Saturday, October 1, 2016

Open Space -- When It's Gone, It's Gone Forever

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art invites the public to learn about the importance of conserving local open space through a program on Tuesday, October 4, 7- 8:30 p.m. at the deKoven House, 27 Washington Street, in Middletown.  Presenters will be Patrick Comins, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Connecticut; Michelle Ford, Environmental Planner for the City of Middletown; and David Brown, Executive Director of the Middlesex Land Trust. 

Forests, streams, meadows, and the wildlife that inhabit them are essential to the rural character of Connecticut that most of us treasure.  And yet, suburban sprawl in the form of strip malls, housing tracts, polluted waterways and traffic jams has spread dramatically in recent decades.  Now, with a state budget crisis and limited resources for open space conservation, it is more challenging than ever to protect farms, scenic vistas, and wildlife habitats from further encroachment.

Some of the questions to be addressed in our program are: How much land in Middletown has been conserved and how can additional land be protected from development, given funding limitations? What characteristics make a property worthy of protection and how are those qualities prioritized?  How do private land trusts work and how can each of us support the long-term preservation and management of protected lands? What changes have occurred to wildlife habitat in Connecticut over the years? How can open space conservation provide the most benefit to birds and other wildlife?  Why should open space preservation be a high environmental priority?

Co-sponsors include: Middletown's Conservation Commission; Ecoin (Environmental Collective Impact Network); Middlesex Land Trust; and The Rockfall Foundation.  For more information, contact John Hall at 860-398-3771 or via email from

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