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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Branford Land Trust lands land grant

The Branford Land Trust has been awarded $175,000 by the state Department of Environmental protection Open Space Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program to use to purchase the 24 acre Pierper Property off Laurel Hill Road, according to a statement.
“The Pierper property is strategically located at the northwest end of the town-owned Queach Preserve, and will serve as a trailhead for the Queach and Supply Pond Preserves. It is just a short walk from the Land Trust Deleo property, which provides a trailhead into the Pisgah Brook and Saltonstall Mountain Preserves. We’ve already begun work on a trail into Pierper so that shortly walkers can have access to the entire hiking trail system on all 4 Preserves, “ said Meg Kilgore, Branford Land Trust president, said in the statement.
Parking is available at the Deleo trailhead.
The Pieper Woodlands, as it will be known, is wooded with several vernal pools, the statement said.
“Pieper will be an important addition to the larger set of Preserves,” Kilgore said, also in the statement, “It is a critical piece of the puzzle that the Land Trust and the town have been putting together for more than 40 years,”
The grant will cover 50 percent of the $350,000 the purchase price, the statement said. The Land Trust will begin to fundraise for the remainder in coming months and also will raise money for the Land Trust’s $50,000 contribution to the town purchase of a 4-acre portion and the development rights to the Johnson Farm on the northeastern side of the Preserves, the statement said.
The DEP grant program this year is providing $10.4 million dollars for 42 projects, the statement said. The program makes funds available to support land purchases by municipalities, nonprofit land conservation organizations, and water companies.
Funds for this program are provided through state bonding and the 2005 Community Investment Act, the statement said.

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