The Friends of the Franc Preserve group in Bethel is encouraging residents to participate in a social distancing-friendly volunteer project. Over the past few years, the open space group has been working to remove the Japanese Barberry plant from the preserve, as it increases deer tick populations, and the risk for Lyme Disease. They cited a study which showed that by removing barberry the average tick populations went from 458 to 191 ticks per acre within a few years in Connecticut sites, and the remaining ones were less active. Clearing the area will also lead to a view of one of the stone walls on the property. The brush clearing will not be done on a specific date to accommodate social distancing guidelines, but volunteers looking for something to do outdoors can, take before and after photos of the work, and then post them to the Friends of the Franc Preserve Facebook page.