There are four towns in the 69th General Assembly District: Southbury, Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington. These towns are home to about 27,000 citizens occupying about 120 square miles. The most prominent features we hold in common are beautiful open spaces and a focus on family and community life.
Shared Open Space
For perspective, the five land trusts in the region manage hundreds of spectacular acres full of hiking trails and beautiful vistas. Donations of both land and money from residents and retiring farmers over many decades make it clear that valuing the natural environment is a priority for citizens and a reason people want to live here. For access to nature and recreation in the region, click on any of the town names below for land trust links to find maps for public hiking:
SOUTHBURY has hundreds of acres tucked within our 40-square miles.
BRIDGEWATER lists 9 properties on its town map.
ROXBURY is home of the Roxbury Land Trust, which has 28 separate preserves under management.
WASHINGTON is home to the Steep Rock Land Trust, which stewards three separate preserves in Washington, the Depot and New Preston, comprised of more than 1,000 acres.
Shared Water Resources
In a state with few lakes, this region claims two: Lake Zoar and Lake Lillinonah, although these are actually just different sections of the Housatonic River, separated by two dams. The electric utility CL&P flooded a canyon in 1955 to create these bodies of water. Lilli has 45 miles of shoreline and management is under control of Southbury, Bridgewater, Roxbury, and 3 other towns. Lake Zoar to the south, with 28 miles of shoreline, is managed by a separate lake authority, including Southbury and 3 other towns.
There are two prominent state recreation facilities within the borders of the town of Southbury, along the banks of Zoar: Kettletown State Park and the Lake Zoar Boat Launch. There are no swimming facilities at either: the state permanently and quietly closed the beach at Kettletown in 2019 due to chronic water contamination problems. Lake Lillinonah fares better on water quality, boosted by the pristine water of the Shepaug River.
The other main unifying feature of the 69th is the focus on family and community life, where outstanding public education is a top priority. The four towns are part of two regional school districts: Region 15 includes Southbury (and Middlebury) and Region 12 includes Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington.
Regional schools are controversial in Connecticut, and in small towns the demands of sharing resources and authority can be a struggle. While it’s not always been easy, the two school districts in the 69th are both showcases for how small towns can collaborate, innovate, and combine talent and resources to benefit our children and lower overall costs to taxpayers through shared services.
“Unity is vision; it must have been part of the process of learning to see.” ~ Henry Brooks Adams
Beyond these powerful commonalities, the four towns of the 69th are pulled in many directions by a patchwork of Connecticut organizations. Some suggest this fragmentation is a barrier for capitalizing on the region’s strengths and resources. What do you think?
The four towns of the 69th General Assembly District belong to:
- 2 different counties: New Haven and Litchfield
- 3 different Councils of Government: Naugatuck Valley, Northwest Hills, Western CT
- 3 different public health authorities: Newtown Health District, Pomperaug Health District, Washington Health Dept.
- 3 different Chambers of Commerce: Greater Danbury Regional Chamber, Greater Waterbury Regional Chamber, Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce
- 4 different municipal solid waste organizations
- multiple different water management authorities for ground and surface water