Submitted by David Gumbart, KLCT President
(April 1, 2023) — The Killingworth Land Conservation Trust is excited to announce it has closed on a land acquisition project to protect 24 acres in the center of Killingworth. This land was purchased from Margaret Duffy, Meghan Greer and Elizabeth Cote, who have had the land in their family since 1968. The Land Trust is greatly appreciative of the generous fundraising support it received from many members, friends and Killingworth residents. A substantial grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s Open Space & Watershed Acquisition (OSWA) program also ensured the purchase could be made.
The new parcel, with road frontage on Route 80, just east of the traffic circle, will be known as the Keystone Preserve; it abuts existing Land Trust property, including the Winkel’s Pond property. A small parking area will provide public access for a trail through the forest and along a wetland with open water views.
The project was initiated in spring of 2020, when the Land Trust reached out to the owners about possible acquisition. They were receptive, and following an appraisal of the land, both parties agreed upon a purchase price. It was hoped available state matching funds could support the project, and a grant proposal to the DEEP’s OSWA program was submitted in 2021. State support was, in fact, provided, with the DEEP announcing in June 2022 it would commit $78,000 to help the project come to fruition.
Killingworth Land Conservation Trust President David Gumbart reports, “The community response to this project and support from our Land Trust members was wonderful! Knowing we could reach our fundraising goal helps us think about and plan for future acquisitions.” In fact, the Land Trust already has another project lined up, to acquire 14 acres from the Connecticut Water Company. This property is across the street on Paper Mill Road from the site of the Land Trust’s recent cranberry harvest events and has frontage on the Hammonasset River.
To view the map of the Keystone Preserve click the link below.
For the Keystone Preserve, the next steps will include creation of the parking area and firming up plans for the trail. An observation platform will provide viewing opportunities along the pond edge. The Land Trust looks forward to formally opening the preserve to the public, which is anticipated this summer. For more information about the land trust, please visit killingworthlandconservationtrust.org.