The Helen and Alice Bristow Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve was established in 1924 as bird watching was gaining traction in New Canaan society. Founded one year after Theodore Roosevelt’s near-by Sanctuary and Auduban Center in Oysterbay, our 17 acre park is home to a wide variety of species including warblers, tanagers, vireos and woodpeckers. Archival documents noted 100 different bird species in 1924!
The layout of Bristow Park lends itself to several walking trails, a beautiful duck pond and many trickling streams and brooks.
Historically, the park was well-maintained and had an active following. As the shift over time changed, our Bristow Park has fallen to neglect allowing invasive plants to thrive and non-essential trees to steal sunlight from native shrubs reducing safe nesting sights, shelter and dramatically reducing food resources. Water ways have sediment build up and trails need improvement in maintenance.
Bristow Park is not only a stronghold for common and threatened bird species but a vital neighborhood park that is the missing link in New Canaan’s Green Link Trail system. These 17 acres hold the key for so much vitality and this potential can only be realized with your help as a Friend of Bristow Park.