HVA recently joined several organizations, local land trusts, community members, and State Representatives Maria Horn and Cindy Harrison for a “Conservation Conversation” held in Washington, Connecticut.
Co-hosted by Steep Rock Association (Steep Rock), Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative (Greenprint), Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT), and Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC), the event was held to raise awareness of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) Program and celebrate the grand opening of Steep Rock’s 52-acre Johnson Farm Preserve, a recent OSWA and federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)-funded project supported by CFT and HVA through the Greenprint.
Participants engaged in a discussion around the importance of Connecticut’s land conservation work, the OSWA program’s key role in these efforts, and how it all connects to Follow the Forest, HVA’s regional initiative to protect the woods and wildlife corridors of the Northeast.
“Land conservation work continues to thrive here in Connecticut, despite the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Tim Abbott, HVA’s Regional Land Conservation and Greenprint Director. “It allows wildlife to move and migrate from one place to another, protects habitats and core forest areas, and preserves open space for future generations. OSWA funding is a critical part of making it all happen.”
Multiple generations of the Johnson family attended the event. Several members spoke about their love for the farm, which has been in their family for over 80 years, sharing their gratitude in knowing it will now be protected and enjoyed by the community forever. The event ended with a guided hike on the preserve’s new 1.25-mile trail.