The DiLoreto Dragon Visits Westbrook  LbNA # 22599 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMay 27 2006
LocationWestbrook, CT
Planted ByTraunfeld Trio    
Found By Gizz
Last Found Jan 4 2008
Hike Distance?

The DiLoreto Dragon has been retired. I recovered the boxes (although I had to get two back from the ranger's office, and the fourth one seems to be completely missing) I was sorry to learn from the ranger that they don't want letterboxing on Federal lands. I'm more than a little disappointed about this decision, but I'm going to keep boxing.

From Hartford and inland: Take Route 91 south to Route 9 South. Take Route 9 south to exit 3. At the bottom of the exit go straight. At the next stop sign take a right onto Route 153. After traveling approximately 8 miles you will be at the center of Westbrook, take a right onto Route 1. At the second light take a right onto Wesley Ave. At the end of Wesley Ave take a left onto Old Clinton Road. Approximately 1 mile down on the left is the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Salt Meadow Unit.

From I-95: Take Exit 64 off of I-95 and turn south on Route 145. At the stop sign, take a left on Old Clinton Rd. The visitor parking area is about 1 mile up on the right.

History of the Stewart B. McKinney Wildlife Refuge: In 1972, over 150 acres of land in Westbrook, CT were donated to the US Fish and Wildlife Service by Ester Lape, who was a medical advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and a good friend of the presidentís wife, Eleanor. The fieldstone house on the property dates from 1929 and has been converted to the Stewart B. McKinney refuge management headquarters. The log cabin is also historic. It was built for Theodore Roosevelt from trees felled by the 1938 hurricane.

Ester Lapeís donation became Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuge, Connecticut's first National Wildlife Refuge. Throughout the years, Salt Meadow grew to be a 274 acre refuge as neighbors donated or sold adjacent property to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. As the state became more and more populated, coastal areas and islands were being developed at an alarming rate. Citizens began to worry that the long legged wading birds and other shorebirds that use Connecticut's Islands and Coast would soon be without important nesting and feeding habitat.

In 1984, these Islands were added to Salt Meadow National Wildlife Refuge and the name was changed to Connecticut's Coastal National Wildlife Refuge. In 1987, the name of the refuge was again changed to honor US Congressman Stewart B. McKinney, who had an integral role in the refuge's formation. Through generous donations and the help of many partners, Stewart B. McKinney NWR now consists of eight refuge units spread across 60 miles of Connecticut's coastline, from Westbrook to Norwalk.

Our History: The dual language program at DiLoreto Magnet School in New Britain is a two way immersion program teaching Spanish and English beginning in Kindergarten and continuing through fifth grade. Each grade has two dual classrooms, one teaching in English and the other in Spanish. The groups of students switch regularly between languages and complete work in math, science, social studies and language arts in both languages.

This letterbox series was planted by Mrs. Falla, who teaches the English component and checked by her partner Sra. Borrero-Casillas, who teaches the Spanish component. Every year, they take their students out of New Britain to experience nature. Last year we introduced them to letterboxing up at Burr Pond. This year we decided to plant our own letterboxes for the students. These boxes were planted with the help of Ms. Murray who volunteers with Mrs. Falla and Sra. Borrero-Casillas, and two students from last yearís class, Keana and Duwa.

We hope you will enjoy the DiLoreto Dragonís visit to Westbrook.


On this adventure down by the sea
Many a wonder there will be
Walk down the path from the parking lot
Until you come to a large clearing with buildings
You will know when you get there that itís the right spot
Look for a stone table off to the right
See the log cabin where once T. Roosevelt slept tight
Follow the pathway into the trees
Stay on the main path for natureís safety please!
Look for the porcupine trees on your right
You really canít miss them they are quite a sight
You will come to a bench to sit and reflect
About nature and the clues and what you may detect
Walk on down the path and look to the left not the right
Notice the 4 sister tree, Oh what a delight!
Keep walking down the path a stone wall will be there
Along this stone wall is our first treasure to share
When you get to the wall walk 10 paces to the right
To find a large speckled rock in the wall is your plight.
Look down by the wall and find our first box
Replace all things carefully, even the rocks
If youíve passed the serpents slithering up to the sky
Turn back and look with a closer eye.

Celtic Knot
Congratulations my friends you have found your first prize
With our next set of clues many a challenge will arise
Walk down the path past the tree with a serpent climbing
Heíll be on your left.. Donít mind our rhyming
The CT state flower grows above your head
Off to the left as earlier said
From there you will see a stone bullís eye
Take the path just in front that goes off to the right
Walk in just a way to where metal cables hang from a tree
To a stone marker etched EFR nineteen forty three
From the engraved stone go one dozen a pace
Look out into the woods for a weeping face
Stand with your back to the tree under the mouth
Walk on 20 paces.. You are heading due south
Youíll find Celtic Knot under a dead tree
Stamp in the book and think of me.

DiLoreto Dragon (this box is also a hitchhiker hotel)
Go back to the path to the left of the stone bullís eye
Walk down this new trail a four sister tree you will spy
Walk down the trail, marsh on your right
Past the mixed marriage trees that are quite a sight
Cross the stone troll bridge covered with moss
To the knotted tree on right. You are just a stones toss
Look for a Mamma Rock with family beside
This is where the DiLoreto Dragon doth reside.
Now that you have found him go back to the trail
Head for your ride home without avail

Ride Home
Continue down path through the broken stone wall
Enjoy the view and breathe in the salt
When you come to a fork, wall on your right
Go to the left and walk on with delight.
Walk through the tangled arch but watch your head
Pass the broke back tree on right, we hope itís not dead
Go up the path to the old stone wall
To the woodpecker cafť that is 8 feet tall
Off to the right a perpendicular angle youíll see
Look for your ride home beneath the tallest tree
We hope that you have enjoyed this daytrip our friends
We hope that your learning never ends
Think of this day and all you have done
And always remember that learning is fun