As you walk the trails here, take in the stunning views of a breathtaking New England salt marsh, with an open field on the edge of a tidal estuary in the Great Marsh ecosystem.
And then pause for a few minutes at four stations to listen to music, composed by Robert Honstein, that evokes nature and history here.
For each selection, click the sound bar to listen.
1. Seaside Sparrows (Composer: Robert Honstein). The marsh provides a welcoming home to wetland birds including the endangered seaside sparrow which nest in the
high salt marsh and must fledge their young before the monthly high tides wash their nests away. Look also for herons and egrets whose long legs allow them to wade in the shallow
water of the marsh and catch the fish and invertebrates which live here. Watch as Osprey swoop in during their spring and summer visit.
2. Salt Hay (Composer: Robert Honstein). This property was settled by 1648 as a colonial salt marsh farm. English settlers knew the value of this grass for their
cattle to graze on. Green in the spring and summer, as the days grow shorter the marsh turns an amber color best appreciated in the autumn sunlight.
3. Estuary (Composer: Robert Honstein) (Movement begins softly). Salt marshes are tidal and the boundary between the salty ocean and freshwater inland. As freshwater
from the marsh runs off, it contains nutrients which make estuaries one of the most biologically productive ecosystems in the world. For many fish and invertebrates, estuaries
serve as habitat in which they can find shelter and breed. They are a source of food for wetland birds.
4. Mudflats (Composer: Robert Honstein) (Movement begins softly). Indigenous people lived and farmed here prior to English colonization. The river headland
called Clamhouse Landing is an eroding shell heap begun by Indigenous clam diggers 2,500 years ago or more. The people used lap anvils and hammer stones to break open clams to extract the
meat, or opened them with special knives made of stone.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.