Malloy announces open space grants for several area towns

Lyme, Old Lyme, North Stonington and Preston are among the 23 communities that are being awarded open space grants this year through the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program. The state is awarding a total of $6.05 million in grants to help preserve 2,005 acres of land, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced on Monday.

The state grants announced include $870,000 for the Johnson Preserve in Lyme, a 250-acre parcel near East Haddam that falls within the Eightmile River watershed and borders more than 1,700 acres of open space; and $36,113 for the 10.7-acre Denison Parcel on Short Hills Road in Old Lyme, a project sponsored by the Old Lyme Land Trust that would help protect the Three Mile River watershed, according to the news release.

The governor announced in the news release three grants for the Avalonia Land Conservancy: $555,000 towards the 409-acre Tri-Town Ridgeline Forest in North Stonington, Griswold and Preston; $195,000 towards the 86.5-acre Green Falls River Glen project in North Stonington, with a half-mile of frontage on Green Falls River; and $195,750 towards the 177-acre Kendall/Thoma Preserve, undeveloped forestland in Preston.

Parcels in East Haddam, Essex, Sprague, Franklin and Madison are among the other communities receiving grants. The open space program, which requires a local match, assists local communities, land trusts, and water companies in preserving land through funding from the Community Investment Act and state bond funds, stated the news release.

“Since this program began in 1998, more than $125 million in state funding has been awarded to municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations, and water companies to assist in the purchase of more than 33,300 acres of land, including farmlands, in 137 cities and towns,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said.


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