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Five Greenprint Partners Receive CT Open Space Grant Awards

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Governor Malloy's much anticipated announcement of Open Space and Watershed Land Aquisition grant awards gave a huge boost to regionally significant conservation projects in Northwest Connecticut.  Five Greenprint member land trusts were among the successful applicants, and together they will receive a total of $1,719,000 to help save 754.47 acres.  Four of these projects are in Northwest Connecticut, with an additional 21.3 acres conserved by Greenprint member Connecticut Farmland Trust elsewhere in the state.

The project with the most acres receiving an Open Space grant in this round of funding is Norfolk Land Trust's effort to save 311 acres of Girl Scout Camp Iwatka.  This project arose from the Greenprint's own land assessment process and a close partnership continues between the Land Trust and HVA's Greenprint.  This property will be acquired by Norfolk Land Trust using $284,000 in CT Open Space Grant funding; $157,500 in Highlands Conservation Act funding for a conservation easement to be held over the property by CT DEEP; and $189,000 raised both locally and beyond Norfolk from private sources with Greenprint assistance.  It is expected to close in the coming months once the public funds are released.

Kent Land Trust received $500,000 in Open Space funding towards a $1.5 million acquisition of another Girl Scout property - Camp Francis - located in Kent and Warren.  Kent Land Trust is actively seeking additional public and private funds to complete this transaction, and has developed a compelling audio/visual presentation that makes the case for protecting this ecologically and historically significant property. 

Cornwall Conservation Trust received $450,000 towards their acquisition of 84.07 acres of Cooley Farm.  Located off Cherry Hill Road in West Cornwall, 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.

Watertown Land Trust secured $135,000 in Open Space funding for a conservation easement on the 75 acre Shenda property.  The Town of Watertown has also dedicated funds toward this project.  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.  The property has an existing trail system, and is located in close to Nonnewaug Falls in Woodbury.

The Litchfield Hills Greenprint is delighted to have been able to support each of these member projects in various ways, ranging from consultations about transaction structure and fundraising (including bringing new money to the table); to maps and other documentation of conservation significance; to writing letters in support of these applications and helping to secure others from key individuals and constituencies.  We will continue to be a resource in whatever ways are helpful to our partners to add value to what these excellent conservation organizations are doing to save these very special places.


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