PHILIPSTOWN, NY—July 27, 2015—The last undeveloped parcel of
a scenic assemblage of protected properties has been conserved and added to the
Putnam Highlands Audubon Society Watergrass Sanctuary. The new land, part of
the striking scenery that is viewable from Bear Mountain and Storm King state
parks, preserves important Hudson River Valley wildlife habitat.
Working with a private landowner, Hudson Highlands Land Trust
(HHLT), in partnership with the Open Space Institute (OSI), Putnam Highlands
Audubon Society and Scenic Hudson, added the 19-acre parcel to the popular
sanctuary. The new acreage represents the last
undeveloped parcel to be added to a 400-acre conservation assemblage between
Rt. 9 and Old Albany Post Road, including land along 1.2 miles of Rt.
The land also presents an
opportunity for a new access point to the Watergrass Sanctuary off of Frazier
Road, which will be safer and more convenient than the current entrance from
newest addition to the Watergrass Sanctuary allows more people
to enjoy the property’s gorgeous rural scenery while also preserving an
important flyway for area birds,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s President and CEO.
“Visitors to Bear Mountain and Storm King will also be able to look across the
Hudson and take in the rustic area. We thank our partners for their dedication
to perfecting this beautiful community asset.”
Putnam Highlands Audubon
Society, Hudson Highlands Land
Trust and Scenic Hudson partnered in 2008 on a conservation agreement ensuring
permanent protection of the Watergrass Sanctuary. The partners joined forces again this year,
along with OSI, to work with Garrison Realty and acquire this adjoining parcel.
conservation agreement, amended to include the sanctuary's new acreage, adds
the assurance that this property will provide scenic enjoyment for the public
and conserve an area of vital habitat for generations to come,” said HHLT’s Executive Director Andy Chmar. “We
are pleased to be a partner on this project, and thank the many others
“The addition of this new property to our
Watergrass Sanctuary is a major accomplishment for the Putnam Highlands Audubon
Society,” said Connie Mayer-Bakall, Putnam Highlands Audubon Society President. “Along with our DeRham and Reese
Sanctuaries, this added land will help us provide and protect diverse habitats
for nesting and migrating birds and other wildlife. We are fortunate to have
strong conservation partners in our community—especially the Hudson Highlands
Land Trust, Scenic Hudson, and the Open Space Institute—who work together to
preserve wildlife habitats and open space for future generations."