In September of 2014, the state of CT conveyed this spot of pristine state farmland, with breathtaking woodlands and rolling meadows to the CVH Foundation. Located only minutes from the highway, the sanctuary is easily accessible from Boston and New York City, making it an ideal destination that hundreds of thousands can enjoy over time.
The sanctuary’s 34-acre property once served as farmland to support the patients and residents of Fairfield State Hospital. Having sat untouched for nineteen years, the once sweeping meadows became entangled with invasive plants and encroached by woodlands. Upon the sanctuary receiving the property in 2014, our focus was on restoring the land to its original grandeur. To date, we’ve created 5,000 square feet of pollinator habitat and restored two of the four-acre meadows.
The sanctuary’s meadow restoration efforts are also the focal point of a research study seeking to understand restoration effort’s impact on entomological biodiversity – a key indicator in the environmental health of an ecosystem. Spearheaded by Dr. Rayda Krell, the results of this pioneer study will be used to affect continued preservation and conservation initiatives.
Supporting over 40,000 bees and home to our Backyard Beekeeping classes, the sanctuary’s apiary is causing quite the buzz! With over 12,000 square feet of eco-type and pollinator friendly plants growing in the sanctuary gardens, we’ve created an optimum environment for their success and well-being. Whether teaching budding beekeepers or educating the community about protecting and nurturing these special creatures, the sanctuary’s apiary is making a difference to our most fragile pollinators.
The sanctuary offers beekeeping classes and a Facebook group for all those interested in beekeeping.
The sanctuary’s 12,000 square foot pollinator gardens support our most fragile creatures by providing critical shelter, sustenance & migration space for butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, and other pollinators.
As an official MONARCH WAYSTATION, the sanctuary gardens also provide food and nectar for precious monarchs and caterpillars. By creating, conserving and protecting monarch habitats, the sanctuary is doing our part to help these beauties survive their migration and thrive in the natural world.
Built by volunteers and sustained by members of the community, the sanctuary’s thirty garden beds are a sight to behold. Working with the non-profit group, Real Food CT, the beds are in full production, overflowing with organic fruits, vegetables and berries that will be donated to food insecure families. And the best part? Over 3,000 pounds of produce in 2022 was harvested and donated to food insecure and animal sanctuaries. Plus, our pollinator friends LOVE the organic flowers! The sanctuary gardens are truly a collaborative success helping humans, animals and the environment.