Local Legislators Announce Open Space Grants For Kent, Sharon & Goshen

April 7, 2003

Senator Andrew Roraback, R- Goshen, and Representative Roberta Willis, D-Lakeville, today announced that the state has awarded grants to help fund the acquisition of land in Kent, Sharon and Goshen for open space.

Lieutenant Governor M. Jodi Rell and state Department of Environmental Protection officials announced the grants at a press conference in Litchfield on Monday.

According to DEP, the Kent Land Trust and the Sharon Land Trust have been awarded a $514,000 grant toward the cost of acquiring 252 acres of Skiff Mountain South. This site consists of a hardwood forest, 50 acres of a forested wetland, numerous rocky outcrops and one intermittent stream. Acquisition of the parcel adds 5,800 acres of unfragmented forest in permanent protection. The property is home to large mammals, such as bear and coyote, along with many threatened species or species of special concern. Also, the state awarded the Goshen Land Trust, Inc. a $45,000 grant toward the cost of acquiring 16.474 acres of the Kovalcik property. According to DEP, this north/south-oriented property is key in linking two other properties owned and managed by the Land Trust. This wooded undeveloped acreage is traversed by Fox Brook and is home to high quality wetland and upland wildlife habitats.

“Both of these acquisitions are important to our ongoing efforts to preserve open space in Litchfield County. Protecting the Skiff Mountain property in Sharon and Kent, and the Kovalcik land in Goshen will also help us to protect our wildlife. Anyone who has seen these parcels know how beautiful this land is, and how lucky we are to be able to preserve it for future generations,” said Senator Roraback.

“This is so important to Goshen in building up its open space. I know we are having touch budget times, but there are some investments we cannot afford not to make. The Skiff Mountain acquisition is beneficial to the Housatonic Valley corridor. It’s a gorgeous piece of property,” said Representative Willis.

The state has an overall goal of preserving 21 percent of Connecticut’s land as open space by 2023. Under this particular open space program, more than 14,000 acres have been preserved by the state. With the announcement of this ninth round of grants, state officials expect that total to reach 16,196 acres. Beyond this particular open space grant program, the DEP has acquired 30,506 acres since 1998, including the BHC/Kelda Company property.