Jun 26, 2020

LEDYARD —The Avalonia Land Conservancy has acquired two major parcels known as the Atkinson and Dirlam properties. Together, the parcels add 228 acres of land to the existing Green Oak Greenway in Ledyard, which includes 138 acres surrounding the town-owned Nathan Leister property. The acquisition connects its five miles of trails to the existing greenway’s five to create one of the largest trail systems in eastern Connecticut.

The combined project was recently awarded a Connecticut Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition grant, covering approximately 65 percent of the $1,108,945 cost to acquire the properties. The remainder of the balance was added by the Town of Ledyard, Groton City Council, Groton Public Utilities and the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. Avalonia also applied and received grants from the Fields Pond, Bafflin and Helios Foundations as well as hundreds of donations.

The larger 184-acre Atkinson Preserve was sold to the trust by the executor of the estate of the late William Atkinson Jr., formerly of Mystic, and is adjacent to the Morgan Pond Reservoir that provides drinking water for thousands of residents. The smaller parcel of 41 acres was acquired from John P. and Brian P. Dirlam of West Danville, Vt. Both sellers made generous donations to support Avalonia’s commitment to land acquisition and perpetual stewardship.

The two properties are virtually across the street from each other and combine for significant wildlife and watershed protection. The larger Atkinson Preserve has already attracted hundreds of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

For more information, visit avalonia.org.

— Sun staff