The Summer Hill Preserve was purchased in 2011. These 77 acres are an important large tract of woodland. The Preserve is near the Hammonasset River and large pieces of protected watershed in north Madison and Killingworth. Woodlands like these are important wildlife habitat, providing enough room to support mammals such as fox, rabbits, coyote, fisher, beaver, deer, and even bear.
The preserve is home to numerous woodland bird species, such as the Baltimore Oriole, Scarlet Tanager, Red-shouldered and Broad-winged Hawks, Barred Owl, Red-eyed Vireo, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, Red-winged Blackbird, as well as Pileated, Downy, Hairy, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and more.
These woods provide special cover for wintering bird species. Because the Preserve is just 7 miles from Long Island Sound it enjoys milder winter temperatures than forests in northern Connecticut and New England. Blue Jays, Blue Birds and other species flock together to spend the winter in this forest.