PRESS RELEASE: Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy Receives $280,000 Grant for Recreational Trails Project

June 18, 2024 – Kent, CT – Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy (NCLC) is thrilled to announce that it has been awarded a $280,000 grant from the State of Connecticut’s Connecticut Recreational Trails Grant Program, administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

NCLC will use the grant to enhance trail networks on its protected lands, improving access to nature in Northwest Connecticut. NCLC will assess current trails and develop a master plan for a trail system in its 22 existing public preserves and 5 potential new preserves. These preserves are located in 11 municipalities: Canaan, Cornwall, Brookfield, Kent, Litchfield, New Milford, Newtown, Roxbury, Sharon, Sherman, and Torrington. The assessment and planning process will focus on safety and multi-use options for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts. Additionally, the plan will identify locations for ADA-accessible trails, helping NCLC connect more people to the land.

“We are incredibly grateful for this generous grant from the State of Connecticut,” said NCLC Executive Director Catherine Rawson. “This funding will significantly boost our efforts to provide high-quality, accessible trails that allow residents and visitors to experience the natural beauty of Northwest Connecticut. It perfectly aligns with our mission to conserve land and water resources while promoting public enjoyment of these natural areas.”

Governor Lamont’s grant announcement highlights the importance of outdoor recreation for public health and quality of life. The $10 million in state grants will be distributed among various organizations dedicated to trail development and maintenance, fostering a statewide network of recreational opportunities. “The funding for these 45 projects represents a significant investment in our state’s outdoor economy, and our trails and proximity to nature are a big part of why Connecticut is an attractive place to live and work,” said Governor Lamont.

For more information about Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy and its protected lands, please visit

About Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy

Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy is a nonprofit, regional conservation organization working with the communities of Litchfield and northern Fairfield Counties to safeguard natural and working lands, public recreation areas, and drinking water resources forever. Founded in 1965, NCLC is the largest land trust in Connecticut, protecting 13,300 acres (and growing). To strengthen the region’s capacity to conserve high-quality conservation lands and ensure the permanence of those conserved lands for the future, NCLC merged with Brookfield Open Space Legacy in 2019 and Naromi Land Trust in 2020. NCLC’s conserved lands include 22 public hiking preserves, 48 working farms, and over 3,000 acres of habitat for rare and endangered species.