Congratulations to the residents of the Town of Orange for their wise decision to purchase a wonderful parcel of open space. Congratulations is also due to Orange First Selectman Jim Zeoli for allowing the people he represents to make the final decision on whether the parcel should be purchased.

Sadly, the townspeople didn't get that opportunity under the former administration, even though in February 2005 this publication called for a townwide referendum on the issue. Perhaps, if a referendum had been held at that time, the town could have saved money and had the complete 66-acre parcel.

The need for open space is vital for our communities. Open space provides a vital habitat for plants and animals, as well as curbing pollution and protecting the natural integrity of the land. The residents of Orange have protected this land for the generations to come, and for that, we should all be grateful. We salute the town and residents for their continued vigilance in protecting open space.