Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeNewsKillingworth Town NewsKillingworth Land Conservation Trust and Connecticut Water Create New Open Space

Killingworth Land Conservation Trust and Connecticut Water Create New Open Space

Submitted by Richard Rathsack

(March 1, 2024) — Connecticut Water and the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust have ensured that fourteen acres along the Hammonasset River will remain protected open space in perpetuity after closing on a bargain sale, keeping a natural buffer intact along a valuable water resource.

Located on a wooded lot off of Green Hill Road, the parcel sits across from the Trust’s Cranberry Hollow parcel, across the river from open space owned by the Madison Land Trust, and just down the road from other parcels owned by the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust.

“We’re thrilled to ensure this natural resource will remain protected under the dedicated stewardship of the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust,” said Connecticut Water President Craig Patla. “Protecting water resources benefits both the communities and the environment, which encompass core segments of Connecticut Water’s mission and align with the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust’s mission.”

Killingworth Land Conservation Trust President David Gumbart said about fifteen miles of the Hammonasset River flows through Killingworth on its 21-mile journey to Long Island Sound. Of those fifteen miles, about 90 percent of it is protected, he said.

“We’re an organization that continues to be interested in proactively protecting the natural resources of the town of Killingworth,” Gumbart said. “We own more than 100 parcels and 1,000 acres of land. This is a great addition to have.”

The parcel provides habitat for a number of animals. On a recent afternoon, several ducks swam along the river, woodpeckers flitted about treetops, and songbirds scavenged through the underbrush. Anglers regularly set up along the river to try their luck catching fish.

Adjacent to Paper Mill Road, remnants of the road’s namesake remain visible on the parcel. An old mill used to sit on the Madison side of the river, with remnants of an old stone dam 20 feet long, six feet wide and 14 feet high on the Killingworth side, according to the Madison Land Trust website. Built around 1865, the mill produced straw board used for making boxes until its closure in 1890.

Recognizing the public benefits and environmental safeguards of the transfer, the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust raised one half of the property’s appraised value and the company donated the remaining half as part of a bargain sale.

The Killingworth Land Conservation Trust would like to eventually open the parcel to the public, but will now determine how it can do that safely. Keep up with all the Trust’s work by visiting their website www.killingworthlandconservationtrust.org.

For more than 20 years, Connecticut Water has worked with Save the Sound on ways to protect open space, particularly through the donation or bargain sale of water company lands that are no longer needed for company purposes.

Through this partnership, Connecticut Water has finalized agreements with several towns for parcels no longer needed for water supply purposes to be permanently preserved as open space. The parcels, ranging in size from eight to nineteen acres, are intended to provide for passive public recreation, including hiking, running, and birding, depending on the location.

Photo provided by Connecticut Water

Must Read