Becker Conservation Area at River Park

The Becker Conservation Area at River Park is a 28.5 acre parcel on the east side of South River Road adjacent to the northern boundary of River Park in the southeastern part of Tolland. This property was purchased in January 2010 from Lawrence Becker using both Active and Passive Open Space Funds. The portion of the property assigned to Passive Recreation is the 11.68 acres on the eastern side of the property along the Willimantic River.

The land slopes steeply down in some sections to the Willimantic River and has approximately 1,200 feet of accessible frontage along the river. It reaches an elevation of 380 feet with a steep ridge paralleling the river at the northern section. The land is predominantly covered by a mature White Pine forest mixed with some oaks. There is also an area of thick White Pine regeneration. Near the southern end of the forested portion is an interesting natural amphitheater. The four acres on the southeast corner of the property is more level and consists of riverine flood plain forest and scrub-shrub swamp.

The surface geology of this site is gravel deposits laid down on the bottom of an ancient glacial dammed pond and, along the river, periodic flooding has laid down alluvial deposits. The quality of these soils on the property has contributed to the height of the white pines.

On the southern border is Green Brook which flows into the Town owned well field for Tolland’s Public Water Supply. The brook flows into areas that recently received wetlands and fisheries habitat restoration work and these areas are subject to continuing monitoring. Just to the south of the passive open space is River Park. The use of the adjacent active open space is undetermined at this time.

The Willimantic River Greenway has been designated by the State of Connecticut with inter-town coordination by the Willimantic River Alliance and has been honored with the designation as a National Recreation Trail by the federal government in 2012.



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