Lisa Coverdale, Connecticut State Conservationist for the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service , announced the agency is currently accepting applications for a second batching date for the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) for Fiscal Year 2014.

According to her recent release, the FRPP Program provides matching funds (up to 50 percent) to help purchase conservation easements on agricultural lands. Working through existing programs, USDA partners with state, tribal or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners.

Since 1996, NRCS has provided approximately $32 million toward the protection of more than 100 farms in the Connecticut.

Applications are accepted from eligible entities—state and local units of government, federally recognized tribes and non-governmental organizations—with a farmland protection program that purchases agricultural conservation easements for the purpose of protecting agricultural use and related natural resource conservation benefits. Landowners may not apply directly for this program.

To be eligible for the batching date, applications must be received by 4:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 14. Applications should be sent (or brought) to the NRCS State Office, 344 Merrow Road, Tolland, CT 06084.

For more information on the FRPP Program in Connecticut, visit or contact Joyce Purcell, FRPP program manager, at 860-871-4028 or via e-mail .

The Connecticut Chapter of The Alzheimer’s Association and The Watermark at East Hill will host a Caregiver Support Group Wednesday, Jan. 29, designed to provide the caregivers of those living with Alzheimer’s or other memory-related disorders with updated information, emotional support and problem-solving solutions related to giving care.

The group meets the last Wednesday of every month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the retirement community located at 611 East Hill Road in Southbury.

The support group will be led by Denise Julian, director of Health Services at The Watermark at East Hill, along with Rose Thomason, also of The Watermark. In addition to providing support, they will help educate caregivers on the necessary skills and will offer information needed to provide care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease.

This month’s meeting will include an open forum discussion with Rebekah Francisco-Gemza, northwest regional director of the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Caregiver Support Group is free of charge and open to the public, however reservations are required. RSVP by calling The Watermark at East Hill at 203-262-6868.

The Watermark at East Hill in Southbury, is a community for seniors, offering independent living, assisted living, skilled rehabilitation and memory care. In September 2012, The Watermark at East Hill opened The Villa which offers memory care services in a small-house designed residence for just 14 individuals. The Watermark at East Hill is managed by Watermark Retirement Communities. For more information, visit or .