Construction Begins At CVH Foundation Animal Sanctuary Grounds
The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation (CVHF) announced in its spring newsletter on March 20 that phase one of construction is beginning to take place at the animal sanctuary property, located on Old Farm Road.
“It’s an exciting time,” Jenny Hubbard, CVHF president and mother of Catherine Violet Hubbard, in whose honor the foundation was created, told The Newtown Bee.
The preliminary site work will include building a stone retaining wall that, in addition to its functional purpose, will double as a 12,000-square-foot native Butterfly Garden. The garden will host more than 5,000 native plants and grasses.
Ms Hubbard says the foundation is working with Planters Choice, a local wholesale nursery, to create a minimal carbon footprint for the production of all the plant species.
“Most plants will be produced from sustainably sourced local seeds as close to Newtown as possible,” Ms Hubbard explained. “Some germinated seed will be vernalized (exposed to a cold period to acclimate) to ensure flowering their first year so they produce seed onsite. This process provides immediate beauty, but more importantly, speeds up the rate of naturalized habitat creation by having viable seeds produced during the first growing season.”
The CVHF is also partnering with experts at the Connecticut Butterfly Association to create seven butterfly habitats that will provide crucial food and migration space for endangered and threatened butterfly species and other at-risk pollinators.
Thanks to working with Monarch Watch and Mission Monarch, the sanctuary is being named an official Monarch Waystation. In addition, its Butterfly Garden will allow the property to be considered a Monarch Sanctuary.
With plantings playing such an important — and beautiful — role at the sanctuary, the CVHF will have a special Mother’s Day initiative, starting later this month, where people can buy plants for their mothers that will be planted at the sanctuary. All the mothers who receive this honor will get a card detailing the gift.
Ms Hubbard says she feels so fortunate that through fundraising, including CVHF’s annual gala, the foundation has been able to raise the necessary funds to complete this initial site work and keep their free programs going.
“As we watch the sanctuary evolve before our eyes, we are reminded again of the support and kindness that has brought us to this very day,” she wrote in the March newsletter.
Ms Hubbard would like to thank all who have helped the foundation, including Italian master stone mason Gino Vona, who is donating his labor to create the retaining wall. His work will coincide with the team at P|H Architects, who is also doing work to help build the sanctuary pro bono.
Additionally, the family-owned and -operated contracting company Nazzaro Inc made the announcement at the first CVHF fundraising gala in 2017 that they would be donating a portion of their services to the foundation.
According to the CVHF’s newsletter, workers from Nazzaro Inc last month began “prepping and safeguarding the land by reinforcing erosion control measures, installing extensive silt fencing, and creating water stops to protect the beautiful Deep Brook River/Creek bordering the property.”
A temporary bridge has been established to protect the waterway from construction vehicles traveling over it.
While construction is taking place, the CVHF’s metal pavilion will temporarily be moved by a crane to allow for the area to be excavated and graded.
People may continue to walk the sanctuary grounds with their dogs but must stay out of construction areas, which will be fenced off and have signs posted.
The CVHF has created a page through its official website, cvhfoundation.org/the-sanctuary/the-build-2, for those interested in staying up-to-date on the progress being made at the sanctuary site.
Phase one is anticipated to be completed this summer. The next building phase will begin after the sanctuary has created a permanent access point through Commerce Road.
Throughout construction, the CVHF will continue to provide its free community workshops, including its upcoming Sunday at the Sanctuary titled “Water, Water Everywhere!” that is scheduled to take place at the sanctuary on April 28, from noon to 3 pm.
Ms Hubbard recommends people bring their muck boots, as attendees will be invited to explore Deep Brook’s steams and learn about the creatures that call it home. Participants will also get to take part in the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium’s ocean animal touch tank and meet adoptable dogs from Bridgeport Animal Rescue Crew of Connecticut (BARC-CT).
The CVHF encourages families and individuals to mark their calendars, too, for its annual Butterfly Party at Fairfield Hills on Saturday, June 8 — Catherine’s birthday. Currently, 30 animal rescues are confirmed to attend the Butterfly Party. There will be animals available for adoption and fun activities for children, teens, and adults.
To learn more about the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation and to donate, visit cvhfoundation.org.