NEW YORK, NY — October 8, 2014 — Seventy-five
acres of rugged, undeveloped property bordering Minnewaska State Park Preserve has
been acquired by the Open Space Institute. The property, which had been owned
for decades by the Schneller family, is located on the southeastern boundary of
the Sam’s Point section of the preserve.
of the land will ensure protection of the vast, globally-rare pitch pine
barrens that occur at Sam’s Point as well as a stretch of the Verkeederkill
stream, which drains the eastern escarpment of the Shawangunk Ridge.
purchase of the property represents an ongoing commitment to preserving the
Shawangunk Ridge and supporting the popular and stunningly beautiful state park.
Over its 40-year history, through 40 individual transactions, OSI’s has doubled
the size of Minnewaska, adding 13,000 acres to the 22,000-acre park. The two
OSI-acquired properties are expected to be added to Minnewaska State Park in the
next several years.
acquisitions build on OSI’s decades of success in preserving the spectacular
natural features of the Shawangunk Ridge, protecting its environmental
resources and building Minnewaska State Park,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s
president and CEO. “We are grateful to our partners in the community with whom
we work and, in particular, to the Schneller family who have been terrific
stewards of these properties and whose dedication to the land will be
appreciated for generations to come.”
to OSI for their ongoing commitment to preserving the unique ecosystems and
terrain along the Shawangunk Ridge,” said Jim Hall, executive director of the
Palisades Interstate Parks Commission. “I also congratulate the Schneller
family for the special legacy they are supporting through the sale of this land
Schneller property had been in the family since the 1970s, when it was
purchased by Alfred Schneller, a World War II veteran who became a Conservation
Officer for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Ever a
conservationist, it was the late Alfred Schneller’s wish that the land become
part of a larger protected area for the public to enjoy.
In selling this
family property to OSI, Alfred Schneller’s daughter Karen Schneller-McDonald, shared
how deeply connected her family is to the rugged landscape, its fauna and plant
life. As such, she noted how important it was for the family to honor her father’s
request to preserve the property. “We hold land in trust. It’s left in our care
for a time and then we pass it along to the next guardian. My sister and I
honor our family’s legacy. With gratitude, we pass it on to the future.”