The Woodstock Conservation Commission received a national grant from the Kodak American Greenway Awards Program. Woodstock was one of 38 award recipients selected from almost 350 applicants. The $1,000 grant will help fund a study to establish a greenway in Woodstock, CT. In addition to the grant award, the Conservation Commission will be showcased as a national model for its innovative efforts. Jean Pillo, Vice Chair of the Commission, said "Even though there is a still a lot of open space in Woodstock, over 90% has no commitment that it will remain in its current state. Because of existing and pending development in town, some of this land is especially vulnerable to impacts such as pollution and loss of wetlands and wildlife habitat. Also, at this time, we don't have a single designated, publicly accessible greenway in town. " Greenways can protect public water drinking supplies; provide wildlife corridors by linking parcels of committed open space and wetlands; and potentially link to other trails in adjacent towns.
The Conservation Commission plans to contact and hold workshops with private landowners, local developers, interested community members, and other organizations that might be willing to partner on this project. The goals of the workshops will be to obtain community support, reach general agreement on the location of the greenway, and identify next steps.
The Kodak American Greenways Awards are made possible thorough the support of the Eastman Kodak Company; and The Conservation Fund, which works with other nonprofit organizations, public agencies, corporations and private landowners to safeguard America's land and water resources. According to The Conservation Fund's President, Larry Selzer, "The projects selected this year represent some of the best grassroots conservation and greenway development efforts in the United States. TCF supports these local initiatives because they are thoughtful, action-oriented projects that will serve as models for other communities around the country."
GREENWAYS RECOGNITION AWARD
On June 2, 2006, DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy presented a Municipal Achievement Award to the towns of Woodstock and Putnam for their joint support and willingness to conserve the natural resources of the Little River.
The Woodstock Conservation Commission received a Green Circle Award for their website from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The DEP Green Circle Award Program is for Connecticut businesses, government agencies, community organizations and individuals for outstanding environmental projects which contribute to or improve the quality of the environment in Connecticut. Commission member Bet Zimmerman designed and administers the site. Other commission members contributed materials and links as well. "It is a great honor for the Commission to receive the Green Circle Award. I would like to thank all the members of the Woodstock Conservation Commission whose hard work has made this possible," says Paul Wilbur, Chairperson of the Woodstock Conservation Commission. The DEP Commissioner Arthur J. Rocque, Jr. and Deputy Commissioner David K. Leff presented the Green Circle Awards at a ceremony on April 22, 2003 in Hartford.
WOODSTOCK NAMED CONSERVATION COMMISSION OF THE YEAR
The CT Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions (CACIWC) has recognized the Woodstock Conservation Commission as "Conservation Commission of the Year" for its comprehensive approach to development of a town-wide natural and cultural resource inventory, open space assessment and long-term planning tool. This effort led to development of A Plan of Open Space and Development, which was approved by the town in 2001. The Conservation Commission, under the direction of Chairman Paul Wilbur, has been working closely with the local Planning & Zoning Commission to promote this plan and use of a resource checklist, while implementing new planning and zoning open space requirements. During 2004, the Conservation Commission further refined its cooperative approach to open space preservation through issuance of application-specific advisory documents prepared for Planning & Zoning commissioners. CACIWC is a nonprofit organization providing education and information to the volunteers and staff that carry out the responsibilities of Connecticut's municipal Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions.