DEEP: Aspetuck Valley Trail Dedicated

June 1, 2007

Aspetuck Valley Trail Dedicated

Consortium of Groups Provides Hikers Six Miles of Enjoyment

The new six-mile Aspetuck Valley Trail was officially dedicated today at a ceremony held at the Poverty Hollow Road Trail Access in Newtown, Connecticut.

The scenic trail, situated among 15,300 acres of land in the towns of Redding, Newtown and Easton, connects with existing trails in Collis P. Huntington State Park in Newtown and Redding.

The Aspetuck Valley Trail goes through The Centennial Watershed State Forest, which is managed by the Conservation Land Committee. Formed in 2002, the Committee came together when the state of Connecticut and the Nature Conservancy bought and obtained conservation easements from lands belonging to Aquarion Water Company.

During the late-morning ceremony and ribbon-cutting, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Gina McCarthy read from a gubernatorial proclamation that stated in part, "The Aspetuck Valley Trail will provide opportunities for hiking, walking, and cross-country skiing and will encourage families to reconnect with the great outdoors and appreciate the resources and scenic beauty found in their community."

"At DEP," Commissioner McCarthy said, "one of our top priorities is encouraging families to get outside and reconnect with the outdoors. We have launched a special initiative called "No Child Left Inside" to accomplish that very goal. The trail we are dedicating today provides a new opportunity for families to enjoy our state parks and forests, and I hope people from across the state put it to good use. It is also important to note that this trail and the Centennial Watershed State Forest itself are the result of a cooperative effort involving Aquarion Water Company, the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy and Connecticut Forest and Park Association."

"This project reinforces Aquarion Water Company and the Conservation Land Committee’s commitment to our environment and to our trusted goals to proactively conserve and enhance our natural resources, because it’s essential to Aquarion’s mission to provide the best quality water for our customers," said Aquarion Water Company President and CEO Charles V. Firlotte. He added, "For many years, Aquarion has spearheaded beautification and enhancement projects and we are proud of our record of environmental stewardship and protection."

"It is amazing that within 60 miles of New York City lies a place as magnificent as this," said Lise Hanners, state director for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut. "In protecting these lands, we made a commitment to preserving them for the qualities that make them home to many species of migratory birds, special wild flowers and other wildlife but also for the benefit of people. Hundreds of thousands of people benefit from the protection of these lands by having clean drinking water, cleaner air and after today, a great trail on which to enjoy this state treasure."

"Connecticut residents desire trails more than they do any other recreational amenity. The new Aspetuck Valley Trail clearly meets this public need. We know that local families and families from across Connecticut will enjoy walking upon it, and the Connecticut Forest & Park Association is honored to maintain it as a Blue-Blazed Hiking Trail," said Adam R. Moore, Executive Director of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. "We thank CFPA trail volunteer Eric Bengtson and his crew of skilled volunteers for building this beautiful trail, and we thank Aquarion Water Company, The Nature Conservancy, and the Department of Environmental Protection for making this trail possible."

The Aspetuck Valley Trail is for foot traffic only (except where the trail joins town roads) and is open year-round from sunrise to sunset. Trail use rules and other information can be found at newly installed kiosks at trail access points.

Aquarion Company's principal business is public water supply. Through its Aquarion Water Company subsidiaries, it is one of the 10 largest investor-owned water utilities in the U.S., serving some 207,000 homes and businesses, or approximately 700,000 people, in 44 Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire communities. Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut provides high-quality water to 179,000 customers, or some 600,000 people, in 36 cities and towns. Note: For more information on Aquarion Water Company and its subsidiaries, please contact us on the Internet at: