Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No Contest in Madison: Voters Approve Land Purchase

Voters in Madison easily approved spending $9 million in their own tax money to buy the old Griswold Airport. It was a wise decision, even in tough economic times. And give a bit of credit to the owners, Leyland Alliance, for being willing to negotiate seriously. Here's what the Hartford Courant says about the property, which is 42 acres:

The property has 456 feet of frontage on the Hammonasset River and a 2,000-foot marshland border with Hammonasset Beach State Park. The property is part of the Atlantic coastal flyway and serves as a key breeding ground for fin fish in the river leading to Long Island Sound.

About 70 percent of the site will be set aside for passive public use, such as hiking trails and platforms for viewing wildlife. Recreational fields and, potentially, a small commercial development on Boston Post Road will occupy the rest of the site.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Preserving Land (in Madison, Mamaroneck & Staten Island) in Hard Times

There are three great open space protection opportunities in the news.

Voters in Madison, Connecticut, will go to the polls tomorrow to decide if the town should buy and protect the former Griswold Airport, which is next to Hammonassett State Park. Let's hope they say yes.

On Staten Island, a venerable Boy Scout Camp -- Pouch Camp -- might be put up for sale. Pouch Camp is at the heart of the Greenbelt, which was a major preservation cause in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I was still living on Staten Island (in fact it was the first land preservation effort I worked on). If Pouch Camp were sold and developed, it would be a disaster for the Greenbelt. Mayor Bloomberg says the city doesn't have money to buy it but the Trust for Public Land seems to be involved. Wish them well.

Mamaroneck Village and Mamaroneck Town want to buy the Hampshire Country Club and operate it as a public golf course. The club has an important wetland system that drains into Long Island Sound. Here's what Town Supervisor Valerie O'Keefe says (it's one of the most sensible things a public official can say about land preservation):

"The stock market goes up and the stock market goes down," O'Keeffe said. "But you assume thousands upon thousands of people will take advantage of the open space. I don't think the economic situation would militate against acquiring open space."

(Follow me on Twitter: @tomandersen and @wlttomandersen)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I'm obviously not blogging much about Long Island Sound these days, partly because there's so little news coverage of important Sound issues for me to react to and partly because I'm doing other things. But I do post short items and links on Twitter. You can see the feed in the right-hand column.

Follow me if you're interested: @tomandersen.

Or if you're interested in my Westchester Land Trust work, follow @WLTtomandersen.
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