June 13, 2022

Senator Haskell Applauds $1.5 Million State Investment In 100 Acres Of Local Open Space

Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) applauded the announcement this week by Governor Lamont that Connecticut will invest over $1.5 million of the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program to support the purchase of two properties in the 26th District. These investments in Redding and Wilton will preserve roughly 109 acres of land to protect natural wildlife, public drinking water quality and new recreational opportunities for our community.

“When I met families who are new to Fairfield County, they often tell me that they were drawn here by Connecticut’s beautiful outdoors,” said Sen. Haskell. “As a member of the Environment Committee, I constantly fight for additional funding to preserve our natural resources, and I’m thrilled to see those dollars going to good use Redding and Wilton. Thank you to Governor Lamont for making open space a priority — I know our community will benefit from this investment for decades to come.”

“As the climate changes, we must work to protect the landscapes that provide refuge for plants and animals adapting to a warmer world,” said Frogard Ryan, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. “We are excited to work with the State of Connecticut to expand Devil’s Den Preserve, the largest expanse of protected land in Fairfield County and our most frequently visited preserve, to help keep our promise to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends.”

Of a larger announcement of $7.5 million in grants to preserve open space properties, the state announced local acquisition projects including:

  • A $1,105,000 grant aiding The Nature Conservancy, Inc. in its acquisition of 99.1 acres of land on the Granskog Property in Redding. This is the last large undeveloped parcel adjacent to Devil’s Den Preserve and has more than 20 miles of trails. It’s connected to several other open space and forest areas and its acquisition will preserve forest and freshwater resources and protect more than 500 types of trees and 140 species of birds. Half of the acreage is within the Saugatuck Reservoir’s public drinking water supply boundaries.
  • A $398,125 grant aiding the Aspetuck Land Trust in its acquisition of 9.84 acres of the Montanaro Property in Wilton. This property consists of two lots, part of a long-term project by the Land Trust to create a 700+ acre contiguous forest known as the Weston/Wilton Forest Block. This will provide recreational opportunities through trail openings and will protect local ecosystems, wildlife and clean water.