Sen. Chapin Announces State Grants to Preserve Open Space in Kent and Sharon

October 20, 2015

Hartford-State Senator Clark Chapin (R-30) today announced that two communities in the 30th District will be receiving state funds to preserve open space in their towns.
The state is awarding a grant of $538,687 to help purchase 72 acres of what will be Benton Hill Preserve in Sharon, which will become the beginning of a planned greenway along Route 343. This parcel contains a few open fields and is composed of almost 80% prime agricultural soils. The remaining area is wetlands and contains a ridge with very scenic vistas. Acquisition of this property also will protect a large adjacent western wetland complex where several plant or animal species of concern have been documented.

The state is awarding a grant of $100,000 to expand the Kent Land Trust by 25 acres with a wetland of 9 acres in size that is downstream from North Spectacle Lake and across the street from Camp Francis (253.1 acres). Surrounding this area is a gently sloping forested upland, forested inland wetland, shrub inland wetland, herbaceous inland wetland and freshwater aquatic habitat that plays host to critical wildlife habitat that may include endangered and threatened plant species. Kent Land Trust holds a limited conservation easement on this parcel. Acquisition will extinguish all development rights to this parcel.

“Open space and the outdoors give are part of the unique charm which draws people to northwestern Connecticut,” said Sen. Chapin. “The state investment in these open space projects will help these communities continue their work preserving and conserving environmental assets.”