STAMFORD, CT – Open spaces are vital to any community, and especially during the pandemic, they have proven to be important areas for residents to escape their homes and get some fresh air.
In an attempt to preserve land and improve urban green spaces across the state, Governor Ned Lamont announced a series of grants totaling $ 6.2 million for cities and towns earlier this week.
The scholarships are under the state Program for the acquisition of open spaces and water catchment areasand the Urban Green and Community Garden Program, administered by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), which helps local governments, land trusts, and water companies purchase land for protection as open space.
“Our government has set ambitious goals to mitigate the effects of climate change and implement policies that better protect our air, water and natural resources,” said Governor Lamont in a press release earlier this week. “This program is an important part of maintaining some of the best and most beautiful scenery in the world, and by partnering with our communities and nonprofits, we can ensure that these precious resources are preserved for generations to come.”
One of the beneficiaries of the grant is the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens at 151 Brookdale Rd in Stamford. The arboretum will receive a $ 175,000 grant that will help build a 2,400-square-foot open-air pavilion adjacent to the Silver Educational Center.
The pavilion, which would hold up to 200 people, will be open to the public and will be open to educational groups such as the Boy Scouts, the UCONN Master Gardener’s Program, and other community groups. It will also be available for weddings and could be used for Bartlett’s summer concert series in bad weather.
The pavilion will have ADA-accessible ramps leading to the main platform from both the main road and the Silver Educational Facility, which provides access to toilet facilities. Picnic tables for the pavilion are wheelchair accessible. The hope is to use the space for spring, summer and autumn.
“This is extremely exciting,” said Jane von Trapp, CEO of Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, who noted that her development manager applied for the grant in 2020 remained open and became a respite for many people in the area, including many of them other places because many parks were closed. When the opportunity arose to build an open air pavilion, it seemed like a natural solution. “
The City of Stamford owns the project site and the Bartlett Arboretum Association is responsible for operational and operational supervision through a lease with the city. Stamford committed $ 100,000 to the project this year, and Bartlett has to top up the $ 175,000 grant. You have two years to build the pavilion.
âI am delighted with Governor Lamont’s decision to add Stamford’s Bartlett Arboretum to the state’s Urban Green and Community Garden Grant Program. The city is also supporting this project and the additional government funding will help make it a reality, âsaid Stamford Mayor David Martin. . “I’m delighted that Stamford has another outdoor venue where people can come together and spend time in the great outdoors.”
The idea for the pavilion had long been debated, von Trapp said, but it was never high on the list of priorities when the arboretum went to the city of Stamford each year to raise capital. But the pandemic has changed that.
âWe have all been changed in one way or another by this pandemic, and I think people are more likely to gather in large groups when they have ventilation and open air. I think it will take a while for people to forget, and maybe they … will never forget. I think it’s going to be a wonderful place, “said von Trapp.” I think it’s the kind of thing that people are drawn to. “
Construction could start at the end of winter 2022, says von Trapp, but that depends on several factors. As a result of the pandemic, timber prices have skyrocketed and it is becoming increasingly difficult to find contractors.
“Construction would begin at the end of winter once we feel the costs are more reasonable and our dollars are stretched more,” said von Trapp. âWe have to find someone who is a good representation [of what we want] and take care of what they do and help us build. “
The pavilion will be made of sustainable materials.
For more information on the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, click Here.