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News Release

Small Urban Farm Making a BIG Difference Gets Preserved!

Was the Lisa Lane Farm event recognition of a project completed – or a celebration of something just beginning?

Lisa Lane CelebrationSeveral staff members of NRCS in Connecticut had a chance to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony in September that hailed the purchase of development rights of an up and coming farm in the Town of Bloomfield.

Agricultural partners including the Wintonbury Land Trust, the Town of Bloomfield, the Connecticut Department Energy and Environmental Protection, and NRCS worked together to protect the integrity of Lisa Lane Farm, a small urban farm that lies in the midst of the most densely populated census tract in Bloomfield.

The purchase of development rights means these 10 acres are safe from further development, and will be kept in agriculture permanently.

The farm, which has been cultivated/managed continuously by the Tomasiello-Pitz family using sustainable farming methods since the 1930s, is leased to Desmond Samuda, who maintains a successful produce business specializing in high quality produce for the area’s West Indian Community.

Although the property and its high amounts of organic matter are perfect farm material, it is also surrounded by an amazing wildlife habitat area. The farm is ringed by a wooded buffer and is adjacent to the Town of Windsor’s Meadow Brook Wildlife Corridor. A wide variety of trees and shrubs line the property edges, there are two wetland areas housing vernal pools, and an abundance of wildlife. All a welcome sight in an area so populous.

The purchase of development rights is significant in this community as it promotes environmental equity; and provides neighborhood access to a walking trail with views of wetlands, vernal pools, and the working farm. Children raised in an urban setting typically have limited opportunities to see how their food is grown. Lisa Lane Farm is a place for small children to see how Mother Nature works, and allows on-the-ground training for Bloomfield High School’s Harris Vo-Ag Center students in both agricultural and environmental education. Lisa Lane Farm also provides space for residents to participate in a community garden.

“The dedication and determination among partners and legislators to make this happen has been tremendous,” said Lisa Coverdale, NRCS State Conservationist. “For example, Carol Donzella, a member of my staff, has been involved for more than five years.”

"So many times we think of open space as being on the edge of a town, or connecting to some other larger parcel. But every once in a while we come across a little gem like the Lisa Lane Farm and it just demands our attention and its preservation," said State Senator Beth Bye of West Hartford, who worked with other Democratic state legislators to secure state funding to purchase the property. "Securing smaller open space parcels in the middle of a large, historic town like Bloomfield lets the public know that valuable pieces of local land are everywhere, and they need our attention."

Looks like the citizens of Bloomfield are going to be able to hang on to their valuable piece of the country permanently!

Contact: Joyce Purcell, Asst. STC-Programs, (860) 871-4028

[Photo (left to right) Mikayla Samuda, Farm Owner Desmond Samuda, State Senator Beth Bye, NRCS State Conservationist Lisa Coverdale, and Property Owner Ron Pitz]