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Open Space Grants In Shoreline Communities


$9 Million Awarded to 35 Cities and Towns to Protect Open Space


(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced awards of more than $9 million in Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grants to support 35 communities in purchasing 2,732 acres to be preserved as open space. 


“Land conservation is an important investment in our future, and moves us closer to meeting our goal of protecting 21 percent of Connecticut’s land as open space in the next ten years,” said Governor Malloy.  “These preservation projects are key to maintaining our high quality of life and making Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”


The program, administered by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) assists land purchase using state bonds and funding from the 2005 Community Investment Act.


Land purchases help Connecticut achieve the goal to protect 673,210 acres of land by 2023.  Connecticut has 496,182 acres designated as state or local open space lands, 73.7 percent of the goal. More than $109 million in state funding has been awarded to municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations, and water companies to assist in the purchase of 27,440 acres of land in 128 cities and towns.


“The community gardens initiative was added to the open space grant program in 2007 to address land preservation needs in urban areas,” said Daniel C. Esty, DEEP Commissioner. “This portion of the grant program acknowledges that preserving places people care about is as important in our cities and inner suburbs as it is in more rural areas.”


The projects funded under this year’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program include:


Project Title               Chotkowski Property

Sponsor                      Town of Berlin

Town                           Grant Amount                                    Total Area

Berlin                          $500,000                                             71.1 acres


Description:   This former farm is located on the east side of Chamberlain Highway (Rt. 71).  This property is adjacent to other protected lands and will create a continuous open space corridor of 488 acres.  The Metacomet Loop Trail will be located on this property and link into the Metacomet Trail (NE Scenic Trail).


Project Title               Hawk Hill Farm

Sponsor                      Wintonbury Land Trust, Inc.

Town                           Grant Amount                                    Total Area

Bloomfield                  $247,500                                             44.9  acres


Description:   Located off Duncaster Road in Bloomfield, this parcel abuts the local LaSallette Park and opens the possibility of linking to and expand existing trails.  The property is physically divided by two wetlands running north-south and is characterized by open fields, wooded areas, rocky ridges, wetlands and a pond.  The property includes approximately 22 acres of prime farmland, which are still being farmed. 


Project Title           Risley Apple Orchard

Sponsor                  Manchester Land Conservation Trust, Inc.

Town                      Grant Amount                                        Total Area

Bolton                     $80,000                                                    13.15 acres


Description:   Located on the east side of Lake Street in the Town of Bolton, this parcel is just below and abutting the dam and spillway of Risley Reservoir.  Acquiring this parcel will create an opportunity to connect existing trails to the Shenipsit Trail as well as protect Wilson Brook which flows to Lydall #2 Reservoir in Manchester.


Project Title           Kaczynski Property

Sponsor                  Town of Branford

Town                      Grant Amount                                        Total Area

Branford                 $137,500                                                  21.98 acres


Description:   Located in the lower Farm River estuary adjacent to Beacon Hill, this property contains tidal salt marsh, upland grass land and undeveloped shoreline forest.  The property also has about five acres of important farmland soil.  The property is also within the southern range of the Bolton Range Forested Corridor, which has been identified as a habitat to thousands of migrating raptors.


Project Title          Brewster Property

Sponsor                Canton Land Conservation Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                                     Total Area

Canton                   $35,500                                                                   4.839 acres


Description:   The acquisition of this parcel connects two properties currently owned by Canton Land Conservation Trust, one of them being the "Arnold Property" acquired with a grant in 2005. It adds to the protection of the Onion Mountain ridgeline wildlife habitats, hardwood forest, and geologic features and allows the opportunity to expand recreation/educational trails from Roaring Brook Nature Center to Sexton's Road.


Project Title          Puchalski Property

Sponsor                Town of Cheshire

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Cheshire                $200,000                                                   109 acres


Description:   Running along the ridgeline along the Prospect-Cheshire town line, this parcel abuts protected open space to the north, south, and west.  Ownership will protect the ridgeline and its diverse wildlife, forests, and wetlands.   The existing structure on this property will be razed to provide parking and a trail head to the existing trails.


Project Title          Dowd Parcel

Sponsor                Clinton Land Conservation Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Clinton                   $58,500                                                     16.69 acres


Description:  This parcel will be incorporated into the 98.4-acre Jessie Buell Forest and managed as an undeveloped forested block.  Its location would provide additional road access and trail connectivity.  A portion of Bass Brook, a cold water tributary to Indian River, runs through this property and provides aquatic habitat.  There is also much wildlife habitat on the property as well as an existing multiuse trail system.


Project Title          Weiss and Loveday Properties

Sponsor                Town of Clinton

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Clinton                   $160,000                                                    38.49 acres


Description:   Located in the northwestern corner of Clinton, close to Killingworth line, these parcels are located in an important aquifer recharge area of Connecticut Water Company (Class I and II).  These properties contain a high quality wooded wetland and a mature hardwood forest which provide a healthy and diverse wildlife habitat.  Both properties abut Cockaponset State Forest next to the Clinton Conservation Trust property, creating a block of almost 64 protected acres. 



Project Title               88 Brainard Road

Sponsor                      Norwich Public Utilities

Town                           Grant Amount                                    Total Area

Colchester & Salem    $157,000                                             52.9 acres      


Description:   This acquisition will expand the Deep River public water supply watershed.  The parcel is bisected by Brainard Brook, which feeds directly into the reservoir.  This property, once purchased, will be classified as Class 1 watershed land.


Project Title          Cooley Farm

Sponsor                Cornwall Conservation Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Cornwall                $450,000                                                     84.07 acres


Description:   Located off Cherry Hill Road in West Cornwall, this property is part of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.  A portion of the property is currently used for haying, it also contains a wetland area and a tributary to the Housatonic River, and a trail network.  The purchase will help assemble a larger fragmented forested block in this area.  


Project Title          Zeiller Associates Property

Sponsor                Town of East Haddam

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

East Haddam         $232,500                                                     98.22 acres


Description:   Purchase of this property is part of a larger effort to better protect the Roaring Brook watershed.  In this grant round there are three projects within this watershed—two in East Haddam and one in Lyme.  Combined, these properties will create a greenbelt of more than 750 acres.  The Zeiller property and others being slated for protection are upland forest blocks with intermittent streams, woodland wetlands and vernal pools.  The Zeiller property has 4,000 feet of frontage along Roaring Brook and contains healthy and diverse wildlife and vegetative habitats and existing trails.


Project Title          Pages Property

Sponsor                Town of East Haddam

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

East Haddam         $464,000                                                      238 acres


Description:   Purchase of this property is part of a larger effort to better protect the Roaring Brook watershed.  This property abuts the Dean Easement area, combined this is a greenbelt of over 750 acres.  These parcels are upland forest blocks (hardwood), having intermittent streams, woodland wetlands and vernal pools.  The property has 1,500 feet of frontage along Roaring Brook.  Because of the proximity to a wetland resource, it offers healthy and diverse wildlife and vegetative habitats.


Project Title               Gurley Brook Preserve

Sponsor                      Woodsmen Trust, Inc.

Town                           Grant Amount                                    Total Area

East Lyme                    $500,000                                             170 acres


Description:   This property is located just north of the Route 1, I-95 & I-395 intersection, and is within the 2,000 foot Route 11 Greenway.  The undeveloped hardwood forest on a gentle sloping topography hosts natural resource features such as Gurley Brook (headwaters of the Niantic River), ledge outcroppings, forest wetlands and the ridgeline associated with Sodom Hill.  There are currently existing trails that access the interior of this property.


Project Title          Scantic River Parcel

Sponsor                Town of Enfield

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Enfield                   $40,000                                                     32.06 acres


Description:   This parcel lies within a Level A Aquifer Protection area for two water companies (HWC & CWC).  The parcel abuts Scantic River State Park , protected open space owned by DEEP and land protected by the town.  The property is typical of a wooded meandering flood plain and has several thousand feet of Scantic River frontage.


Project Title          Candlewood Ridge

Sponsor                Groton Open Space Association, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Groton                   $256,750                                                   91.04 acres


Description:   Located in north central Groton, this 91 acre property is characterized by rugged ledge outcroppings surrounding several large wetlands along with several vernal pools, including a cranberry bog.  Three streams flow out of these wetlands to forested peat land, which creates important habitat for wildlife.  With forested and vegetative undergrowth along with extensive and varied wetland resources, it offers healthy and diverse wildlife and vegetative habitats.



Project Title          Westwoods Parcel

Sponsor                Guilford Land Conservation Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Guilford                 $60,000                                                     17.1 acres


Description:   This property is an “in-holding” in an undeveloped forested area known as Westwoods.  This property directly abuts sections of Cockaponset State Forest and will serve as a linkage.  Due to its “in-holding” classification and location, the property provides high quality wildlife habitat within a hardwood forest characterized by numerous outcroppings, boulders, and ledges, in addition to wetlands.


Project Title          Rita Edwards Preserve

Sponsor                Town of Hampton

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Hampton               $101,500                                                   50.8 acres


Description:    This undeveloped forested lot is located on the north side of Cedar Swamp Road.  The property abuts protected open space land owned by Wyndham Land Trust and Goodwin State Forest.  The property is characterized by a slightly sloping terrain that sustains a mixed hardwood forest and wetlands.


Project Title          Cardillo Parcels

Sponsor                Town of Hebron

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Hebron                  $165,000                                                   48.7 acres


Description:   Located on the west side of Route 85/Church Street in the Amston section, this property is made up of two parcels that abut state-owned open space—Raymond Brook Marsh and the Air Line Trail. They are key components to the preservation of the Raymond Brook Greenbelt and protection of the associated aquifer. 


Project Title          Camp Francis

Sponsor                Kent Land Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Kent\Warren         $500,000                                                   253.1 acres


Description:   Located in the towns of Kent and Warren, this property directly abuts protected open space (Wyantenock State Forest and Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust).  Principally an undeveloped forest block, the property has multiple natural resources that are important to protect and preserve.  With an irregular topography, numerous bedrock outcroppings, a large wetland, several vernal pools and a dense hardwood second-growth forest, this parcel is a rich and diverse wildlife habitat. 


Project Title          Lorman Property

Sponsor                South Central Regional Water Authority

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Killingworth           $335,000                                                   64.5 acres


Description:    Located on the north side of Burr Hill Road in Killingworth, this 64.5-acre parcel abuts Cockaponset State Forest to the north and RWA property to the east and west.  This undeveloped forested property contains watershed lands and features an unnamed watercourse tributary to Lake Hammonasset (public water supply reservoir) flowing through it.



Project Title                           Lord Property

Sponsor                                  Lyme Land Conservation Trust, Inc

Town                                       Grant Amount                        Total Area

Lyme & East Haddam             $327,000                                 100.25 acres


Description:   Located in northern Lyme along Route 82 and within Whalebone Cove Watershed, this parcel has over 3,900 feet of frontage along Roaring Brook.  It is part of the larger effort to better protect the Roaring Brook Watershed –there are there are two other projects in this grant round and were two in a previous grant round.   The parcel is characteristic of a flood plain forest, having wetlands, undeveloped upland forest, fields and rock outcropping with ledges.  There is an existing trail system on this property.


Project Title                                 Case Reservoir

Sponsor                                        Town of Manchester

Town                                             Grant Amount                             Total Area

Manchester                                  $205,000                                       34 acres


Description:   This project is the acquisition of three parcels off Spring Street, two directly abutting Case Pond/Reservoir and the third an additional buffer parcel with road frontage on Spring Street.  Acquisition of these parcels will link Case Pond to the remaining forested block of Case Mountain, protect the Birch Mountain Watershed, enhance existing recreation and provide almost unlimited access to the south shore of Case Pond.  Manchester has received five Open Space Grants to protect 163.52 acres at Case Mountain. 



Project Title          Andrew Mountain Road OS

Sponsor                Borough of Naugatuck

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Naugatuck             $315,250                                                   100.34 acres


Description:   Off Andrew Mountain Road (Old Derby Turnpike) in southwestern Naugatuck, this 146-acre parcel directly abuts Naugatuck State Forest.  The grant will allow the purchase of just over 100 acres of the property for passive outdoor recreation, while the remaining portion will be used for more active recreation.  The property is characterized by a forested rolling topography, several open agricultural fields, a depression area that seasonally floods and several large wetland areas.  The property is bisected by Spruce Brook, a tributary to the Naugatuck River. 


Project Title          Camp Iwakta

Sponsor                Norfolk Land Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Norfolk                  $284,000                                                   311 acres


Description:   Acquisition of this parcel will contribute to nearly 2,000 acres of forest and the associated ecosystems.  This property is forested, as is the surrounding protected property.  With a section of the Mad River, part of a large pond, a headwater stream feeding the Mad River, the rugged topography, ridges, and vernal pools provide rich and varied habitats.  The property is accessed via the historic railroad bed, previously purchased with the support of an Open Space Grant. 


Project Title               Babcock Ridge Preserve

Sponsor                      Avalonia Land Conservancy, Inc.

Town                           Grant Amount                                    Total Area

North Stonington         $142,500                                             74.012 acres


Description:   Located in North Stonington on the north side of Babcock Road, this undeveloped parcel abuts Avalonia land to the north and links up to land across Babcock Road to the south.  The property is characterized by exposed ledges, steep slopes, wetlands, several vernal pools, and unnamed tributaries to Babcock Brook and the Shunock River. This proposal is a buy-out as Avalonia owns 25% interest in this property.


Project Title         31 New London Turnpike

Sponsor                City of Norwich

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Norwich                 $123,516                                                   3.8 acres


Description:   This commercially-zoned property with several structures is located on the west-side of New London Turnpike and the south bank of the Yantic River.  This property is located within the flood zone of the Yantic River.  After purchase, the property will be reclaimed, the buildings will be demolished and the area restored to a natural state allowing public access to more than 1,000 feet of the Yantic River.  The grant will assist and match FEMA Hazard Mitigation funding.


Project Title          Elyandco, Inc. Parcel

Sponsor                Old Lyme Land Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Old Lyme               $143,500                                                   44.17 acres


Description:   A long range goal of the Old Lyme Land Trust is to link protected open space across the town and to make existing preserves accessible to the public.  Acquisition of the Elyandco parcel will be a keystone parcel to accomplish this goal.  This parcel directly abuts several protected properties including Hatchetts Hill Preserve, and Chestnut Hills and Peppermint Ridge—both privately owned and not open to the public at this time.  Armstrong Brook traverses through the large wetland that exists on this parcel along with the wetlands found at Hatchetts Hill Preserve, the headwaters for this brook.  The undeveloped forested lot with a rolling topography creates exceptional wildlife habitat.


Project Title          Tanager Hill

Sponsor                Simsbury Land Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Simsbury               $500,000                                                   92.49 acres


Description:   This undeveloped 91-acre parcel is located on the western slope of the Metacomet Trap Rock Ridge in Simsbury.  The parcel extends from Penwood State Forest to Weatogue Street.  The parcel is rich with a variety of habitats, from a mix of hardwoods forest, traprock, open grass fields, wooded wetland, two vernal pools, pine and hemlock growth areas, and two small running streams.  There is an existing trail network within this property that links to Simsbury Land Trust lands and Penwood State Forest.


Project Title          Ethel Walker School Parcel -C

Sponsor                Town of Simsbury

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Simsbury               $500,000                                                   41.8 acres


Description:   This parcel represents the last acquisition from the Ethel Walker School grounds.  It is part of an almost 400-acre preserve that in combination to abutting protected land, other Town open space, Massaco State Forest, Stratton Brook State Park, Onion Mountain, Tootin' Hills Association, and Simsbury Coon Club, encompasses about 1,100 acres. Approximately 80 percent of this parcel is an undeveloped forested lot with wetlands, vernal pools and streams all providing a rich wildlife habitat.  The remaining area is an open grass area developed for equestrian use. 


Project Title          Camp Aya-Po YWCA

Sponsor                Town of Somers

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Somers                  $450,000                                                   173.45 acres


Description:    Located in the northeast section of Somers, this property is actually two separate parcels separated by Camp Road.  The natural resources found on the property include: Lake Hurd, an 18-acre pristine pond and headwater for Gillette Brook, a mixed timber stand of hardwoods and softwoods, old pastures, and a topography that ranges from rolling to steep.  This site has developed facilities for picnicking, fishing, and parking. Structural buildings not directly needed in the management of this site for passive recreation will be removed.  There is an existing trail network within this property that links to the Blue Trail System. 


Project Title          365 Georges Hill Road

Sponsor                Town of Southbury

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Southbury              $96,500                                                     18.91 acres


Description:   This property is an addition to a 38-acre parcel of land the town purchased with a grant in 2007.  It is an undeveloped forested parcel with a steep rocky ridge running through the middle.  The town plans to utilize this parcel along with other town-owned land to provide parking and access to land purchased under this program.


Project Title          Stillmeadow Farm

Sponsor                Southbury Land Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Southbury              $81,500                                                     12 acres


Description:   Stillmeadow Farm is a link to an emerging greenbelt with resources that include vernal pools, grass lands, wooded wetlands, ledge formations, and prime agriculture soils.  It is within Southbury's Aquifer Protection District.  The property is approximately 2,000 feet from the Larkin State Bridal Trail.  Stillmeadow Farm is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Project Title          Coogan Farm

Sponsor                Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Stonington             $500,000                                                   24.38 acres


Description:   This property will connect to 300 acres managed by the Nature Center.  The property consists of old agricultural fields, grass lands, old orchards, upland forest, wet meadows, and scrub shrub wetlands. While not physically in contact with Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium and Denison Homestead, the property provides trails that directly connect all these education resources in addition, utilizing a natural ridgeline, these trails offer scenic views of Mystic River and Valley.


Project Title                                 Gunther Farm

Sponsor                                        Connecticut Farmland Trust, Inc.

Town                                             Grant Amount                             Total Area

Tolland/Vernon                             $350,000                                       21.3 acres


Description:   Located along the town-line between Tolland and Vernon this is an acquisition to protect farmland soils. Additional natural resources include: grassland habitat, flood plain of Gages Brook, and endangered wildlife habitat.  Connecticut Farm Land Trust will purchase this property, record the Conservation Easement, then sell the property to Tolland County Agricultural Center.  The Center will utilize the agricultural fields for their education/agricultural programs and develop and maintain the trails located at this facility.


Project Title          Manchester Property

Sponsor                The New Roxbury Land Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Union                     $146,500                                                   84 acres


Description:   This is the acquisition of two separate parcels of land in close proximity to each other.  The southern parcel is a 53-acre densely forested lot with a 3-acre hay field all within the Nachaug River Watershed.  The northern parcel is a 31-acre dense forest block within the Quinebaug River Basin and is contiguous to Nipmuck State Forest.  This parcel contains wetlands and a stream that drains to Breakneck Pond.


Project Title          Shenda Property

Sponsor                Watertown Land Trust, Inc.

Town                     Grant Amount                                          Total Area

Watertown            $135,000                                                   75.00 acres


Description:    Located at 195 Hinman Road, this property is a former dairy farm with meadows that are hayed regularly.  There is a large beaver pond on the western border, which complements the hardwood forest that makes up about a third of the property habitat.  Special note:  Nonnewaug granite, a unique geological formation, is found on this parcel as well as Adder's tongue, a unique vegetative species.  The property has an existing trail system, and is located in close to Nonnewaug Falls in Woodbury.


Community Garden Grant for Bridgeport


Project Title 73-127 Garden Street

Sponsor         Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport

Town                      Grant amount                     Total Area

Bridgeport              $171,500.00                         1.50 acres


Description:  Located at 77-127 Garden Street this 1.5 acre parcel will be transformed from a vacant barren lot into a passive neighborhood park with community gardens.  Once completed, this park will become part of a linkage of municipally owned and maintained open space parks and natural areas in the city.


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