- Associated Press - Sunday, November 2, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut is awarding nearly $7.8 million in state grants to help 25 communities buy about 2,200 acres to be preserved as open space.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says the grants announced recently move Connecticut closer to meeting its goal of designating 21 percent of Connecticut’s land as permanently protected open space.

The Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program helps local governments and land trusts buy open space and use state bonds and funding. The program requires the local party to grant the state a conservation and public recreation easement that ensures the property is permanently protected for public use.

Open space grants will help Connecticut achieve its goal of protecting 673,210 acres by 2023. Connecticut now has 496,948 acres designated as state or local open space lands.

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