EARTH DAY film premiere
Call of the Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees
Monday April 22th, 6:00-6:30 pm reception, 6:30 pm film at Simsbury Public Library Program Room
Take a walk in the woods with acclaimed Irish-Canadian scientist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, as she reveals our profound human connection to the ancient and sacred northern forests and the essential role that they play in sustaining the health of our planet now (as forests have for millions of years). Her global journey explores the science, folklore, and restoration challenges of this essential eco-system.
And join us at Flamig Farm Earth Day, April 27th, from 9-5!Stop by and spin our prize wheel!
Final Phase PASSES!!! 70% to 30%! Simsbury Voted YES on Question #4 (May 6, 2014). Thank You Simsbury!!!
Phase 1 Passes! (Nov., 2006) See the press releases here and here. See voting results here.
Phase 2A Passes! (May 15, 2012) See voting results here. See a sample ballot. See flyer. Also see the Federal Highlands Conservation Act - Ethel Walker Grant Request included in Phase 2.
Phase 2B Passes! (May 6, 2014) See voting results here. See the referendum questions. See flyer. See grant information here.
See information on how this purchase was structured.
Get a map of the Ethel Walker Woods.
Hear an Earthday 2007 Midnight Recording from the EWS woods!
- Preserving this land is essential to Simsbury's drinking water quality.
- Preserving this land will help retain the scenic, rural character of Simsbury.
- Preserving this land will guarantee public access to the land
- How will the Ethel Walker Woods be preserved?
- What is the cost to the town of preserving the Ethel Walker property?
- What is the cost to the average homeowner?
- What will happen to the Ethel Walker land if it is NOT preserved?
The original deal negotiated by TPL with EWS was blessed by Simsbury's Board of Selectmen (see story here) but turned down by Simsbury's Board of Finance (see story here). A modified deal proposed by the Board of Selectmen (see story here) has been accepted by the Board of Finance (see story here). This modified deal has been approved by the Board of Trustees of EWS. Simsbury voters approved the Phase I appropriation on November 7, 2006 (see story here). They approved the Phase II down payment in Town Meeting on October 17, 2006 (see story here). For the deal to move forward, 2.75 Million needs to be raised privately to close on Phase I. These funds have been raised and Phase I has closed (see story here and here).
The terms of the modified deal spread the appropriation of funds and the acquisition of land over time. The final purchase price for the 424 acres is still $13.85 million dollars and the portion paid by the town (to be defrayed by state, federal, and private grants) is still $11.1 million. The final outcome is still preservation of the entire parcel of land for all time. The terms of the modified proposal are outlined below.
- Phase 1:
- July 2007 closing date
- Approximately 334 acres for $9.75 million
- $2.75 million (of the $9.75 million sum) is to be raised privately by TPL and its partners
- $2 million (of the $9.75 million sum) to be appropriated from Town reserves
- $5 million (of the $9.75 million sum) to be bonded
by State and Federal grants)
- $1 million deposit will be paid from Town reserves to secure
the additional acreage (approximately 90 acres) which will be
over 5 - 7 years in Phases 2 A and 2 B for a total additional
- Phase 2 A:
- On or before May 2012
- Two options:
- Not buy the remaining acres and forfeit the $1 million
- Buy 45 of the remaining 90 acres for an additional $2.05 million with an option to buy the other half within 2 years. The $2.05 million will be defrayed by a federal grant of $241,000 and a state grant of $450,000 (for a total of 1/3 the purchase price). These grants bring the Town's contribution down to $1.359 million for Phase 2 A.
- Phase 2 B:
- On or before May 2014 and only if Phase 2 A is completed (which was completed as of May 2012).
- A 500K State Grant has been awarded to offset the town's
expense. Town's cost is 650K (100K was included in the
appropriation to cover legal and bonding costs).
- Two options
- Not buy the remaining acres and forfeit the $1 million deposit
- Buy the remaining 45 acres for an additional $1.05 million
(defrayed by the state 500K grant). Appropriation was
for $1.15 million. The extra 100K was inserted by the Town
to cover legal and bonding costs.
- Town Meeting on October 17, 2006
- Discussed the $2 million reserves + $5 million bonding that
then went automatically to Town Referendum on the November 7,
- Voted to approve taking $1 million from reserves for the
deposit on Phase 2 A and 2 B (see story here).
- Town Referendum on November 7, 2006
- Voted to approve the $2 million from reserves + $5 million bonding to fund Phase 1 (see story here).
- Town Referendum on May 15, 2012
- Voted to pass Phase 2A.
- Town Referendum on May 6, 2014
- Voted to pass Phase 2B.
The deal is done! All phases have passed! All ~420
acres have been preserved! Kids, we're Keeping The Woods!!!