HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that $4.8 million in state grants are being awarded to support the purchase of 1,139 acres of land for 15 projects in 14 Connecticut municipalities that the state will designate to be preserved as open space.
The grants are being awarded through the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program, which is administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and assists local governments, land trusts, and water companies in purchasing open space using funding from the Community Investment Act and state bond funds. This grant program requires match by the grant recipient and requires the open space land be protected by a conservation and public recreation easement, ensuring that the property is forever protected for public use and enjoyment.
“Connecticut’s tradition of preserving open space has helped define our landscape and preserve its important natural resources and geographical beauty,” Governor Malloy said. “These grants continue our open space preservation legacy and will increase the availability of open space for our residents across our state.”
These open space projects move the State of Connecticut further in achieving its goal of protecting 673,210 acres of land – approximately 21 percent of land in the state. At this time, Connecticut has more than 500,000 acres designated as state or local open space land.
“Since the program began in 1998, more than $125 million in state funding has been awarded to municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations, and water companies to assist in the purchase of more than 36,400 acres of land, including farmlands, in 139 cities and towns,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said. “These important open space properties protect natural resources and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”
The December 2018 Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grant awards announced today include (locally):
Town: Fairfield Project Title: 760 Oldfield Road Sponsor: Town of Fairfield
Grant: $82,500 Acreage: 3.6 acres
Description: This 3.6 acre parcel is principally made up 2.8 acres of tidal wetland, which is part of the Pine Creek Open Space Preserve. The property will offer direct access to Pine Creek, its prime habitat, and Oldfield Road Bridge. The Conservation Commission intends to construct a bird blind for wildlife viewing.
Town: Shelton Project Title: Pearmain Preserve Sponsor: City of Shelton
Grant: $82,500 Acreage: 6.71 acres
Description: This acquisition includes a portion of an approved, but yet to be filed, subdivision. The acquisition would provide a critical buffer to an established trail known as the Pearmain Path, which is located on a property protected with a prior grant from this program. The trail leads to a popular youth campsite within a parcel known as Nicholdale Farm, which is owned by the local land trust. This project falls within the Means Brook Greenway.
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