Learn & Share

Welcome to woodstock

One of  Woodstock Conservation Commission's key goals, in A Plan of Open Space and Conservation, is reaching out and educating the community. 


Also, the Town of Woodstock website has a wealth of information.

WOODSTOCK: FACTS & TIPS

Environmental & Natural Resource-related Facts

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Here are some relevant environmental and natural resource-related facts about our town:

  • Settled in 1686 as New Roxbury, by a group of settlers from Roxbury in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, on land purchased from the Mohegan tribe.
  • Woodstock Conservation Commission established in 1968. Separate Inland Wetlands Commission established in 1974.  The Woodstock Land Acquisition Fund and the Open Space Land Acquisition and Preservation Committee were created in 1999. 
  • Located in the northeastern corner of Connecticut (also known as the Quiet Corner), within an hour of Hartford, Providence, Worcester and Springfield. Consists of the villages of East, West, North, and South Woodstock; Woodstock Hill; and Woodstock Valley. Bordering towns (clockwise, starting to the north) are Southbridge and Dudley, Massachusetts; and ThompsonPutnamPomfretEastford, Union, Connecticut. (See Connecticut town map). 
  • Second largest town in Connecticut after New Milford; two to three times as large (area wise) as most Connecticut towns. Total area of Woodstock is 61.8 square miles, or 39,550 acres. Of that, only about 2,964 acres (7.49%) of land in the town is committed open space. 
  • Year 2001 Population: 7,332; compared to 6,008 in 1990 (22% growth in 11 years. The average increase for the nine northeastern states from 1990-2000 was 5.5%).  Population per square mile: 121 (compared to the Connecticut average of 682). 
  • Part of the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley Natural Heritage Corridor, referred to as "The Last Green Valley" in the Boston-to-Washington corridor. Pilots also refer to it as the "the last dark skies," since there is very little light pollution when viewed at night, compared to urban and suburban areas. 
  • In 1686, Woodstock was 95% forested. By 1886, it was about 30% forested and 70% farmland.  By 1986, about 65% of the town was woodlands again. 
  • Agriculture remains a viable industry. Woodstock has somewhere between 39 and 46 active farms. This includes 13 operating dairy farms (down from 16 two years ago, but still more than any other town in Connecticut.)
  • Forest-based industries include tree farms, sawmills, and maple sugaring. Three private forested campgrounds, and large parcels within the State of Connecticut Nipmuck Forest and Yale Forest
  • Within plant Hardiness Zone 5b. 
  • 250+ acres of town owned land. Largest parcel is 111 acres (near Perrin Rd. and the Pomfret town line), currently being managed for timber. 
  • Fourteen locally designated scenic roads, and one National Scenic Byway (Rte. 169). 
  • Surface geology: bedrock underlying all of Woodstock metamorphic schist and gneiss. 
  • Three types of groundwater aquifers: bedrock, glacial till, and stratified drift.  Largest stratified drift aquifer area in town is in the Muddy Brook/Little River Valley.
  • Except for part of South Woodstock near the fairgrounds, everybody currently depends on a septic system to handle their household wastewater. 
  • Surface water is generally high quality, meeting fishing and swimming standards.  Woodstock residents rely on wells for their water supply, but much of Woodstock is within the Southbridge, Putnam or Willimantic, public water supply watersheds, supplying water to these neighboring towns. (Note: about 20 homes/business in the Harrisville section of Woodstock receive water from the Putnam system.) 
  • At least one industry is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Priority List (Superfund). 
  • Four lakes are accessible to the public: Muddy Brook Pond (also known as Pond Factory), Black Pond, Crystal Pond (Crystal Pond Park), and Roseland Lake.
  • Several streams managed for Put and Take trout fishing by CT DEEP, Fisheries Division.
  • Some water bodies in town have aquatic invasive species present such as variable water milfoil. An exception is Crystal Pond. 
  • Approximately 40 Threatened, Endangered, or Species of Special Concern may exist in Woodstock.  Woodstock contains Atlantic White Cedar Swamps, considered one of the most imperiled ecosystems in Connecticut.

Keep the Quite Corner Dark: Light Pollution Effects

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How can you help keep Woodstock's skies dark? Click here


Artificial Lights Disrupt the World’s Ecosystems

Nocturnal animals sleep during the day and are active at night. Light pollution radically alters their nighttime environment by turning night into day.

According to research scientist Christopher Kyba, for nocturnal animals, “the introduction of artificial light probably represents the most drastic change human beings have made to their environment.”

“Predators use light to hunt, and prey species use darkness as cover,” Kyba explains “Near cities, cloudy skies are now hundreds, or even thousands of times brighter than they were 200 years ago. We are only beginning to learn what a drastic effect this has had on nocturnal ecology.”

Glare from artificial lights can also impact wetland habitats that are home to amphibians such as frogs and toads, whose nighttime croaking is part of the breeding ritual. Artificial lights disrupt this nocturnal activity, interfering with reproduction and reducing populations. Source IDA


NIGHT SKY RANGERS

The Last Green Valley, Inc. (TLGV) is launching a new citizen science effort to protect the starry skies of the National Heritage Corridor.

The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor was designated in 1994, in part because it was the last large corridor between Boston and Washington D.C. where lights were not visible to airline pilots. On the ground that means the Milky Way can still be seen on a clear night. But, the skies are not as starry as they were 25 years ago.

“We are losing the stars because of light pollution,” said Lois Bruinooge, executive director of TLGV, the non-profit that stewards the national heritage corridor of the same name. “This is actually an easy problem to fix, and it’s not just about turning off lights. It is about having the lights shine where they are needed and not up into the sky, wasting money and causing issues for wildlife and people.”

The first step is creating a team of citizen scientists known as Night Sky Rangers. The team will begin collecting light pollution data from all 35 municipalities in the National Heritage Corridor. Citizen scientists are still needed! Get involved


Woodstock has regulations on nighttime lighting, including the requirement that "No sign illumination shall be permitted between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m." (Article VI, Section 2, Subsection [A][1][e], effective 1/1/92.) 

Why Recycle?

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  • Recycling saves natural resources.  By making products from recycled materials instead of virgin materials, we conserve land and reduce the need to drill for oil and dig for minerals.
  • Recycling saves energy.  It usually takes less energy to make recycled products; e.g., It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to get new aluminum from bauxite ore.
  • Recycling saves clean air and water.  In most cases, making products from recycled materials creates less air pollution and water pollution than making products from virgin materials. 
  • Recycling saves landfill space.  When recycled materials are used to make new products, they don't have to go into landfills or incinerators. 
  • Recycling saves money and creates jobs.  The recycling process creates far more jobs than landfills or incinerators, and recycling can frequently be the least expensive waste management method for cities and towns.  (Source: Environmental Systems of America, Inc).
  • Recycling is required by Connecticut State law.  The following items must be recycled: glass and metal food and beverage containers; corrugated cardboard; newspaper; white office paper (residences are exempt under State law, but not town regulations); scrap metal; Ni-Cd rechargeable batteries (from electronics); waste oil, lead acid batteries (from vehicles); and leaves (must be composted). 
  • Recycling is also required by town regulation.  Recycling of additional items is mandatory under the Town of Woodstock CT regulations, including mixed paper (magazines, junk mail, coated cardboard milk containers); phone books; rechargeable alkaline batteries; antifreeze; oil filters; empty aerosol and paint cans, clear plastic milk, water and juice jugs; colored #2 detergent bottles; and unwaxed household cardboard.  


Mark you calendar:

November 14th is Woodstock Recycles Day! 

Looking for a Few Good Scenic Vistas

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The Woodstock Conservation Commission is collecting information about scenic vistas. These beautiful views not only promote the rural nature of our town, but also encourage open space preservation. If you have a favorite location, please email it to us at:

WCC.Woodstock.CT@gmail.com or send it via mail to:
Conservation Commission, Woodstock Town Hall, 415 Route 169, Woodstock, CT 06281. 


Please provide the location, and a description of the scenic area.  Thank you for taking the time to share this information with us!
(Privacy Policy: We do not share your name, e-mail, or telephone address with anyone outside of the Woodstock Conservation Commission). 


Scenic Vistas in Woodstock 

The current inhabitants of Woodstock, Connecticut are fortunate to have inherited many scenic vistas, five villages, numerous farms, Native American sites, miles of stone walls, fine old buildings from many periods of history, locally designated scenic roads, and a nationally designated scenic highway.  Woodstock is also included in The Last Green Valley, also known as Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley, National Heritage Corridor.  There is a sense of pride in the beauty of our town--both natural and made by humans. The year 2000 Study Circles Project involving over 250 town residents indicated there is overwhelming support to have it remain beautiful, open and green.

"Aesthetics" encompasses not only the appearance of a place, but how it "feels."  Exact definitions are difficult because of individual perceptions--each person has favorite view or special part in town.  Thus, it is challenging to define our visual assets, and develop a system to prioritize, preserve and conserve these areas. 


The Woodstock Conservation Commission's A Plan of Open Space and Conservation also made a number of recommendations to protect key aesthetic resources, both scenic vistas and key points of visual interest.  They can be achieved through collaboration with other town commissions, boards, and Woodstock residents; town ordinances; and educational programs for property owners and developers, and include the following:

  • Maintain old stonewalls along roadways. 
  • Protect old growth and large trees along roadways and commons. 
  • Seek designation of Routes 171 and 197 as Connecticut scenic roads.
  • Support the safe use of farm equipment, equestrian traffic, and horse drawn vehicles on our roadways. 
  • Require new roads to encourage safety and control speed by maintaining natural contours, adopting appropriate rural road widths. 
  • Encourage/require the use of aesthetically designed, environmentally acceptable guardrails, roadside safety devices and signage. 
  • Require that utility lines be buried with all new construction along town and state scenic roads. 
  • Provide for the location of wireless communication towers, antennas and similar facilities while protecting neighborhoods and minimizing the adverse visual and operational effects through careful design, siting, and screening. 
  • Tie green spaces, some of the key aesthetic and historic resources, and passive recreation areas (swimming areas, picnic areas, and trails) together in a greenway system.  

We also want to continue to work in concert with neighboring communities, including the Quinebaug Shetucket Heritage Corridor, to "...preserve the natural, historic and cultural assets while its residents enjoy a qualify of life based on a strong healthy economy compatible with its character." (Source: QSHC 1997 Management Plan).