Ho Ho Ho: Malloy Announces $9 Million In Open Space Grants

by Categorized: Gov. Dannel Malloy Date:

The governor has announced $9 million in state grants to 35 communities, preserving 2,732 acres across Connecticut.

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

The state has a goal to protect 673,210 acres by 2023.  Connecticut already has 496,182 acres designated as state or local open space lands.

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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4 thoughts on “Ho Ho Ho: Malloy Announces $9 Million In Open Space Grants

  1. DaTroof

    While no one contests the value in open space in Connecticut, a few points:

    1. Why is the state paying for these? How come the communities don’t purchase their lands? Redistribution?

    2. Why are we spending $9M more we don’t have when we have $1B state deficits as far as the eye can see?

  2. John R. McCommas

    Please someone tell tree hugger Dan Malloy that the Number One thing you should do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging !

    Put down the Shovel Governor. Put the shovel down, there, on the ground. Now walk away real slow…..

    Am I crazy or is buying land for *open space* definitely a frill and is not a “need”? Plus we are bonding the money? Why would we bond such an insignificant amount of money (relative to the budget)? That is just stupid. We could save money by using the general funds if we really couldn’t do without this land (which we could). A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t afford to use real money to buy it, don’t buy it at all. We have enough debt as it is.

    The land isn’t going anywhere. We could if we needed to buy it at a time when we are flush with funds again.

    Why are we borrowing money to buy land we will do absolutely nothing with at a time we are a billion or more in the hole at all? Why not cancel these sales and put the 9 million in the SAVE column? Is that crazy?

    To paraphrase what Grandma always said, if you watch your Millions, the Billions will take care of themselves.

    Malloy –> One and Done.

  3. Sharpshooter

    So let’s see now….365 million in debt + 9 million for open space = 374 million in debt…..the spending just keeps going and going and…..

Comments are closed.