Steep Rock

Photo: Trail flooding at Macricostas Preserve   

The Climate Crisis and Steep Rock

The climate crisis is a clear and evident danger. At Steep Rock Association, we witness the impacts in our preserves on a daily basis—from the insidious threats of invasive species to less predictable weather fluctuations altering the growing season at Judea Garden to trail flooding and tree blowdowns from increasingly volatile storms. And more. We also firmly believe that our work as a land trust is part of the solution. Our preserves contain over 2,400 acres of mixed forests, not only providing refuge to a wealth of biological diversity but also sequestering hundreds of thousands of metric tonnes of carbon. The organic matter in our soils stores even more. And this doesn't count carbon storage on our easements. Our work not only monitors changing local climatic conditions, but we also strive to make a difference locally and globally. But land trusts can’t do it alone. In this issue, we feature some of our efforts addressing the climate crisis. Won’t you join us? 

See you on our trails,

Brian Hagenbuch, Ph.D.
Executive Director

PS: ICYMI: As a supporter of Steep Rock, we know you’ll be interested “Climate Change: Sunrise or Sunset,” an engaging and important panel discussion on climate matters led by Washington, CT resident Jane Whitney that will be aired nationally by PBS. >watch video

Featured Highlights
Stewarding Streams

Stewarding Streams for Climate Resilience

In response to a rapidly shifting climate and increasingly pronounced weather events, Steep Rock Association has proactively managed our preserves to enhance their climate resilience – the ability to resist and recover from climate-related disruptions. Watch our Aquarion Water Company Environmental Champions Award acceptance video to see recent resiliency projects, and read our Notes from the Field article to learn about stream temperature monitoring that allows us to prepare for and evaluate the impacts of climate change.


Climate Change In The Garden

April Showers Bring May Flowers?  Maybe not anymore.  Climate change has shifted the weather patterns of old so that current gardeners can no longer rely on the patterns and rhythms of old.   >more

Story Walk

Managing Trails For A Changing Climate

In the last century, average precipitation in the Northeast increased 10 percent, with a corresponding 70 percent increase in heavy rains since 1958. It is not terribly surprising that over the next century, as the climate continues to warm, the Northeast is forecast to receive more rain in more extreme weather events. Some of the impacts of these weather patterns may be obvious...But have you ever considered the consequences for your favorite trail? >more

Annual Community Picnic

Steep Rock: An Environmental Champion

We are honored to receive Aquarion Water Company’s 2021 Environmental Champion Award in the non-profit category. Celebrate with us virtually by watching the acceptance video, which highlights our dedication to environmental protection and recent stewardship successes.  >Watch video

Image: Aquarion Water Company

Annual Community Picnic

Public Comments Sought

 In 2017, Steep Rock Association was recognized as a nationally accredited land trust. We are now pleased to announce that we are applying for renewal of our accreditation. A public comment period is now open. >more

Annual Community Picnic

Bee Brook's Busy Beavers

It’s not too late! Join us this Saturday, November 6 from 9:00am – 10:30am to learn about the ecology of Macricostas Preserve’s ecosystem engineer, the American beaver. >more

Photo: Ben Goldfarb


Annual Community Picnic

Winter Critter

Transform into a critter with Steep Rock Association and ASAP! on Saturday, November 20. Our pack will adventure out into Macricostas Preserve and find ways to adapt for the winter season before crafting birdseed and owl ornaments. >more

Photo: ASAP!


Meet Our New Office Manager

Johanna Maches joined Steep Rock as Office Manager in late 2021. Prior to joining the team, Johanna was Controller for an area hotel, and brings with her both the management and hospitality service skills developed in over 20  years in hotel accounting. An avid amateur cook of all things vegan and a lifetime Litchfield resident, Johanna can often be seen on the trails running and hiking every chance she gets, often accompanied by her daughter and her fiancé.

Steep Rock Association
PO Box 279, Washington Depot, Connecticut 06794
860-868-9131  •

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