The North Haven Trail Association will continue assessing the town’s newest land acquisition on Banton Street, but association president Steve Fontana said the plot’s extensive wetlands will be difficult to work with.
“It’s very challenging to do anything with it,” Fontana said. “We’re hoping to do something, if we can.”
The town acquired the undeveloped 6.1 acres as a donation from the estate of Nancy Love Leonard, officially approving it through the Board of Selectmen on May 9.
At that meeting, the first selectman and town engineer said the trail association was interested in the 6 Banton St. property.
“I think the hope was that the existing trails that are on the state park property would be extended onto this property as well,” Town Engineer Andrew Bevilacqua said during the meeting.
However, Fontana said while the trail association hopes the property can be used for some kind of outdoor recreation, the feasibility of doing anything at all with the land is in question.
Fontana said it became apparent during a visit to the site last November that the majority of the property is wet most of the year. The Quinnipiac River travels through the site.
“I think we just need to keep an eye on it … and just see if it’s ever at a place where it’s dry enough,” Fontana said.
The trail association plans to monitor the area throughout the spring and summer and return in the fall to see if the property has dried up at all.
Building trails would probably require at least a couple foot bridges, Fontana said. The association is also considering clearing an area for a picnic table or outdoor classroom.
Fontana hopes the trail association can work with the town to create a map, which would give them a better sense of what pieces of the property – if any – may be dry for most of the year.
If it’s determined that property can be used for recreation, the next issue becomes access. Parking needs to be considered as well.
If the association cannot use the property, Fontana said the town has still preserved a beautiful stretch of property with this acquisition.
The North Haven Trail Association maintains trails in the Quinnipiac State Park and behind Target in the Montowese area of town. Its mission is to create a linear park along the Quinnipiac River that connects to the Quinnipiac River trails in Meriden and Wallingford.
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