Natural & Cultural Riches of Kent, CT

natural and cultural riches


 In accordance with our charge to manage the Town's natural resources, the Kent Conservation Commission is pleased to present this first edition of the Natural and Cultural Resources Inventory (NCRI). Within this document is a broad array of factual information from diverse sources, gathered for the first time in one place. The maps have been developed in collaboration with Kirk Sinclair, GIS Manager of the Housatonic Valley Association. They should be read and used to study the scope and inter-relationships of these resources. 
Work began on this document in 2002. Maps showing the essential nature of Kent from a number of different vantages were our first priority. Realizing that certain relatively new analytical and spatial tools such as GIS (Geographical Information Systems) were going to be essential to the task, one of our members volunteered to go for a week of intensive training at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. Others went to regional workshops and studied existing Resource Inventories to see how towns such as ours had tackled the job.
 We especially hope that the NCRI will be an informative tool for those Town officers who stand on the front lines in maintaining Kent's quality of life. Just as surely, we hope that this document will serve as an educational reference for all citizens who are interested in supporting natural and cultural resource conservation. By reading about the history and character of our physical landscape and becoming aware of the features that may have escaped notice before, by developing an understanding of some of the more sensitive areas that we have and why they should be preserved for the long-term health of the community, we hope to strengthen everyone's sense of stewardship. 
Questions, comments, or additional information from the public and from natural resource professionals are welcome and are encouraged. Please direct your comments to the Conservation Chairperson, P.O. Box 678, Kent, CT 06757. 
The report was edited by Wendy Murphy and Liddy Baker. 
The maps were prepared by Jos Spelbos and Kirk Sinclair. 
Design and Production: Linda E. Bowen, Computer Marketing Services 
Others providing specific expertise in developing information 


Note each chapter has a section of Recommendations and References
  1.  Kent's Link With The Land - lead author Wendy Murphy
    Geography; Climate, Air Quality, Wind and More; Wastewater, Solid Waste and the Environment; Energy Resources
  2.  Geology - lead authors Jos Spelbos and Wendy Murphy
    Bedrock Fundamentals, A Glance Back in Geological Time, The First Land Plants and Animals; Global Cooling and Glaciation; Today's Landscape
  3.  Soils - lead author Jos Spelbos
    Soil Formation and Topography; Soil Composition; Soil Acidity; Soil Horizons; Soil Classification and Soil Mapping; Soil-based Zoning; Wetlands Soils; Farmland Soils
  4.  Water Resources - lead authors Joan Larned and Wendy Murphy
    A Primer on Groundwater; Aquifers, A Fragile Resource; The Kent Water Company; Private Wells; Water Quality Standards; A Surfeit of Springs; Watersheds; The Role of Wetlands and Vernal Pools in Conservation; Lakes and Ponds; Kent's Section of the Housatonic River; Hydropower on the Housatonic; Other Kent Rivers and Streams; Riparian Corridor Protection; Species Richness in Kent Streams
  5.  Historical and Cultural Resources - lead authors Marge McAvoy and Wendy Murphy
    The Schaghticokes; Permanent Settlement; The Iron Industry; New Town Center, New Purposes; Arts and Culture; Spiritual Life; Civic Life; Political Life; Schools and Summer Camps; The Architectural Record
  6. Agricultural Resources - lead authors Karen Chase and Diane Lang
     Eighteenth Century Farms; Nineteenth Century Farms; Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Farming; Twentieth Century Decline in Traditional Farming; Farming Today; The Economic and Human Arguments for Protecting Farmland
  7. Forests - lead authors Shaun McAvoy and Jos Spelbos
     The Big Picture; Forests and Successional Growth; Major Forest Communities and their Ecological Preferences; Kent Forest Lands; Forest Management Regulations and Practices; Biological Threats; Other Forest Products
  8. Critical Habitats and Wildlife -lead authors Betsy Corrigan, Shaun McAvoy and Laurie Doss
    What is a Habitat; Basic Description of Kent Habitats; The Natural Diversity Data Base; Rock Outcrops and Calcareous Uplands; Talus Slopes; Ravines; Grassland Habitats; Seeps and Springs; Streams and Riparian Corridors; Wetlands as Habitat; Vernal Pools; Kent's Bird Population; Birding Hotspots in Kent; Backyard Habitats; Invasive Plants, Insects, Diseases; Wildlife Corridors and Habitat Fragmentation
  9. Open Space - Lead author Jos Spelbos
    Why Open Space Protection?; Protected Open Space in Kent; Agencies in Protection; Unprotected Open Space; Funding Open Space Protection; Other Tools for Open Space Protection; 1990 Open Space Plan and Character Study
  10.  Recreational and Scenic Resources - lead authors Shaun McAvoy, Jos Spelbos, Elaine LaBella and Wendy Murphy
     The Housatonic River; State and Local Parks; The Appalachian Trail; Highlights of Other Kent Hiking Trails; Hunting and Fishing; Scenic Roads and Scenic Areas; Horizon Belts; Other Recreational Opportunities
  11. Human Resources, Population and Census - lead author Wendy Murphy
    CERC Town Profile




A. Soil Data Tables; B. Inventory of Kent Mammals; C. Inventory of Kent Amphibians/Reptiles; D. Inventory of Kent Butterflies and Moths; E. Inventory of Kent Birds; F. Reader's Checklist for Birds Sighted in Kent; G. Open Space Index