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New trail markers lead to wildflower garden

A butterfly lands on a flower at Eklund Garden. — Photo by Kate Czaplinski

Hikers, bikers and walkers may notice a new blaze along the Shelton Lakes Recreation Path and Paugussett Trail — a red flower on a white background.

Following the new red and white flower blazes leads to the Eklund Garden, a native species wildflower garden at 10 Oak Valley Road, off Nells Rock Road.

The new trail was marked earlier this summer, according to Shelton Trails Committee, to make it easier for visitors to find the garden.

Eklund Garden, near Hope Lake and the Rec Path, is on the site of a former upscale log cabin built in the 1930’s. The cabin, pool, and other buildings are gone, but the garden beds and stone work remain.

Those who park at the Dog Park may follow the Rec Path until they see the flower blazes, near Oak Valley Road. The distance from the Rec. Path to the garden is about 0.2 mile. Once at the garden, hikers may go back the way they came or follow the blue Paugussett Trail back along the shoreline of Hope Lake. The total distance of the loop is about 1.75 miles.

New red and white trail markers will lead hikers and bikers to the native species garden off Oak Valley Road. — Photo by Kate CzaplinskiA new parking area has also been added near the garden, on Oak Valley Road.

If visitors want to do more than admire the flowers, the garden is in need of volunteers to help with projects like weeding, staking and cleaning up, according to the city’s conservation agent, Teresa Gallagher. It could be a good résumé builder for anyone going into the fields of environment, gardening, landscaping, or botany, Gallagher said. There are also some opportunities for Scouts, as well as some masonry work on stone steps and benches that needs to be done. A volunteer sign-up sheet is available online at www.signupgenius.com/go/4090C44A9AB2FA13-eklund. The Eklund Garden website is at sheltonconservation.org/eklund.

Eklund Garden isn’t the only trail getting updated; construction on the last section of the Rec Path, along Oak Valley Road, is underway and expected to be complete by the end of August.

For maps and more information on Shelton trails visit SheltonTrailsCom.blogspot.com.

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