Open Space Grant for Westbrook, CT

WESTBROOK, Connecticut, 9/12/02: Today, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced an award of $318,500 to the Town of Westbrook from the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program. The grant will be applied towards the purchase of 36 acres along Chapman Mill Pond, the first phase in the larger 83-acre project which will be completed next year. The award was hailed by the Town of Westbrook and the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit organization, who have been working together to protect the land.

“On behalf of the Town, I would like to thank the State for their vision and foresight in helping the town preserve one of the most beautiful places in town as open space,” said Tony Palermo, Westbrook First Selectman.

“This generous award from the State’s DEP is a truly fitting acknowledgement of this important project,” said Alicia Betty, project manager for the Trust for Public Land. “The Town has committed $1.7 million to the purchase of the entire Chapman Mill Pond property over two years, and today’s grant recognizes this local dedication by greatly offsetting the total Phase I cost to the Town.”

“This is truly wonderful news,” said Thomas O’Dell, chair of the Westbrook Conservation Commission. “The State’s open space grant support for the purchase of the Chapman Mill Pond property truly reflects the grant program’s intent to protect critical habitats and water resources, including, in this case, Long Island Sound. This partnership of town and state and will allow the Town of Westbrook to pursue other acquisitions that link open space with natural resource protection—we thank Governor Rowland and the state’s legislature for their vision and encourage their continuing support for the grant program.”

The Chapman Mill Pond property is part of a corridor of open space that stretches from the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge on Long Island Sound to the Cockaponsett State Forest in northern Westbrook. It is primarily forested with birch, spruce, oak, cedar, and a scattering of beech and hickory trees, and is home to a variety of wildlife including coyote, deer, osprey, fox, turkey, horned owl, wood duck, and other migratory birds. It includes frontage on Chapman Mill Pond, which is formed by a dam in the Menunketesuck River as it flows from the towns of Haddam and Killingworth to Long Island Sound in Westbrook. The parcel also includes several small streams, a vernal pool, and other wetlands.

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 3,000 acres in Connecticut. For more information about TPL’s work in this state, visit