Open Space: A Gift to Future Generations

February 5, 2013

Hartford, CT – State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford) along with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office announced three state grants which will preserve more than 100 acres of open space in Hampton, Tolland, Vernon and Union.

The first parcel is located at the Rita Edwards Preserve in the town of Hampton. It is 50.8 acres of undeveloped forested land located on the north side of an undeveloped road known as Cedar Swamp Road. The property abuts protected open space land to the north owned by Wyndham Land Trust and the west and south Goodwin State Forest. The property has a slightly sloping terrain that showcases a mixed hardwood forest and wetlands. This grant totals $101,500.

The second parcel is located at the Gunther Farm in Tolland/Vernon. The 21.3 acres is being bought to protect farmland soils. Additional natural resources that will be protected include: grassland habitat, flood plain of Gages Brook which holds Brook Trout and endangered wildlife habitats. Connecticut Farm Land Trust will purchase this property, record the Conservation Easement, and sell the property to Tolland Country Agricultural Center. The center will use the agricultural fields for their education and agricultural programs developing and maintain the trails located at the facility. This grant totals $350,000.

The third parcel is located in Union and is 84 acres of land. This acquisition is two separate parcels of land, close to one another. The southerly parcel, which is south of Bush Road is a densely forested lot with a hay field with in the Nachaug River Watershed. The second, northerly parcel, is north of Carion Road and is un-fragmented dense forest with in the Quinebaug River Basin and is contiguous to Nipmuck State Forest. The land contains wetlands and a stream that drains to Breakneck Pond. The grant totals $145,500.

The Open Space program is run by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The state has a goal of protecting 673,210 acres by 2023. So far, it has preserved 496,182 acres, or 73.7 percent of the goal.

“I thank the governor and state officials for recognizing the need to protect important pieces of land from development,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “Eastern Connecticut is known for its beauty and farmland. Allowing these pieces of property to stay pristine is a gift to future generations and an obligation we should honor.”