Lyme - The Lyme Land Conservation Trust is a step closer to purchasing about 100 acres of open space intended for walking trails and the preservation of wetlands and floodplain areas.
Last week the trust learned that it has received a $327,000 state grant to cover about half of the cost of buying the Lord property located near Route 82. Preservation of the parcel could help protect environmentally sensitive areas and allow people to easily access trails, according to Land Conservation Trust Executive Director George Moore.
The trust expects it could close on the property, which encompasses 96.5 acres in Lyme and 3.75 acres in East Haddam, in the spring. Trails could open to the public in the summer.
The Temp Brown Memorial Fund for Land Acquisition, set up to honor Templeton Brown, the late board chairman for land preservation, at the request of his family, will significantly help "close the gap between the state grant and the purchase price," Moore said. The trust will raise the remaining funds.
The state also awarded East Haddam $232,500 for 98.22 acres of land, called the Zeiller Associates Property, and $464,000 for a 238-acre parcel named the Pages Property. The properties are "part of a larger effort to better protect the Roaring Brook watershed," according to a state press release.
The three properties have frontage along Roaring Brook, explained Moore, which empties into the Connecticut River through Whalebone Cove, a wetland. Roaring Brook extends for about three-quarters of a mile in the Lyme property.
Preserving the land in Lyme may include a safety benefit, he said, because it can act as a "level piece of property where water could safely overflow" rivers in the event of a storm.
- Kimberly Drelich