Save open spaces in Connecticut!
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EarthShare Common Ground is an initiative designed to catalyze state-wide positive action through collective community efforts. With your help and support, we create, conserve, and enhance open space — establishing sustainable and accessible natural spaces and abundant outdoor opportunities.
Nationwide, open space is fast becoming one of our most precious and threatened resources due to overdevelopment, ecological degradation, changing laws and regulations, budget cuts, and other factors that take land out of public hands. Along with obvious and sometimes devastating impacts to ecosystems, the loss of open space also means that the physical and mental human benefits of the outdoors are further out of reach for far too many of us.
From rural to urban landscapes, the initiative supports the intersection of ecological and community health, creating connection to the natural world through equitable action, accessibility, and state-wide community engagement. By supporting this initiative, you are helping to create a more sustainable and resilient Connecticut, marked by thriving ecosystems and broadly accessible open space for all people regardless of where they live or who they are.
EarthShare Common Ground supports and contributes to the Connecticut Green Plan, which aims to protect 21 percent of Connecticut’s land as open space by 2023. The Green Plan is a comprehensive open space acquisition strategy seeking to protect 673,210 acres of land as open space.
Working in collaboration with Connecticut-based nonprofits, EarthShare Common Ground will curate strategic projects that strive to address equitable access to the benefits of healthy open spaces.
Now more than ever, we understand how crucial open space is. During the height of the pandemic, many took refuge in nature, confirming what we already know . . . Open spaces continue to be critical for the well-being of our residents.
– MASON TRUMBLE, Deputy Commissioner, Connecticut Dept. of Energy & Environmental Protection
Protecting Critical Open Space with Avalonia Land Conservancy
EarthShare will work with Avalonia to conserve 669 acres of ecologically significant open space in Montville, CT. The project is a significant acquisition for southeastern Connecticut in terms of wildlife protection, forest management, drinking water protection, and public access to outdoor activities and educational opportunities.
- Outdoor recreation and accessibility in Montville is limited, with only 2% of conserved open space available to the public. Acquiring this property will provide healthy outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and sanctuary space for citizens to retreat into nature.
- Unfragmented forest and diverse ecological habitat will be preserved and will connect over 2900 acres of contiguous protected open space, forming a valuable wildlife corridor and protecting 380 acres of forested land. - Vital water resources are protected in the Niantic River Watershed – providing an important drinking water resource and storm water resiliency to thousands of area residents.
Urban Agriculture and Food-Based Wellness with Gather New Haven
New Haven and EarthShare will address food insecurity and access to open space in five low-income and under-resourced communities throughout New Haven by supporting the development and maintenance of 21 community gardens/farms as well as 10 scholarships for individuals to be part of Gather New Haven’s Farm-Based Wellness Program.
- Urban gardens will be supported with volunteers, supplies, and infrastructure improvements; all of which will contribute to producing over 30,000 pounds of organic, local produce annually.
- Hands-on health education and weekly farm shares will help address food injustice. 30-60 pounds of organically grown produce will be distributed to wellness program participants.
- Mental and physical community health will be positively impacted by increasing and diversifying the amount of available outdoor activities and green spaces available to community members.