A federal grant that Newtown applied for, in order to preserve unique farmland, was not awarded. The town applied for funding from Farmland Trust, which would have been matched with local dollars, to put an agricultural easement on the Paproski family’s Castle Hill Farm. The state Department of Agriculture determined in 2016 that the farm possesses soil with unique qualities that permit it to absorb particular nutrients, hold those nutrients over time, and release them. Under an earlier proposal, the Paproski family would remain on the property and the farm would remain an active agricultural enterprise. But under the USDA grant program, many activities run on the farm would have had to stop, including the corn maze. Visitor vehicle parking including school tour buses, would have had to be eliminated. Improvements to the family's home would have needed federal permissions. The farm has been in continuous operation since 1927.