WILTON — Congressman Jim Himes (D-4th) visited Weir Farm National Historic Site on Aug. 28 to celebrate the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. This bipartisan legislation will bolster the Land and Water Conservation Fund and help address deferred maintenance projects at national parks across the country.

Himes was joined by Peter Linderoth from Save the Sound, Patrick Comins from CT Audubon Society, Mason Trumble from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and other supporters of environmental conservation.

“Even when it seems like Washington is hopelessly divided, I’m proud that Congress came together to pass the Great American Outdoors Act,” Himes said. “Connecticut’s beautiful natural resources, and our commitment to preserving them, make this a special place to live. This new law will ensure that generations to come will continue to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.”

DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes cited the fund as an important source of funding for preserving and acquiring open space in the state. It will also enable infrastructure improvements that increase the quality of outdoor recreation and access to it. These efforts, she said, “are central to achieving Connecticut’s goals in land conservation, carbon sequestration/storage, and climate change adaptation.”

“The Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped to protect more than 10,000 acres in the watershed of the Connecticut River throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut,” said Patrick Comins, executive director of the CT Audubon Society. “That in turn protects our water quality in Long Island Sound, because those are thousands of acres where there won’t be houses, septic systems and additional tie-ins to our over-stressed sewage system.”

Weir Farm commemorates the life and work of American impressionist painter J. Alden Weir. Along with Weir Preserve, the property offers a 110-acre network of hiking trails.