The state of Connecticut is allocating $4.8 million in grants to fund the purchase of 1,139 acres of land for 15 projects in 14 Connecticut municipalities that will be preserved as open space.The grants are being awarded through the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program, administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The grant money will be used to facilitate the open space purchases via funding from the Community Investment Act and state bond funds.
Two Fairfield County endeavors are part of this new grant funding. The town of Fairfield will receive $82,500 to buy the 3.6-acre parcel at 760 Oldfield Road, which includes 2.8 acres of tidal wetland that is part of the Pine Creek Open Space Preserve. Shelton will receive $82,500 to buy a 6.71-acre parcel called the Pearmain Preserve, which falls within the Means Brook Greenway. The new projects bring Connecticut’s open space share to 673,210 acres or roughly 21 percent of land in the state. At this time, Connecticut has more than 500,000 acres designated as state or local open space land.
“Since the 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 36,400 acres of land, including farmlands, in 139 cities and towns,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said. “These important open space properties protect natural resources and improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.”