Metacomet Ridge Open Space Preserved (CT)

WALLINGFORD, CT, 12/19/01: The Town of Wallingford permanently protected 53 acres of open space today, with the purchase of former farmland on the Durham-Wallingford border from the Bugai family. The Town was assisted by the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit organization that negotiated an agreement to purchase the property last February. Located between High Hill Road in Wallingford and Powder Hill Road in Durham, the Bugai property has been a high conservation priority for years because of its location along the Metacomet Ridge, a unique traprock ridge that stretches for 75 miles and passes through 19 of Connecticut’s cities and towns.

“The Town is very pleased to announce the protection of the Bugai property,” said Wallingford Mayor William Dickinson. “It is an important acquisition for the Town, both for protecting the Metacomet Ridge and preserving the Town’s rural character. We greatly appreciate the assistance of the Trust for Public Land and the Conservation Commission in making this acquisition possible.” Although the Bugai property’s acquisition price was $344,500, thanks to an award of $131,000 from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program, the cost to the town was reduced to $213,500.

“Opportunities to purchase land on the ridge are rare, and we are delighted that we were able to work with the Town and the Wallingford Land Trust to protect this property,” said Elisabeth Moore, project manager with the Trust for Public Land. “In addition to providing habitat for several rare wildlife species, the ridge is home to the Mettabesett Trail, a 51-mile hiking path through 10 towns that is part of the Connecticut Blue-blazed trail system.”

According to Jeff Borne, chairman of the Wallingford Conservation Commission, “The Metacomet Ridge is one of Wallingford’s most important open space resources. I am delighted that the Town has secured another segment of it. I am also pleased by all of the support from landowners, residents, and the Town Council for open space protection in Wallingford.” Wallingford is one of 17 towns that have signed the Metacomet Ridge Conservation Compact, a voluntary agreement to preserve the traprock ridges that extend from the Massachusetts border to the Long Island Sound.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.4 million acres nationwide, including nearly 75,000 acres in New England. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity for the second year in a row, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs.