December 18, 2018

Canton, E. Haddam share in $5M land grants

Connecticut authorities say they are awarding nearly $5 million in grants to assist 14 communities, including Canton and East Haddam, in preserving some 1,139 acres as open and watershed space.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Monday the award of $4.8 million in matching state grants through the states' Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program.

Overseen by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the program assists local governments, land trusts, and water companies in purchasing open space using Community Investment Act and state bond funds.

Participants must match the grants and issue conservation and public easements to allow public access and use of the properties.

Under the grants, East Haddam will receive $170,000 to maintain 87 acres in three wetland areas within the Lyme Forest. The property features several logging and tractor trails.

Canton will also receive $27,500 to preserve 12 acres of underdeveloped land at 45 West Road, which abuts Cherry Brook, a major tributary to the Farmington River.

Other towns and cities receiving grant funds include Bethany, Cornwall, Deep River, Fairfield, Griswold, Guilford, Ledyard, Hamden, Oxford, Madison, Salisbury and Shelton.

Since 1998, the program has allocated more than $125 million to preserve more than 36,400 undeveloped acres, including farmland, in the state, authorities say. So far, the state says it has preserved more than 500,000 acres toward its eventual goal of 673,210 acres, or about 21 percent of the land in the state, shielded from development.

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