NORTH HAVEN — The state has awarded North Haven a grant for the purchase of nearly 30 acres of open space.
The town is slated to receive $200,250, which will partially reimburse the town for the 2017 purchase of 29.55 acres at 182 Kings Highway.
The property lies between Kings Highway and Hartford Turnpike among residential lots. A former orchard, the parcel contains 6.9 acres of land that can be classified wetlands, intermittent watercourses and a vernal pool, according to a statement. The parcel is undeveloped, with only remnants of the former farm existing.
“We were pleasantly surprised when the grant came through,” First Selectman Michael Freda said Tuesday.
The town purchased 182 Kings Highway for $447,500 in March 2017. It was one of 10 properties identified by the Open Space Advisory panel in 2015.
“Even though there were 10 properties identified, there were only a few willing sellers,” Freda said.
The state grant awarded to the town will reimburse about 45 percent of the purchase.
North Haven is one of 23 municipalities across Connecticut awarded a total of $6.05 million in the latest round of state open space grants.
This grant program requires a match by the grant recipient.
“Connecticut’s tradition of preserving open space has helped define our landscape and preserve its important natural resources and geographical beauty,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement on Feb. 12. “These grants continue our open space preservation legacy and will increase the availability of open space for our residents across our state.”
The grants were awarded through the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program, which is administered by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and assists local governments, land trusts and water companies in purchasing open space using funding from the Community Investment Act and state bonding.
“Since this program began in 1998, more than $125 million in state funding has been awarded to municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations and water companies to assist in the purchase of more than 33,300 acres of land, including farmlands, in 137 cities and towns,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said.
Open space projects help the state achieve its goal of protecting 673,210 acres of land by 2023 – approximately 21 percent of the land. Currently, the state has over 500,000 acres designated as state or local open space lands, close to 75 percent of the goal.