State Funding for The Preserve Unanimously Passes

Fulfilling a promise by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, that the State would be an active partner in the effort to permanently protect a 1,000 acre coastal forest known as The Preserve, the Connecticut State Bond Commission today unanimously voted in favor of contributing $2 million in funding for the project.

Located in Old Saybrook, Westbrook, and Essex, The Preserve has been the object of conservation efforts since 1997. It is the last unprotected parcel of its size and type between New York City and Boston. In 2013, The Trust for Public Land reached an agreement with the property’s owners to purchase the land. To realize this goal, a $10 million campaign was launched to cover acquisition of the land, campaign costs, and identify funds for management and stewardship of the property once it was protected.

Approximately $7 million in public funds has been secured. In addition to the recent bond commitment, the State has provided another $1.4 million through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and $471,000 through an open space grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. The town of Old Saybrook has committed $3 million towards the acquisition and the town of Essex has provided $200,000.

While public funds were being identified, a private fundraising campaign was launched to raise the remaining $3 million needed to reach the $10 million campaign goal. Looking to close the remaining $250,000 gap in the private campaign, a recent challenge grant from Newman’s Own Foundation will match donations to The Preserve dollar-for-dollar up to $150,000. The Newman’s Own Foundation challenge will continue until the final property closing, which is targeted for early February 2015.

For anyone who has been considering a donation, this match will double the impact of their giving. To donate, mail a check payable to The Trust for Public Land with “The Preserve” in the memo line to: The Trust for Public Land, 101 Whitney Avenue, 2nd floor, New Haven, CT 06510. For more information, contact Lori Fernand at 203-777-7367, ext. 6. or email