Volunteer News: Groton Town Committee Introduces New Chairman

Avalonia Land Conservancy welcomes Bonnie Castellani as the new acting Groton Town Committee Chair. Janet Anderson has held the position for the past two years and will continue to be actively involved as a volunteer with Avalonia.

Bonnie and Janet are working closely. “One of our main areas of focus is the Leo Antonino Preserve,” Janet said. “We have big plans for it, including approximately 2.5 miles of trails blazed, marked and maintained.” The preserve has interesting geologic structures and could be a source of walks for school groups, scouts, others. Together, they are focusing on this key property, as well as working on the stewardship of others. Other Avalonia trailed properties in Groton include Moore Woodlands and Town’s End. “Groton’s open space is larger than most people think,” says Janet. “GIS shows where these lands are. Groton is starting to look seriously at how to utilize green space and partner with adjacent towns and organizations to maximize preserves that have public access.”

By way of background, Avalonia has 8 town committees in its organizational structure. Leaders of these committees are volunteer “jacks of all trades,” leading the stewardship of preserves in their towns/regions and managing both outdoor and administrative work. Bonnie and Janet will continue to work together in the coming weeks to ensure a strong transition in ALC’s Groton leadership.

Those who are new volunteers to Avalonia can get involved in leadership roles. Both Janet and Bonnie moved to this area about 3 years ago. “Volunteering is important wherever you are,” Bonnie said. “I’m a remedial student, but an enthusiastic one. Janet has been great. The members of the Town Committee are providing a lot of support as I learn the ins and outs of the preserves and the administration required to maintain our records and connections with the town.”

Over the last nine months, committees and teams have learned to work remotely, but once we turn the corner on the COVID-19 crisis, all the towns will need volunteers, not only for the outside work on trails, but also for the admin work. “It’s more than you’d think,” says Janet. Keeping files up to date, downloading docs – there’s a big admin to-do list.”

Avalonia salutes Janet, Bonnie, and all the Town Committee Chairs and members. They are volunteers and you can be too. If you want to be involved in your town committee’s work, check out our volunteer webpage and join a great group of neighbors.