Open Space Buffer for CT Reservoir Protected

KILLINGWORTH, Connecticut, 10/6/03: The Regional Water Authority (Authority) and the Trust for Public Land announced today that 21 acres of land buffering the Hammonasset Reservoir has been permanently protected as open space. The Authority, which provides water to customers in the greater New Haven area, worked with the Trust for Public Land to purchase the property on North Chestnut Hill Road from landowner Gordon Evans. The land has been a priority for conservation because it contains 1,600 feet of frontage on both banks of Church Brook, which feeds into the reservoir.

“The protection of this important property will help safeguard water quality in our Hammonasset Reservoir, which provides drinking water to people in the region,” said Dianne Tompkins, senior land use manager for the Authority. “In addition, it links together three other watershed properties that we already own and manage as open space.”

The Authority, which already owns more than 25,000 acres of land in the region, has actively acquired watershed lands for the past several years, in an effort to protect drinking water quality for its consumers. Since 1996, the Authority has invested $7.4 million to purchase and protect more than 1,210 acres of land and conservation easements over another 322 acres. All of this property is within the watersheds of the Authority’s reservoirs.

“Protecting forestland surrounding drinking water sources and important tributaries is critical to maintaining water quality, because these lands play an essential role in filtering out pollutants,” said Alicia Betty, project manager for the Trust for Public Land. “We are pleased to be working with the Regional Water Authority, a recognized leader in conserving land to safeguard public drinking water supplies.”

This project is part of the Trust for Public Land’s Connecticut Watershed Initiative, which has resulted in the protection of more than 1,500 acres of watershed land around active and potential drinking water sources statewide.

The North Chestnut Hill Road property contains forested wetlands and streams that feed into Church Brook, which runs through the northeast section of the parcel. Church Brook, in turn, flows into the Hammonasset River, which was damned to form the Hammonasset Reservoir.

The Water Authority is a regional organization that supplies water and related services to some 400,000 consumers in 12 south central communities. It owns over 25,0000 acres of watershed land and provides a wide array of recreational opportunities in the region.

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. This November, TPL will be releasing a tool book for Connecticut communities seeking to use land conservation to protect their drinking water supplies. To reserve your copy or request more information, visit or contact TPL’s New Haven office at (203) 777-7367.