Windsor Acquires 95 Acres for New Town Center Park

Purchase Enables Passive Recreation, Protects Water Quality, and Secures Key Segment of Planned Greenway

May 22, 2018
WINDSOR, Conn.

The Town of Windsor and The Trust for Public Land today announced the
long-sought acquisition of a 95-acre former golf course property next to Windsor Center, which
will become a new public park. The land-purchase will enable new passive recreation
opportunities, protect water quality, and secure a key segment in a planned greenway that will
one day link Town’s center with the Farmington River, Connecticut River, and downtown
Hartford.

The Trust for Public Land, Town of Windsor, Windsor Land Trust, local community members,
and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection worked together to
acquire the parcel for a new park. With rolling meadows and pockets of forest arrayed along a
half-mile stretch of the Mill Brook, the property will provide Windsor’s most densely populated
neighborhoods with close-to-home opportunities to get outdoors for walking, hiking, exploring
nature, and learning about the environment.

The property is located near two existing affordable housing complexes, and adjoins an
underserved neighborhood that has been designated an Environmental Justice Community by the
State of Connecticut.

In addition to enhancing recreational opportunities in Windsor Center, the new park will preserve
important wildlife habitat, help maintain the town’s traditional New England character, and
safeguard the water quality of Mill Brook, an important tributary of the Farmington and
Connecticut Rivers. The newly acquired land will expand the network of protected lands along
the Mill Brook in Windsor to 169 acres.

Formerly the site of the Tradition Golf Club at Windsor, which closed in 2006, the newly
protected property was slated for a sprawling development of 240 homes, which had been fully
permitted. In January, 2017, The Trust for Public Land secured an option to purchase the land
and began working with the Town toward that goal.

In January, 2018, the State awarded Windsor $1,086,000 from its Open Space and Watershed
Land Acquisition Grants Program. The Town matched those funds with $675,000 of money on
hand in its open space fund, established in 2003, and $375,000 from unassigned general funds.
The Windsor Town Council approved the property purchase in February, and Windsor residents
unanimously endorsed the purchase at a standing room-only Special Town Meeting on March
19, 2018.

Additional funding to protect the land came from a one-to-one challenge grant from the Richard
P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. These funds were matched by
generous community members and organizations, including Windsor Land Trust.

“It’s rare in Connecticut for a community to have the opportunity to acquire such a large,
centrally located, plot of land for a park,” said Walker Holmes, Connecticut State Director of the
Trust for Public Land. “The Mill Brook property represented the last, best opportunity to secure
a substantial tract of open space in the center of Windsor, and the project advances The Trust for
Public Land’s goal of ensuring that everyone in America lives within a 10-minute walk of a great
park or open space. We’re pleased to have partnered with Windsor Land Trust, the Town of
Windsor, and the State of Connecticut to meet that goal for so many Windsor residents.”

Windsor’s Mayor Donald Trinks agreed, “Opening the Mill Brook property to the public will
yield a significant new community amenity, and enhance the town’s position as a desirable place
to live, work, and locate a business. It will be great to provide residents and visitors with new
passive recreational opportunities close to town center. We truly appreciate the assistance
provided by The Trust for Public Land, the Windsor Land Trust, and the State of Connecticut.”
The Town plans to establish a committee of Windsor residents to determine what features the
park should have, and develop a plan for creating them.

“The State of Connecticut is happy to partner with the Town of Windsor, The Trust for Public
Land, the Windsor Land Trust and many local community members to permanently protect 95-
acres of open space in downtown Windsor,” said DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee. “DEEP is
committed to partnering across Connecticut to preserve open space. This is an exemplary project
that will provide for passive recreational use in close proximity to where people live, protect
water quality, and take a step towards the preservation of an important greenway.”

Frank Davis, Chairman of the Windsor Land Trust remarked, “We are very enthusiastic about
the acquisition and our successful partnership with The Trust for Public Land and the Town of
Windsor. The Windsor Land Trust has targeted this property since it came on the market several
years ago. Protecting this 95-acre parcel is another success for the Windsor Land Trust’s
preservation efforts along the Mill Brook Corridor.”

About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.