The Pratt Nature Center in the Northville district of New Milford has added nearby fields to its 200-acre property along Paper Mill Road.

The center closed Oct. 29 on the purchase of 3.26 acres in the area of Stone Tent Road.

Bought from developer Gary Coolbeth for $160,000, the property will be kept for the time being as hay fields.

"We're delighted with this opportunity," said Bill Pasnau, the chairman of Pratt's Board of Directors.

"Diane recognized immediately how important it was to secure this property," he said in reference to Pratt director Diane Swanson.

"The benefits of this really went beyond the land," he said. "It is emblematic of the changes that have brought the Pratt Center's return to relevance in the community."

Swanson lauded those involved in the purchase.

Attorneys on both sides and realtors waived their fees, Swanson said.

"The community was behind us from the beginning," Swanson said. "Our fundraising is continuing to cover the full cost. Our goal is another $100,000."

Coolbeth said the deal works well for both sides.

"They gave me a fair price and I do like to see fields remain untouched," he said. "I saw some of the kids playing in the field the other day when I drove by. It was nice to see."

Susan Tuz