CTRC&D programs promote livable, sustainable communities through partnerships that maintain and enhance the unique quality of life and environment found in Connecticut communities.

Connecticut’s rural and urban communities are very different and mutually and fundamentally interdependent. Resources in rural communities are critical to the success of Connecticut’s urban areas, and resources demanded by urban areas provide vital economic support for rural lands. Rural lands and communities host water, forest, and agriculture resources which are vital to the health and well-being of all Connecticut residents.

While each of these unique geographic landscapes faces growth and preservation challenges, Connecticut rural communities have historically been overlooked as they attempt to preserve resources, treasured “New England small-town” character, and an equitable tax base.


Rural Land Rural Towns Workshops and Annual Conference

Continued tradition of an annual workshop to highlight the role of rural lands and rural towns as dynamic resources for a healthy and sustainable Connecticut. This year’s workshop hosted over 60 attendees and guest presenters focused on rural land use and economic innovation, new technology for conservation, agriculture business innovation and how urban centers & rural lands support one another. We also sampled delicious homemade donuts for breakfast and Freund’s Market pie after lunch.

CTRC&D is looking to expand the morning workshop into an all day conference in February 2018. If you’re interested in participating or volunteering, contact us.

CACEE Center Study

The CACEE project evaluated existing conditions and potential sites to optimize new business development and incubator space in rural Connecticut with a mission toward the following:

  1. Build a collaborative leadership between Connecticut’s   agriculture business sector, conservation, outdoor eco-tourism and planned economic growth initiatives.
  2. Adaptive reuse of underutilized a vacant building, brownfield   or a parcel of land in need of reclamation to create space for new rural entrepreneurial innovation.
  3. Conduct research into economic conditions and potential for expansion and utilization of agriculture and conservation within Connecticut’s rural economy.

CTRC&D with feedback provided by the CACEE Committee prioritized the historic former Scovil Hoe Factory site in Higganum Connecticut for further investigation by the Conway School of Landscape Design.  The Scovil property is currently owned by CTDOT and with grant assistance, the Town of Haddam is conducting numerous studies to fully understand the need and cost for site remediation.  The Conway School of Landscape Design evaluated unique opportunities on the property to integrate the best aspects of environmental design, public interaction, access, village context and educational opportunities for the site.

The CTRC&D Council will meet in August thru October 2018 to discuss the reports and next steps for the project.

  • Establish CACEE Task Force to Create Business Plan, Build Operational Partnerships and Fundraising Capacity.
  • Meet with USDA, town officials and potential interested partners to discuss the report, the project and next steps.
  • Establish sequencing and source of funding for environmental remediation, site and building design, infrastructure, technology and construction.
  • Discussion with CT Department of Economic and Community Development and USDA Rural Development: funding options for site construction.
  • Funding plan for staffing, operations and endowment fund for ongoing development and maintenance.

2018 Connecticut Food Hub Study

The purpose of this report was to investigate the status of food hubs in Connecticut and to see if a food hub in the state of Connecticut would be beneficial to Connecticut. Through reviewing published studies and reports concerning trends in agriculture, population fluctuations, consumer behavior along with mapping out agricultural supply chain businesses across the state, it becomes evident that a food hub based in Connecticut will not only be profitable but also answer a growing demand for locally produced food by Connecticut residents.

How Can CTRC&D Help You?


Historically strong network of interconnected residents with strong ties toward personal and small business investment in social life, aging, youth, government education.





Small business innovation that was the hallmark of rural town centers and residents requires a new way of linking business development with rural resources: natural, village centers, resource-based, and agriculture.






Development pressure and generic policies encourage fragmentation of rural land resources that are vital to the ongoing and future economic health of Connecticut residents and businesses.






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CTRC&D supports grassroots community and rural business development, including agriculture-based business in both rural and urban Connecticut. CTRC&D programs are designed to support residents, land trusts, small business entrepreneurs, grassroots non-profits, and municipalities who are seeking to find ways to balance natural resource protection, enhancement of community character, and economic growth. We have a network of partners who can find the solution for your town or resource based business.

CTRC&D Council members and professional staff are specialists in the issues facing rural communities, agriculture, and critical resource areas in Connecticut.   CTRC&D encourages communities to match their unique strengths and character with conservation and economic management that celebrates economic value of natural resources, farms and working lands.

CTRC&D can assist with developing land use policies and resource inventories to help identify and each town’s role in making Connecticut a vibrant and exciting place to work and live.

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