north side of Fish & Game Road. One of their objectives is "to promote, observe and defend from waste our wildlife and natural resources and to encourage the preservation and development of open spaces to insure that future generations will benefit from all we preserve."
Smart Growth for Vernon is a citizens group dedicated to promoting responsible growth and development in Vernon/Rockville, Connecticut. It works together with other local groups to promote public awareness of planning and development issues and to encourage public participation in preserving the town's heritage and environment. It has been particularly active in the various Exit 67 issues.
A staffed organization that owns, manages and maintains the buildings and 80 acres of the Center located on Hyde Ave (Route 30), within the Tankerhoosen watershed. The Blue-Blazed Trail passes through their property. Supports all branches of Connecticut agricultural education and family life programs. Since 1956. This is a membership organization. A lifetime membership costs only $25.
Vernon Cemetery Commission
Responsible for oversight and maintenance of the town's seven cemeteries. Meeting Minutes and Agendas are available online at the Vernon Commissions Page. A website is being developed. Scott Brown, Chairman; Alan West, Cemetery Superintendent.
Established in January to oppose the application of TicketNetwork's concert site, this group is now moving to find other ways to support the town and protect the Tankerhoosen Watershed. Contact: [email protected]
Reviews and makes recommendations to the Planning Department concerning development in wetlands areas. The Conservation Commission's duties and discretionary abilities stem from its purpose: "...the development, conservation, supervision and regulation of natural resources, including water resources within its territorial limits." It's a group of citizens that value our natural resources and are working to protect them for future generations to enjoy.
The Commission has its own web pages on the town's site where it lists projects and accomplishments as well as links to related sites. These are standing committees that have the authority to review and approve development projects in Vernon. They are appointed by the Mayor and Town Council. Any citizen can apply to be a member or alternate. Scott Wieting, Chairman.
Established in the year 2000 to stimulate an interest in horticulture, aid in the protection of native trees, birds, wildflowers and promote community spirit, beautification and civic betterment.
» Go to Vernon Garden Club Profile
The Vernon Greenways Volunteers are individuals who assist the Vernon Parks and Recreation Department through the maintenance, enhancement and proper use of the 30+ miles of trails in Vernon. Sponsors adopt a section of Vernon’s trail system or finance a trail project through an annual tax deductible donation to supply the funds to support our work. The Greenways website has a number of links to hiking resources and maps. Don Bellingham, Chairman.
» Go to Vernon Greenways Volunteers Profile
The Society's goal is the preservation of our local history and making that history come to life for the community. This is accomplished through their Museum collections, regular and special programs, and presentations for school children. The Museum and library are open for the public to use.
Vernon Inland Wetlands Regulatory Commission
Each town's municipal inland wetlands agency regulates activities that affect inland wetlands and watercourses within their municipal boundaries. These activities, often referred to as "regulated activities", are those proposed or conducted by all persons other than state agencies.
These are standing committees that have the authority to review and approve development projects in Vernon. They are appointed by the Mayor and Town Council. Any citizen can apply to be a member or alternate.
Vernon Local Historic Properties Commission
Meeting Minutes and Agendas are available online at the Vernon Commissions Page. Robert Hurd, Chairman.
Vernon Open Space Task Force
The Open Space Task Force is a planning and advisory body appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Town Council. It advises the town on possible open space acquisitions. Ann Letendre, Chairman.
The Vernon Parks and Recreation Department is committed to the effective management of its parks and other facilities in which to provide positive leisure opportunities. They are proud to be able to provide a variety of safe accessible, physically attractive and enjoyable, leisure time facilities and activities for Vernon residents of all ages. Bruce Dinnie, Director