In 2022, the City of Bristol and ELCCT were able to officially purchase and conserve the Pigeon Hill property, saving it from mining and development. Though ELCCT is not inherently against sand and gravel extraction or development, in this case, this proposed plan would have a devastating effect on the neighborhood, would wipe out a geologically significant landform, degrade the quality of a pristine trout stream that bisects the property, and impair ELCCT’s ability to provide the education and conservation it has become known for.
What’s our plan now? We protect the entire assemblage as open space and manage the habitats as an extension of the nature center property.
As a result, the Pigeon Hill property is reserved as open space for the benefit of wildlife and the people of our surrounding communities. ELCCT will work with the City of Bristol to help with the management of
the entire assemblage including the restoration of portions that were already mined, the extension
of nature center trails into the property, establishment of a diversity of wildlife habitats, and the
development of research and educational opportunities for community members, school children
Pigeon Hill Preserve consists of 63.9 acres of land in Bristol and Burlington adjacent to the Harry C. Barnes Memorial Nature Center.
The open-space property serves to enhance the land currently owned by ELCCT. The land gets its name from the reports that Passenger Pigeons, now extinct, once roosted in large numbers on the glacial esker that is locate don both the existing nature center property as well as the Pigeon Hill property. The esker was formed by sediment brought in by a river under the glacier that once covered the land. Once the glacier melted, centuries ago, it left behind a tall, meandering ridge: a local landmark.