New Addition to Weir Farm (CT) Completed
Ridgefield, Connecticut–Today, the National Park Service and the Trust for Public Land announced the acquisition of 1.3 acres on Old Branchville Road as an addition to the Weir Farm National Historic Site. The inspiration for a generation of American impressionist painters, J. Alden Weir’s historic farm is Connecticut’s only national park. The acquisition of this land, which includes a residential house, is a key step forward in the National Park Service’s long-term effort to improve the site through the creation of a new visitor center and the expansion of gallery space.
“We are grateful to the Connecticut Congressional delegation for securing $665,000 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to make this project possible,” said Tim Northrop, state director for the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Since J. Alden Weir’s 58-acre farm was subdivided for housing development in the 1980s, TPL has been working to reassemble and protect the original farm property.
“We are grateful to the Trust for Public Land for their valuable assistance in acquiring this property. This purchase is an important step for us towards establishing a new visitor center for Weir Farm in keeping with the general management plan and conversations with the local community,” said Bob Fox, acting superintendent of the Weir Farm National Historic Site.
“This addition to Weir Farm National Park is a prime example of how western Connecticut will directly benefit from the increased funding we were able to obtain for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund this year,” said Congressman Jim Maloney (CT-05). “Weir Farm National Park is a great example of how the federal government can work with municipalities, neighborhood groups, and nonprofit environmental groups to produce win-win results that improve the quality of life for everyone. I am pleased to have led the efforts in Congress leading to the passage of legislation that made this acquisition possible. My congratulations to the Trust for Public Land for a job well done in adding this land to the Park.”
“The Weir Farm is a national treasure that preserves precious memories of our past for present and future generations to enjoy and learn from,” Senator Joe Lieberman said. “I am pleased that this acquisition brings the Park closer to creating a much-needed visitor center, and I congratulate Rep. Maloney, the Trust for Public Land and the National Park Service for making this valuable expansion possible and helping to restore Weir Farm to its former glory.”
“The rich Connecticut landscape of Weir Farm that was the inspiration for many of J. Alden Weir’s works will only be enhanced by this acquisition,” said Senator Christopher Dodd. “Today we are not only one step closer to the completion of the visitor center and expanded gallery, but also to fully recognizing fully the farm’s cultural and historical significance.”
“The Weir Farm Trust is thrilled with the acquisition of this addition to the Weir Farm National Historic Site, which is extremely important for the future development of the visitor center,” remarked Constance Evans, executive director of the nonprofit Weir Farm Trust.
The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 to protect land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Nationwide, the Trust has protected more than 1.2 million acres, including roughly 1,200 acres of woodlands, farms, parks, and historic landmarks in Connecticut. For more information, call TPL’s New Haven office at (203) 777-7367 or visit www.tpl.org.