First Selectman Ken Kellogg announced that the town is working in collaboration with the Aspetuck Land Trust to preserve 65 acres as open space. The project is contingent upon grant fund applications and further municipal authorizations, including approval from voters at a town meeting.
The land is owned by the Benedict Family, owners of the Benedict’s Home & Garden store. The land proposed for preservation does not include the popular store property, which will remain in operation.
Kellogg said the land was previously identified by the Town Council’s Open Space Preservation & Acquisition Committee as a top candidate for open space, given its close proximity to Wolfe Park and Great Hollow Lake. The area is also identified in the Town’s Plan of Conservation and Development as a priority area for preservation.
At its September 26, 2023 meeting, the Town Council approved a Letter of Intent with a purchase price to be negotiated based upon specific appraisals to be conducted.
Kellogg said the vast majority of the cost would be sought from grants. Aspetuck Land Trust would also contribute with fundraising efforts and in-kind services.
“I am grateful that the Benedict family wants to see this land protected from development, preserved in its natural state, and to be enjoyed by our entire community for generations to come,” said Kellogg.
The land could also be used for passive recreation, such as expanding the town’s trail network. The town is working with Aspetuck Land Trust to apply for funding though the State of Connecticut Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program.
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