The city has closed on the purchase of 29 acres of open space on Higby Road, right next to Tynan Park in the western section of Middletown, according to the Middletown Press.
Matt Dodge, an environmental specialist with the city’s planning department, announced the news at a Conservation Commission meeting Tuesday, the Press is reporting.
"It has been an amazing story," says William Warner, Director of . "In 1989, when I arrived, we had 900 acres [of open space]. We now have 3,134 acres of preserved open space, not including wetlands, reservoirs or Connecticut Light & Power land."
"Including those additional areas, more than one-third of the city is permanently preserved, which has been the goal," Warner says.
The parcel costs $500,000, but the city will only pay $250,000 with a matching grant, as part of the state Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program.
Tynan Park lies on the eastern of Higby Mountain and consists of old fields, forest and wetland areas. During the 1930s the fields were used for row crops, according to the Middletown Trail Guide.
The state's goal is to preserve 21 percent of Connecticut's land as open space by the year 2023 — or 673,210 acres, according to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
"The initiative includes 10 percent of open space to be state owned as additions to the state’s system of parks, forests, wildlife, fisheries and natural resource management areas, with the remaining 11 percent owned by municipalities, private nonprofit land conservation organizations, water companies and the federal government," the DEEP says on its website.