The Municipal Open Space Funding Option

Enabling a Local Option for Land Conservation and Stewardship Funding

Photo Credit: George Massey

The problem:  Funding for open space acquisition and stewardship is more imperiled than ever. Difficult economic conditions at the state and local levels, coupled with a climate crisis requiring immediate action, underscore the need to provide Connecticut’s cities and towns with a sustainable source of revenue for land conservation and stewardship, and to address climate change at the local level that would not impact the municipal mill rate or require additional bonding. 

The solution: The Municipal Open Space Funding Option is proposed enabling legislation that would allow, but not require, towns and cities to establish a limited buyer’s conveyance fee program to fund projects including but not limited to land conservation and stewardship, farmland preservation, and the implementation of strategies to address climate change at the local level. 

Draft 2021 legislation coming soon.

View 2020 proposed legislation >>>

Benefits: This local, dedicated fund may be used to:

  • Purchase, preserve, and steward open space, forest, and farm lands. 
  • Implement climate resilience, mitigation or adaptation strategies.
  • Fulfill match requirements for state or federal grant programs.
  • Cover the costly expenses associated with acquiring land (appraisals, surveys, environmental assessments, etc.).
  • Repay existing or future municipal bonds used for conservation purposes. 
  • Help cover the costs of stewardship of a community’s open space properties, water resources, and farmland.
  • Fund environmental projects such as brownfields remediation, urban forestry, and tree planting. 

Nearby states (MA, NY, RI, PA, WV) have allowed some municipalities to enact a buyers' conveyance fee, with the income dedicated to conserving and caring for local natural areas. These programs have proven remarkably successful, resulting in the protection of thousands of acres of open space, forests, meadows, and farms. With your help we can provide Connecticut towns with an opportunity to replicate those successes in their own communities. 

If your municipality is interested in working with CLCC to support the legislation so that it has the option to establish a local funding mechanism for land conservation and stewardship and to address climate change and other environmental issues at the local level, please contact CLCC's Executive Director, Amy Blaymore Paterson at abpaterson@ctconservation.org or at 860-614-8537.

To learn more about the Municipal Open Space Funding Option in other states, see the links below:

 

Call to Action (homepage): 
Call to action