Action Alert! Open Space Grants at Risk!

Ask Governor Lamont to Release Funds for Open Space and Continue Consistent Grant Rounds

The Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) Grant Program is the main source of state funding for open space acquisitions by land trusts, municipalities, and water companies in Connecticut. 

Since 2011, DEEP has consistently offered an annual OSWA grant round every fall -- a predictable schedule that is critical to plan for land conservation projects.

Future of Open Space Grants at Risk!

DEEP has requested $5 million in bond funds to help fund pending projects and offer a new OSWA grant round.  

  • Shortage of Funds: This year, DEEP received the second highest number of grant applications in the program’s history and, with the agency still recovering from annual cuts to the Community Investment Act (CIA), funding for the OSWA program is not adequate to fund current project proposals.
  • Timing of Next Grant Round in Question: DEEP has delayed announcing the next grant round until it learns of the status of additional funding for pending projects. 

Time is of the Essence!

The State Bond Commission meets on December 13th, and it is essential that the Governor include DEEP’s $5 million request on their agenda. 

 

Take Action TODAY!

Please contact Governor Lamont BEFORE FRIDAY (12/6) and ask him to authorize the State Bond Commission to release $5 million in bond funding for the OSWA program at its December 13th meeting to ensure that this critical program continues.

 See sample email below

 

Sample email - Best to use your own words

Dear Governor Lamont,

I am writing to ask that you include on December’s Bond Commission Agenda the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s request for $5 million in bonding for the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition (OSWA) Grant Program.

Since 1998, the OSWA program has leveraged millions of matching municipal, federal and private dollars resulting in funding for 560+ projects protecting over 36,000 acres throughout the state.  

Your support of bonding is essential to the ongoing survival of the OSWA program and the ability of land trusts, towns, and water companies to continue to plan for and pursue high caliber conservation projects throughout the state.

[IMPORTANT! Describe the importance of land conservation and/or community garden projects in your own community that: (1) were funded through OSWA; and/or (2) are awaiting an OSWA grant award; and/or (3) are in the works for which you plan to seek OSWA funds in the next round.]

Without a predictable schedule of annual grant rounds, and a consistent investment of sufficient bonding in the OSWA program, thousands of acres of land valuable for conservation, recreation, and agriculture – and essential to the state’s economy and efforts in mitigating the impacts of climate change – will be lost forever to development.

Thank you for your support for the OSWA program and land conservation in Connecticut.

Sincerely,

Your name/organization/town 

OSWA is Essential to Your Land Conservation Efforts 

Open Space Once Gone is Gone ForeverOSWA has provided more than $125 million to assist in the conservation of 36,000+ acres of land in 139 CT municipalities since the program began in 1998. Open Space grants through OSWA are funded by a combination of bond funding and funds from the Community Investment Act.

 We can’t afford to lose it. 

 Please take action today!

Sincerely,

Amy Signature
 
 
Amy Blaymore Paterson, Esq.
Executive Director
 
Connecticut Land Conservation Council
deKoven House
27 Washington Street
860-852-5512