Important Bird Areas

Lyme Forest Block Conservation Project

Making a difference, together, for the Lyme Forest Block and Eightmile River Watershed
Cerulean Warbler. Photo: Charlie Trapani / Audubon Photography Awards
Important Bird Areas

Lyme Forest Block Conservation Project

Making a difference, together, for the Lyme Forest Block and Eightmile River Watershed

In 2016, Audubon Connecticut, in partnership with the State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (CT DEEP), recognized the Lyme Forest Block as a landscape-scale Important Bird Area (IBA). This 60,000-acre block includes wooded areas in six towns in southeast Connecticut (East Haddam, Colchester, Lyme, Old Lyme, East Lyme, and Salem) and overlays much of the Eightmile Watershed. The woodlands in this region contain habitat that is important to the Cerulean Warbler and Wood Thrush, the worldwide populations of which are declining drastically, and supports a variety of other woodland-nesting birds identified in Connecticut’s Wildlife Action Plan.

To strengthen the conservation of this area and halt bird population declines, the Lyme Forest Block Conservation Project launched as a dedicated effort to engage people in the stewardship of a critical 1,200-acre area in and around the Lyme Forest Block IBA. Audubon, in collaboration with the Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Watershed Coordinating Committee (ERWSCC), the Lyme Land Conservation Trust, the Town of Lyme, the Old Lyme Land Trust, the Salem Land Trust, the East Lyme Land Trust, the East Haddam Land Trust, the Colchester Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and other organizations, have joined forces to build awareness and promote stewardship of the Eightmile River, the Lyme Forest Block, and the bird species these habitats support.

In 2019, during phase one of this project, this goal was achieved through four program activities: 1) bird walks and presentations; 2) training workshops; 3) workdays; and 4) a web page resource. By offering these education, training, and outreach activities, local landowners, community members, and visitors gained an appreciation for natural resources, felt more connected with their lands, area preserves, and waterways, and actively participated in conservation efforts.

In 2020, we will build on this work during phase two, which will involve information and training sessions that give landowners and volunteers the opportunity to learn from a certified forester and other ecologists about habitat assessments and management. Lyme Forest Block landowners will also have the opportunity to have forest bird habitat assessments completed for their properties, which will include recommendations for improving habitat to benefit birds, other wildlife, and forest ecosystems as a whole.

In addition to some residential private properties, properties of the following land trust and conservation landowners will be included in the 2020 habitat assessments:

Together, the project partners and the Lyme Forest Block IBA community will bring about positive conservation results that will benefit the birds, other wildlife, and people throughout the area.

Questions: Please contact Kelly Morgan by email.

Project and Learning Opportunities

Habitat Assessment Info Session (April 4, 2020)

2020 Habitat Assessment Volunteer Training

In an effort to optimize forest habitat for birds and other wildlife, Audubon Connecticut and partners are offering an exciting opportunity for landowners in the Lyme Forest Block—a chance to participate in a free forest bird habitat assessment, conducted by Audubon trained volunteers.

As part of this initiative, we are providing free habitat assessment training. Lyme Forest Block volunteers are invited to join us for our webinar series. [NOTE: After each session, we will make a recording of the session available on YouTube. Click on the date/session below to view the recording.]

Volunteers who have elected to participate in the Lyme Forest Block habitat assessment project are required to participate in all three forest bird habitat assessment training sessions. RSVP is requested.

Interested in being a volunteer? There is still time to sign up!

To become a volunteer, for questions, and to RSVP for the training series, please contact Kelly Morgan at or 860-234-7630.

Making the Most of Your Audubon Forest Bird Habitat Assessment - Webinars Part 1 and Part 2 (Spring 2021)

Lyme Forest Block Stewardship Pledge

Are you planning to or currently taking action to help make the Lyme Forest Block a bird-friendlier place? We want to recognize your amazing commitment to conservation. Please Take the Lyme Forest Block Stewardship Pledge.

Resources & Information - About Forest Habitat and Bird Conservation

This Connecticut Forest Owner Wants More Magical Bird Moments
Working Lands

This Connecticut Forest Owner Wants More Magical Bird Moments

And thanks to a volunteer-led program in the Lyme Forest Block, she can have them.

Read more

8 Ways to Improve Your Woodland Habitats
Working Lands

8 Ways to Improve Your Woodland Habitats

Employ these simple practices to enhance the forest health on your property for the benefit of birds, other wildlife, and people

Read more

Sources That Offer a Selection of Native Plants

The nurseries and garden centers listed below are likely good local places to start to find native plants near the Lyme Forest Block area and in Connecticut. It's a good idea to visit their websites and call ahead to verify native stocks.

Acer Gardens

447 Winthrop Road

Deep River, CT

Holdridge Home & Garden Showplace

749 Colonel Ledyard Highway

Ledyard, CT 06339

Riggio's Garden Center

136 Westbrook Road

Essex, CT 06426

Ballek’s Garden Center

90 Maple Avenue

East Haddam, CT 06423

Ladd's Garden Center

671 Windham Road

South Windham, CT 06266

Smith Acres

4 West Main Street 

Niantic, CT 06357

Broken Arrow Nursery

13 Broken Arrow Road

Hamden, CT 06518


2940 Redding Road

Fairfield, CT 06824

Town & Country Nurseries

1036 Saybrook Road

Haddam, CT 06438

Earthtones, LLC

212 Grassy Hill Road

Woodbury, CT 06798


518 Forest Road

Northford, CT 06472

Search for garden centers who carry American Beauties Native Plants®

Hart's Greenhouse & Florist

Four locations: Canterbury, Brooklyn, Norwich, and Preston, CT

Paul's & Sandy's Too, inc Hardware & Garden Center

93 East High Street

East Hampton, CT 06426

Search for retailers who carry Summer Hill Nursery plants - a CT wholesale nursery that grows a large selection of natives

Native Plant Sales

Lyme Forest Block IBA Map

Click here to open the map

Lyme Forest Block IBA - Bird Species of Concern

Thank You to Our Lyme Forest Block Conservation Project Partners & Funders!



More ways you can help, right now