The grand opening of the Nature and Heritage Center at Coogan Farm will be celebrated with a Sept. 4 ribbon cutting and a Sept. 6 free community picnic.

At 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and the Trust for Public Land will host the ribbon cutting at the Nature and Heritage Center at Coogan Farm, 162 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic. This event is open to the public. Local, state and federal dignitaries will be on hand to celebrate the official opening of the 45-acre public park.

From 5-9 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6, the public is invited to the free Nature Center Community Picnic at Coogan Farm. This is a BYOPicnic event, supplemented by local food vendors including Zest Fresh Pastry, Meadowstone Farm cheese, and Hunts Brook Farm pizza, all of whom will have food for sale. There will be children’s activities, including Mystic Paper Beasts from 5-6:30 p.m., and live music by the Cajun/Country band Big Mamou. Free shuttle buses will be running from Mystic Seaport’s north lot (opposite Latitude 41 restaurant), so please park there as onsite parking is reserved for those who need assistance.

The hashtag for the weekend’s events will be #cooganfarm

On Friday night the Nature Center will host an invitation-only reception for the Campaign to Save Coogan Farm major donors.

About Coogan Farm:

The 45 acres at 162 Greenmanville Ave. in Mystic, known as the Coogan Farm, was the last piece of undeveloped property along the Mystic River when the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center took on the challenge in 2012 to preserve it. Partnering with the Trust for Public Land, the Campaign to Save Coogan Farm set a fundraising goal of $3.5 million to purchase 34 acres. The Coogan family donated 11 acres to the effort.

Through the generosity of 760 individuals and businesses and the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, $4.1 million was raised and the property was officially acquired by the Nature Center in September 2013. Since then, a committee of volunteers has worked with the Nature Center to implement the vision for The Nature and Heritage Center at Coogan Farm, which encompasses conservation, education, recreation and community involvement. Purchasing the farm has ensured recreational and educational opportunities for the public, safeguarded the ecological integrity of two watersheds, provided a haven for wildlife, preserved 400 years of Mystic’s agricultural history and solidified Mystic’s unique sense of place.

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