I am happy to share that earlier today, we were notified by the Governor’s Office that his administration was awarding multiple grants to protect and preserve open space land across Connecticut. Three of them have been awarded right here in the 66th District, one in Litchfield and two in Warren.
The grants are authorized under the state’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Program and the Urban Green and Community Garden Project administered by DEEP. These grants will assist local governments, land trusts, and water companies in purchasing land to protect as open space.
Project Name: Williams Property/Horse Show Meadow
Sponsor: Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy
Total Area: 38.7 acres
Description: This property abuts 110 acres of conserved land to the west and connects Ripley’s 150-acre preserve to the north with the 4,000-acre White Memorial Foundation nature preserve to the south. It contains open fields and riparian woodlands. Two branches of Butternut Brook, both Class AA streams, run along each side of the property feeding Bantam Lake. According to the NDDB, the property contains alluvial marsh and six species of rare plant and animal species including American kestrel, Eastern meadowlark, New England sedge, Stiff gentian, and Pale green orchid. Thirty-two acres of the property contain USDA Prime or Statewide Important Soils. The meadows are hayed by a local farmer and will continue to be maintained that way after purchase. The White Memorial Foundation, adjacent to the property has over 246 recorded bird species. A hiking trail, boardwalk, and fishing stream will allow the public to enjoy the property. It is accessible from Route 202 and is less than 10 miles from the City of Torrington.
Project Name: Tanner Farm
Sponsor: Warren Land Trust
Total Area: 201 acres
Description: The Tanner Farm lies adjacent to 51 acres of agricultural land preserved by an ACEP-ALE easement. Within 2 miles of the farm are 2400 acres of open space. A 4,000-foot segment of Sucker Brook (a Class 1 Stream) runs through the property. This brook is the largest single water source for Lake Waramaug generating over 60 percent of its water. The northern reaches of the property contains 55 acres of core forest located at the southern end of a larger 230-acre forest block. The property’s upland core forest area, grasslands, cold water streams, and upland forested wetlands provides a wide array of wildlife habitat. The farm has almost a mile of frontage on both Route 341 and Angevine Road and is visible from Route 45 making it an important viewshed for the town. The Tanner Farm has been in operation for over 150 years and the Warren Land Trust intends to continue agricultural use of the property.
Project Name: Cunningham Road
Sponsor: Warren Land Trust
Total Area: 248 acres
Description: This parcel is located between the 263-acre East Kent Hamlet Preserve and the 336-acre block of the Wyantenock State Forest. Its protection will add to an existing 790 acres of contiguous adjacent protected lands and would build upon a network of 948 acres of existing protected lands within a 1 mile radius. The property falls within the Mohawk Block Important Bird Area. In June 2020, a pair of Cerulean Warblers and Broad-winged Hawks were identified on the property. The property’s forest habitats include 145 acres of Mixed Northern Hardwoods, 42 acres of Central Appalachian Oak and Pine Forest, and 50 acres of Forested Inland Wetlands. According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalent Calculator, the property is storing roughly 15,376 metric tons of carbon and can sequester an additional 100 metric tons of carbon annually. There is an extensive network of upland wetlands and cold-water stream habitats on the property as it straddles the headwaters of both the West and East Aspetuck Rivers. There are 104 acres of Prime, Statewide Important, and Locally Important Farmland Soils on the property.