City Planner Bill Warner notified the Eye that Governor Rell has assigned $3 million dollars of a statewide $10 million open space grant fund to Middletown. Here is the governor's press release:
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced $10.2 million in grants to help purchase or preserve approximately 2,440 acres of open space in 29 cities and towns across Connecticut. Money for the grants comes from previously approved bond funds.
"Preserving open space is vital to protecting the natural charm and scenic beauty of our state and is a key building block in my 'Responsible Growth' program," Governor Rell said. "We are striking the right balance between economic growth and development while protecting our state's irreplaceable land and natural resources.
"One of Connecticut's greatest strengths - and its greatest attractions to employers and employees alike - is its multitude of places for people to explore and enjoy," the Governor said. "From the beach to the back country, from rustic farm country to rolling hills and forests, our small state has it all, and all within a few minutes' drive. While I am dedicated to keeping and growing every job possible in our state, we cannot do that at the expense of one of the state's greatest assets. These open space grants help us to protect that asset for our own use and for generations to come."
Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Gina McCarthy said, "The properties in each town are identified by those who know best - local people who wish to preserve land that is highly valued in their community. Preserving these properties will help preserve the character and beauty of Connecticut's communities."
The 33 projects funded under this year's Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program, include:
Sponsor: City of Middletown
Title: Brock Farm Easement
Contains 44% prime farmland soils and 33% farmland soils of statewide importance. Long Hill Brook flows through the property along the western boundary, providing a habitat for various aquatic species and is a water source for the watershed. Preservation of this farm will further preserve and protect a farmland which has been farmed for generations. The predominant crop is corn and produces one of the highest yields per acre in the state. Public access will be a walking trail alongside Route 17 & Long Hill Brook.
Sponsor: City of Middletown
Title: Hubbard Property
A predominantly forested parcel, this property includes Chestnut Mountain with panoramic views from the highest geological feature in the Sumner Brook Valley/South Farms section of the City. The pinnacle of the mountain is an old orchard which is fairly clear and level, providing additional wildlife habitat benefits in its meadow. Daniels Farm (another OSWA project) is across the street. An old farm road and small trails traverse the property and lead to the summit that will be cleared for hiking, biking, cross country skiing and nature viewing.