Windsor Locks, CT, Awarded Grant for Conservation Purchase

Windsor Locks, CT, 11/25/2008: The Town of Windsor Locks and The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit land conservation organization, announced today that the Town had been awarded a grant of $490,000 from the CT Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the permanent protection of the CT Water Company land. The grant is part of the DEP’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program, in operation since 1998. The program helps towns, land trusts and water companies conserve important land for open space and water supply protection.

The town of Windsor Locks currently has an opportunity to purchase a conservation easement on a 224-acre property known as the “Waterworks Brook” parcel for $2.16 million. With the Open Space grant award, the cost to the Town will now be only $1.67 million. The conservation easement would permanently protect the property from development and would guarantee public access to the land for passive recreation. The purchase must be approved by voters at a referendum on December 9th.

First Selectman Steve Wawruck said, “It is welcome news that the DEP, with the award of this grant, views this property as important to preserve for our residents and for future generations to enjoy. On behalf of the Town, I wish to thank the Governor and the DEP for their support of this conservation effort.”

Janet Ramsay, a spokesperson for the Waterworks Conservation Group, said, “We are thrilled that the State has awarded this grant. So far, support for conservation of the land seems to be very strong in town. Now that the grant is official, our case is even stronger that this is not only a wise investment in the future of our town, but a great financial deal as well.” The Waterworks Conservation Group is a grassroots organization made up of Windsor Locks residents who favor the conservation effort.

Lisa Bassani, Field Representative for The Trust for Public Land, said, “The residents of Windsor Locks have a wonderful opportunity to preserve the last significant open space parcel in Town. We thank the CT Department of Environmental Protection and the Governor for this generous award, which will defray the costs to the Town for this important purchase and ensure that this land is enjoyed for generations to come.”

The 224-acre forested parcel is the largest remaining open space parcel in town and contains an extensive trail system for hiking, cross-country skiing, and wildlife viewing. In addition to its recreational value, the parcel contains pristine water resources, and a forest type that is recognized by the State Department of Environmental Protection as a “Habitat of Conservation Significance.” The grant application was submitted by the Town of Windsor Locks and The Trust for Public Land, which is working on behalf of the Town on this land transaction.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization which works with others to conserve land for people to enjoy as working landscapes, parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL has protected over 5,000 acres of open space, watershed land, working farms and forestland, and historic resources in 32 communities across the state.

About The Connecticut Water Company: Connecticut Water Company serves nearly 300,000 people in 54 towns in Connecticut. It is the largest subsidiary of Connecticut Water Service, Inc. (NASDAQ GS: CTWS), New England’s largest locally based investor owned water utility company.