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Nature center gets extension on Coogan Farm deadline

By Joe Wojtas

Publication: The Day

Published March 14. 2013 4:00AM

Mystic - The Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center announced Wednesday that it has raised $2.6 million of the $3.5 million it needs to buy and preserve 34 acres of the Coogan Farm and has now received a six-month extension of the deadline to buy the land.

Because the nature center will not receive a $500,000 state grant for the purchase until September, nature center executive director Maggie Jones said the Clara Morgan Coogan Trust, the owner of the property, has extended the purchase deadline from this month until September.

"It's clear now that this is going to happen," Jones said about the eventual purchase and preservation of the land. "This will be such a gem for Mystic for generations to come."

In a statement released by the nature center, Ellen Marshall, a co-trustee of the Clara Morgan Coogan Trust, said, "The family is so happy that Village Farm will remain the pure and natural beauty it has always been. We are very thankful to Maggie and her many helpers for all the hard work, time and contributions. We are pleased to know that many townspeople, children and visitors will be able to enjoy the farm as we all did for so many years."

The Campaign for Coogan Farm is working to raise $3.5 million, which includes $2.8 million to buy the property and $700,000 to make improvements to trails and buildings and care for it in the future.

Jones said the six-month extension will allow the nature center to raise the remainder of the money and allow people to tour the land during the warmer months. Tours of the property continue to be held on Sundays at 4 p.m. and Tuesdays at 10 a.m.

She said the nature center is working to obtain more donations and grants.

"We have a lot of irons in the fire," she said.

Jones said that some of the people who have gone on the tours and donated money are from other parts of the state.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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