Eddy Farm Permanently Protected (CT)

Newington, CT, 7/14/05 – Newington officials, along with the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit conservation organization, announced today that the town has purchased a conservation agreement from the owners of the 61-acre Eddy Farm, ensuring its permanent protection as farmland.

Newington Mayor Thomas B. McBride said, “The closing on the Eddy Farm agricultural preservation easement on July 13th was an historic and great day for the Town of Newington. It represents the consummation of the efforts of so many people over the years including Lucy Eddy Fox, the Eddy Family, the Trust for Public Land, current and past Mayors, Town Councils, Town Plan and Zoning Commission and Open Space Committee members, Town Managers, and Town Planners. It is a reflection of this Town Council’s vision of and commitment to the long term quality of life for our community. I am thrilled by the benefits that we, and more importantly the generations to come will enjoy from this preservation effort.”

Eddy Farm has been in continuous farming operation since the early 1700’s, producing crops of corn, strawberries, hay and fruit. The property consists of open fields, an orchard, farm buildings and wetlands that comprise a picturesque agricultural landscape. The location of the farm, adjacent to other open space in Newington’s center, is a key scenic feature that helps shape the character of the town.

The Trust for Public Land helps to negotiate complex real estate transactions, offering communities opportunities for conservation that may previously have been stalled. Last March, TPL reached an agreement with the landowners to purchase an “Agricultural Preservation Easement” over the farm at a cost of $2.7 million. The easement will be paid for over a period of three years from the town’s capital budget. In accepting payment for the easement, owner Lucy Fox, daughter of the late Roger Eddy, has entered into a permanent legal agreement never to develop the land. The agreement will be binding on all future owners.

Lucy Fox commented, “I am very happy this project is complete, and the land is now protected. It was a privilege to work with the officials of the Town of Newington and the Trust for Public Land, who all shared a common vision for Eddy Farm.”

TPL State Director Tim Northrop added, “TPL is pleased that we could be a part of the Eddy Farm project. We’re seeing growing interest across the state in farmland protection, as thousands of acres are lost each year to residential and commercial development. It’s important to act now if we are to preserve the agricultural character of Connecticut. The Town of Newington deserves much credit for this wise investment in their town’s future.”

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Fox will continue to run the farm and carry on her family’s legacy of farming in Newington. The Town of Newington now holds the Agricultural Preservation Easement, ensuring that the property will not be developed or converted to non-agricultural uses.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization which works with others to conserve land for people to enjoy as working landscapes, parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Connecticut program (1995-2005) and the protection of more than 4,000 acres of open space, watershed land, working farms and forestland, and historic resources in 32 communities across the state. For more information, please visit www.tpl.org/connecticut.