AP NEWS

$9M in grants to help communities preserve open spaces

January 8, 2020 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut is awarding $9 million to support grants that will help 24 communities purchase nearly 2,500 acres of land to be designated as open space.

The grants are authorized under the state’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Program, administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont announced Wednesday.

The program protects wildlife habitats, offer recreational opportunities, and serves as a buffer and adaptation to climate change.

Project that receive the grants are required to supplement the state funding with matching funds or other grants.

“Open space is vital to environmental protection and a bright economic future for our state,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “This program is an important component of preserving some of our state’s best and most beautiful land, and by partnering with our municipalities and nonprofits we can ensure that these valuable resources are preserved in perpetuity for generations to come.”

The communities benefiting from the grants are Bristol, Burlington, Clinton, Cornwall, East Lyme, Montville, Ellington, Groton, Hamden, Bethany, Ledyard, Madison, Manchester, Middletown, Pomfret, Salisbury, Sharon, Southington, Stratford, Washington Depot, Westbrook, Weston and Wilton.