Milford residents work to restore Charles Island

The Charles Island Reforestation team has raised $25,000 to help clear out the invasive weeds and plant 400 new fungus-resistant trees.

Tom Krosnowski and Rose Shannon

Mar 20, 2024, 4:45 PM

Updated 119 days ago


A group of Milford residents are working to restore Charles Island, an icon of the city's coastline.
Storm damage, fungus, invasive species and deer have left the island deserted.
“It was completely filled with trees and foliage. You couldn’t see through it at all from one side to the other,” said Dolores Hannon from the Charles Island Reforestation.
Residents formed Charles Island Reforestation four years ago in partnership with the state.
Charles Island holds a special place in the heart of Milford residents like Hannon.
“We were always out there as children, it’s a wonderful memory,” Hannon says.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says invasive species like the so-called “mile-a-minute weed” have harmed the trees and wildlife native to Charles Island. Their yearslong project has received a boost from concerned citizens.
The Charles Island team has raised $25,000 to help clear out the invasive weeds and plant 400 new fungus-resistant trees.
"I'm not surprised, because the Milford community is so incredibly generous and so caring about everything in nature here,” Hannon said. “It was wonderful, I got notes and letters from people that lived here many years ago who aren't even living in Milford anymore."
The team hopes to add 200 more trees this summer and fall.
“This is going to be a legacy project because you can’t speed up the growth, you can’t change all the different factors that you have to work with as best as you can,” Hannon said. “Most of the trees that we have planted are growing, but it’s a slow grow.”
People can donate to the team's Venmo @CharlesIsland-Restoration or PayPal at
Checks can also be made out to Charles Island Restoration LLC and mailed to Charles Island Reforestation c/o Dolores Hannon, 110 Beach Ave. Milford, CT 06460.

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