REDDING, Conn. -- A $170,000 state grant will help the town of Redding buy the Biehn property and permanently protect its more than 30 acres of land as open space.
The town applied to the state for the $170,000 in Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition funds back in March, said Redding First Selectman Julia Pemberton.
“I am gratified by Gov. [Dannel] Malloy’s announcement that the Town of Redding is the recipient of a $170,000 grant from the State of Connecticut toward the preservation of the Biehn property, 30.7 acres of pristine open space and watershed land, located at 18 Hill Road in Redding,” said Pemberton.
“This parcel is often referred to as the Gateway to Redding and is identified in the 2008 Town Plan of Conservation and Development’s Open Space addendum as land of continuing conservation concern. The grant is a big win for Redding and for those who recognize the important role open space plays in preserving the character of Redding and protecting it for generations to come.”
The Biehn property also will provide a valuable resource for passive recreation, in addition to the more than 60 miles of existing trails, by allowing off-road linkage of the Redding Trail systems in the Western Saugatuck Valley with those to the east. It also will get the town closer to a continuous set of trails linking to the Eastern Aspetuck Valley area including Huntington State Park, The Aspetuck Valley Trail and the new 5-mile extension of the Saugatuck and Aspetuck trails in Easton and Redding.
The new trail that opened last month was constructed by The Conservation Land Committee of Centennial Watershed State Forest, Aquarion Water Co., Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and The Nature Conservancy as well as the Connecticut Forest and Park Association.
“Support from the Redding Land Trust was instrumental to the grant’s success," Pemberton said. "The Redding Land Trust is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and has committed funding toward land acquisition costs not met by the state’s grant.”
The town now will work with the Redding Land Trust to negotiate the successful acquisition of the parcel, which must ultimately be approved by the Town Board of Selectmen. The town has a year to complete the acquisition.
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