Gov. Malloy Announces Open Space Grants That Will Preserve Nearly 2,005 Acres of Land in 23 Towns Across Connecticut
State’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Program Continuing to Preserve Land for Connecticut Residents
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that $6.05 million in state grants are being awarded to 23 municipalities across Connecticut to support the purchase of 2,005 acres of land that will be preserved as open space.
“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.”
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.
“Since this 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 33,300 acres of land, including farmlands, in 137 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.”
Open space projects help the State of Connecticut achieve its goal of protecting 673,210 acres of land by 2023 – approximately 21 percent of the land. Currently, the state has over 500,000 acres designated as state or local open space lands – close to 75 percent of the goal.
The 2018 Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grant awards include:
Project Title: Deer Hill 87 Property
Sponsor: Colebrook Land Conservancy, Inc.
Acreage: 87 acres
Description: This undeveloped, transitional hardwoods forested property is located in southeastern Colebrook in the southern Berkshire Range. The topographic variations (12’- 1,400' ASL) include ridgeline, summit, escarpment, bottomland, hemlock ravine, and headwater stream habitats similar to that of Algonquin State Forest, located to the north. There is at least two threatened or endangered species locales that intersect this property.
Project Title: Matland Tarradiddle
Sponsor: Cornwall Conservation Trust, Inc.
Address: 407 Sharon Goshen Turnpike
Acreage: 72 acres
Description: This property includes former farmland located just northeast of West Cornwall. Having a varied topography, the diversity of this parcel includes mesic upland forest, dry upland forest, former pastureland, bedrock ledges, a spring and a stream. The property is the southern section of Tarradiddle Mountain and is part of the Housatonic River Greenway.
Town: East Haddam
Project Title: Sakolsky Property
Sponsor: East Haddam Land Trust, Inc.
Address: East of the Elementary School
Acreage: 19.52 acres
Description: This is the second parcel submitted under this program to develop a 100-acre interconnecting greenway, connecting resources within the Moodus Village. This property contains a wetland and associated habitat that drains into Wigwam Brook and then to Salmon River. It also contains an upland hardwood forest habitat.
Project Title: Bellante Preserve
Sponsor: Northern Conn. Land Trust, Inc.
Address: Sandy Beach Road
Acreage: 35 acres
Description: This 35-acre undeveloped upland forest is located in the eastern panhandle off Rt. 140 (Tolland Turnpike) in the Town of Ellington. The parcel abuts Erni Boothroyd Nature Preserve (NCLT), which is also in close proximity to Nye-Holman State Forest. Within a Conservation Corridor established by Capitol Region COG along the Willimantic River, the current owner has witnessed a plethora of wildlife including: turkey, fisher cats, coyotes, rabbits, various species of birds and bear.
Project Title: Doane Property
Sponsor: The Essex Land Trust, Inc.
Address: 10 Ox Bow Lane
Acreage: 18.54 acres
Description: The main purpose of this ridge property overlooking the Connecticut River is to connect or link three protected parcels: James Glen, and Doane’s Woods (ELT) with Lyons Meadow (DRLT) for a total of a 50-acre greenway. The varied wildlife habitats include open field, upland forest, forested wetland and a beaver pond.
Project Title: Calvin Fish Parcel
Sponsor: Town of Hebron
Address: In back of Gilead Hill Elementary School
Acreage: 48 acres
Description: This parcel, with a terminal boundary on Fawn Brook (950 feet), abuts Gilead Hill School (Rt. 85) and is part of a long-term preservation effort to protect the Fawn Brook, a tributary to Salmon River. This undeveloped forested lot contains farmland that includes prime farmland soils, inland wetlands soils, access to a fishing opportunity that was not previously available and recreational/educational opportunity through the expansion of trails associated with Gilead Hill School.
Project Title: Johnson Preserve
Sponsor: Town of Lyme
Address: 194 Norwich-Salem Road
Acreage: 250 acres
Description: Falling within the River to Ridge greenway, this acquisition has for decades been a priority for the Town to permanently protect. Located in north-central Lyme almost abutting East Haddam, this property has over a 1/2 mile of road frontage (Rt. 82) and abuts over 1,700 acres of protected open space. It has a rugged landscape with elevation from 200 to 465 feet above sea level. This parcel is in the Eightmile River watershed and is now designated by Audubon as an Important Bird Area.
Project Title: Luft Property
Sponsor: South Central Conn. Regional Water Authority
Address: 347 County Road
Acreage: 44 acres
Description: Located in Madison off Rt. 79 (Rockland), this undeveloped parcel (rear) contains 29 acres of Class I and 15 acres of Class II watershed land in the Hammonasset River Watershed. The acquisition is designed to eliminate the fragmentation of the watershed lands and improve protection of a drinking water supply.
Project Title: Simpson Family Property
Sponsor: Town of Mansfield
Address: 652 Warrenville Road
Acreage: 114 acres
Description: Located in the central eastern portion of the town on Warrenville Road, this parcel is characterized as an undeveloped woodlot with limited development potential based on soils, its stony nature, presences of wetlands and steep slopes. This property is located across the street from the Mt. Hope Property protected with the assistance of a grant from this program in 1999. A portion of this property is identified in the Natural Diversity Database. This is a large parcel with natural and archeological assets along with the potential to provide quality passive recreational and educational opportunities.
Town: North Haven
Project Title: 182 Kings Highway
Sponsor: Town of North Haven
Address: 182 Kings Highway
Acreage: 29.55 acres
Description: Existing between Kings Highway and Hartford Turnpike in the northwest quadrant of the town, this 29.55-acre parcel is sandwiched among residential house lots. A former orchard, the lot contains 6.9 acres of land that can be classified wetland, intermittent watercourses and a vernal pool. The property does slope from the northwest to the southeast from 56 to over 500 feet ASL. The parcel is undeveloped with only remnants of the former farm existing.
Town: North Stonington
Project Title: Green Falls River Glen
Sponsor: Avalonia Land Conservancy, Inc.
Address: 119 Puttker Road
Acreage: 86.5 acres
Description: With over a half-mile of river frontage on the Green Falls River, this property is located off Puttker Road in northeastern portion of North Stonington, 1/2 mile from Pachaug State Forest. This river is stocked by DEEP. The property is composed of 33 acres of wetland, vernal pools, prime farmland soils and home to a historic woolen mill area, and is part of an Aquifer Protection Area of the Pawcatuck River basin.
Town: North Stonington, Griswold and Preston
Project Title: Tri-Town Ridgeline Forest
Sponsor: Avalonia Land Conservancy, Inc.
Address: 85 Miller Road
Acreage: 409 acres
Description: This property is located in the towns of North Stonington, Griswold and Preston. The parcels link about 1,400 acres of protected land owned by Avalonia (76 ac.), The Nature Conservancy (Cons. Easement), State DEEP (Pachaug State Forest, 213 ac.), and conservation restricted land held by the Town of North Stonington (133 ac.). This property is an unfragmented forest (currently under PA490, chestnut oak upland forest), with over 4 miles of trails (stone-walled), 100-foot cliffs, three mountains (240’ to 506’ ASL, Lambert Mountain), and with vast and varied wildlife habitat.
Town: Old Lyme
Project Title: Denison Parcel
Sponsor: Old Lyme Land Trust. Inc.
Address: Short Hills Road
Acreage: 10.7 acres
Description: Located in Old Lyme central and very close to the East Lyme Town line, this forested parcel would accomplish three major objectives: 1. contribute toward protecting an important watershed (Three Mile River), 2. enlarge an area of protected open space, and 3. expand upon a growing and valuable recreational resource.
Project Title: Kendall/Thoma Preserve
Sponsor: Avalonia Land Conservancy, Inc.
Address: 16 Rude Road
Acreage: 177 acres
Description: Located in northeastern Preston, this property is primarily an undeveloped forested lot (currently in PA490) transected by Rattlesnake Brook, Folly Works Brook and Broad Brook. The property contains wide and diverse habitats including open fields (still being hayed), shrub swamp, red maple swamp, riparian and upland woodland and a sand barren.
Project Title: Eastman Parcel
Sponsor: Naromi Land Trust, Inc.
Address: Off Evans Hill Road
Acreage: 37.83 acres
Description: Located in northern Sherman south of Ten Mile River, this undeveloped forested property abuts land currently protected by Naromi Land Trust (142 ac.) and Federal Land associated with the Appalachian Trail (255 ac.). The property is a mix of hardwood/hemlock forest, steep slopes, stone walls, wooded wetland (3 ac.), vernal pool, rock outcroppings, and vistas of the Housatonic River.
Project Title: Tenenbaum - Morehouse
Sponsor: Town of Sprague
Address: 269 Scotland Road
Acreage: 28.9 acres
Description: Located off Scotland Road (Rt. 97) in Sprague, the property is principally a forested wood lot with some open fields that are being used for silage (listed as 13ac. farmland), wetlands, swamp grasses, and two ponds for irrigation. The property is bisected by a rail line leaving a small section of the property (1.9 ac.) separated for the main parcel but having frontage on the Shetucket River. This parcel also abuts state DEEP land to the north.
Town: Sprague, Franklin
Project Title: Peltier Property
Sponsor: Town of Sprague
Address: 154 Holton Road
Acreage: 51.40 acres
Description: This property will become part of the Sprague Land Preserve, which is located in both Sprague and Franklin and totals over 330 acres of open space that has received three grants under this program (includes the Mukluk Property). Acquisition of this parcel would secure the main access to this preserve off Holton Road in Franklin. It is an undeveloped forested woodlot with 7 percent wetland, mapped farmland soils and about 25 percent steeply sloping.
Project Title: Roosevelt Forest
Sponsor: Town of Stratford
Address: 225 Peters Lane
Acreage: 19 acres
Description: This proposal is the acquisition of two separate parcels (15 ac. and 3.9 ac.), both to be acquired by the Town of Stratford and added to Roosevelt Forest (approx. 400 ac.). The property is located in the Town of Stratford and in the City of Shelton. Both properties are undeveloped upland woodlots with some associated wetland and the typical New England forest wildlife habitat.
Project Title: Bull Hill
Sponsor: Wyndham Land Trust, Inc.
Address: 57 Bull Hill Road, N. Grosvenor Dale Road, and 120 Bull Hill Road, Woodstock
Acreage: 254 acres
Description: The 254 acres of this proposal is part of a 3,000 acre undeveloped forest located in the towns of Thompson and Woodstock. It is principally an inholding with the best access being Bull Hill Road. The property has developed trails, with areas undergoing timber harvesting and other areas of the forest being regenerating. About 1/2 of this property is within the Little River Watershed and is close to the Army Corp of Engineer's West Thompson Dam.
Project Title: Johnson Farm
Sponsor: Steep Rock Association, Inc.
Address: 63 West Mountain Road
Acreage: 50.53 acres
Description: Johnson Farm is located in the southeastern part of Washington. It is composed of 38 acres of farmland (hayfields), 12 acres of forestland, and 10 acres of wetland, which drain to Sprain Brook. The fields will continue to be hayed, thus protecting a grassland habitat. While not directly abutting West Mountain Preserve (Steep Rock), it is only a 300 yard walk, which combined with the 0.8 mile of possible trail on the Farm provides recreational and educational opportunities.
Project Title: Franson Farmland
Sponsor: Watertown Land Trust, Inc.
Address: 381 Plungis Road
Acreage: 26.3 acres
Description: Located in north central Watertown, this property is principally characterized as being 50 percent wetland (Peck’s Swamp) that drains into Waterbury's Wigwam Reservoir, and provides excellent habitat for amphibians, birds and water dependent mammals. The other half of the property is a meadow, which is currently being hayed (16 percent prime agricultural soils). This property is abutting a 300-acre farm currently being considered by the Department of Agriculture for preservation.
Project Title: Belknap Property
Sponsor: Aspetuck Land Trust, Inc.
Address: Wampum Hill Road
Acreage: 38.35 acres
Description: This project is the acquisition, in-fee, of 27.85 acres and the purchase of an easement over 10.5 acres of an undeveloped interior woodland. The parcel is adjacent to Asputuck’s 81-acre Honey Hill Preserve and is part of a greenway of 2,600 acres of land owned by Wilton Land Conservation Trust, Asputuck, The Nature Conservancy and the Towns of Wilton and Weston. The proposal serves to create trail linkages and enhance habitat preservation.
Project Title: Mill Brook Open Space
Sponsor: Town of Windsor
Address: 100 Pigeon Hill Road
Acreage: 94 acres
Description: This parcel was previously a privately-operated golf course and is currently undergoing reclamation into a varied mix of wet and upland meadow with high grass and low shrubs along with an early successional forest. The parcel lends itself for development and linkages for passive recreation areas and trails. Located off Pigeon Hill Road in Windsor, the parcel is part of the Mill Brook Greenway (4,000 feet of Mill Brook) corridor and connects with Fitch Park, less than a half mile from downtown Windsor.