Fundraising to Save Skiff Mt. Continues (CT)

KENT and SHARON, Connecticut, 9/8/2003: The Kent Land Trust, Sharon Land Trust, and the Trust for Public Land announced today that they are within $250,000 of their $2.73 million fundraising goal for the Campaign to Save Skiff Mountain. The groups protected the 250-acre Skiff Mountain South parcel in May 2003, and remaining funds are needed to protect the 200-acre North parcel. To kick off this final phase of the campaign, Todd Cole of Todd Cole Realty, LLC is making a $10,000 contribution to the project.

“Skiff Mountain is a prominent part of this area’s landscape, and I am pleased to contribute toward its protection,” explained Cole. “Those of us in the real estate profession know that there are some properties that should be permanently protected from development, and Skiff Mountain is an obvious treasure. Balancing conservation with development adds to the quality of life in our communities and makes them more desirable places to live. I hope our contribution encourages other realtors and businesses in the area to step forward.”

Connecticut DEP and several private donors have already contributed more than $2.4 million toward the Skiff Mountain project. The conservation groups have until the end of the year to raise the remaining $250,000.

“The generosity of private individuals to protect this property has been remarkable,” noted Larry Power, president of the Sharon Land Trust. “To see that generosity extending to local businesses is a powerful statement about the widespread support for protecting Skiff Mountain and the community-wide support for protecting important open spaces.” The Sharon Land Trust will assume ownership of the majority of the North parcel, which straddles the Sharon-Kent border.

Tony Zunino, president of the Kent Land Trust, stated, “This project has already resulted in the addition of 250 acres to the Kent Land Trust’s holdings, a more than 30% increase. The end result will be 450 acres of protected open space in Kent and Sharon. I hope Todd Cole’sgenerous gift will inspire other members of the community to come forward so that we can reach our goal well before the end-of-year deadline.”

“It is very exciting to see the high level of support from area residents for protecting these outstanding properties,” said Tim Northrop, Connecticut director of the Trust for Public Land. “From safeguarding important habitat for wildlife to maintaining hiking and horseback riding trails and protecting community character, they offer something for everyone.”

Skiff Mountain lies within a 5,300-acre swath of conservation land that includes the Macedonia Brook State Park, Appalachian Trail, and land trust-owned properties. This area is also part of the Highlands Corridor, an area of 2 million acres that stretches from northwest Connecticut into Pennsylvania and provides drinking water, recreation land, and habitat for over 250 species of endangered animals.

The conservation organizations are actively seeking gifts towards the project and, as part of the fundraising campaign, are planning a public tour of the property later this fall. Contributions are tax-deductible and can be sent to either local land trust or to the Trust for Public Land, 383 Orange Street, New Haven, CT 06511. For more information about making a gift, contact Mary Nemerov at (203) 777-7367 x4.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization conserving land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since its founding in 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.6 million acres of land in 45 states, including more than 3,000 acres in Connecticut. TPL depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information, contact TPL’s New Haven office at (203) 777-7367.