The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the U.S. Forest Service, the Simsbury Land Trust (SLT) and Town of Simsbury have announced completion of a Forest Legacy Conservation Easement on 73-acres of Tulmeadow Farm, Simsbury.
The easement, acquired for $2.8 million, is the final phase of an effort to protect 260 acres of farmland and working forest through a series of conservation easements.
The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) provided a grant of $1.4 million, representing 50% of the funds required to put the easement in place. The remaining funds were provided by grants from: State of Connecticut Open Space and Watershed Grant, $500,000; Town of Simsbury, $280,000; Simsbury Land Trust, $635,000. The Simsbury Land Trust and the Tuller families previously completed the placement of conservation easements on the other 187-acres of the farm.
DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said, “DEEP is proud to join with other committed partners to preserve and protect this valuable property. The land is very important from a conservation perspective – including the fact that much of the land is within an Aquifer Protection Zone, which is a primary source of Simsbury’s drinking water supply.”
Chuck Howard, President, Simsbury Land Trust said, “The Tulmeadow farm and forest is a treasured landmark within the local community, an important part of the Farmington Valley’s natural diversity and a valuable part of Connecticut’s remaining farmland. The Simsbury Land Trust is honored to have had the opportunity to work with the Tuller families, the dedicated professionals at the Town, State and National levels and particularly with the hundreds of local residents who supported this great effort.”
Mary Glassman, First Selectman of Simsbury said, “The Town of Simsbury is proud to partner with our residents, the Simsbury Land Trust and the state and federal government to preserve Tulmeadow Farm for generations to come. Working together, we have been able to preserve an important family farm as well as to continue to make open space accessible to the public for recreational use.”
Forestry Legacy Program
The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is a highly competitive national program that encourages and supports acquisition of conservation easements. In Connecticut, the Forest Legacy Program is jointly run by the DEEP Division of Forestry and the DEEP Land Acquisition and Management Section. The Forest Legacy program is a matching grant program with the Federal government funding up to 75 percent of project costs, with at least 25 percent coming from private, state, or local sources. Simsbury Land Trust was able to match funds through private donations and other grants.
The goals of the FLP are protecting forests through partnership, and protecting working forests: those that protect water quality, provide wildlife habitat, forest products, opportunities for recreation, and other public benefits.
The 265-acre Tulmeadow Farm, is located in the hills of West Simsbury and has been farmed by members of the Tuller family since 1768. Open year-round, this working forest has much to offer the local community including the farm store that sells seasonal produce grown in its greenhouses and fields, and grass-fed beef as well as locally produced milk, honey, maple syrup, fudge and cheese. Best known for the homemade ice cream and voted “Best Ice Cream” by the 2010 readers poll in Hartford Magazine, Tulmeadow Farm makes over 50 different flavors of rich butterfat gourmet ice cream.
This property acts as a critical link between two large land protection initiatives. This property directly connects 730 acres of protected land to the south, and 5,300 acres of protected land to the north. The property has a current forest stewardship plan, and has been under management since 1986. Forest products have provided building materials for the farm much longer than that.
It contains a mix of white pine and hardwood, as well as a vernal pool and wooded swamp providing a variety of habitat for wildlife species.
Tulmeadow Farm is part of the Stratton Brook watershed, which ultimately drains into the Farmington River. The brook passes within a few hundred feet of the western boundary of this property and most of the 73 acres drains towards the brook.
Public access will be granted on this property through a Deeded Walking Path easement held by the SLT for hiking, and other types of passive recreation.
For more on this story, visit: deep: Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the U.S. Forest Service, Simsbury Land Trust and Town of Simsbury Protect 260-acre Tulmeadow Farm in Simsbury.