Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

OSI Donates Glenville Woods Preserve to Town of Greenburgh

Glenville

Transfer of once-endangered parcel is part of a series of OSI property donations across New York                    divider

GREENBURGH, NY —Dec. 21, 2016—The Open Space Institute (OSI) has donated a key portion of the Glenville Woods Preserve to the Town of Greenburgh. The transfer allows the town to take ownership of a crucial recreational access point, while protecting critical forest and wetland habitat.

Valued at $800,000, the 18.3-acre property connects Glenville Woods Preserve to a 580-acre strip of unbroken parkland within a heavily developed area. The Preserve’s hiking trails enhance access to several local recreational networks, including the North County Trailway, Cherry Town Lakes, Saw Mill River Parkway and the Tarrytown Lakes Trail.  Featuring a small playground, the property is used by local residents for passive recreation. 

The transfer is the latest in a series of five celebrated properties OSI is donating to municipalities across New York, totaling 350 acres and valued at over $3.1 million.

“Surrounded by development and in a densely populated neighborhood, the Glenville Woods property is a key link connecting local residents to recreational opportunities found in nature,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “OSI is proud to have played a role in ensuring access to a much-used and well-loved nature preserve, and prouder still to donate this recreational treasure to the residents of Greenburgh for their permanent enjoyment.”

In 2001, OSI and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) partnered with the Town of Greenburgh and Westchester County to protect 44 acres of critical forested and wetland habitat from development, creating the Glenville Woods Nature Preserve. Today, OSI’s donation of its 18.3-acre portion gives the town complete management and ownership of the entire preserve.

“Bringing OSI into the project was the key to protecting Glenville Woods from development and establishing it as a park preserve,” said Jon Flores, a member of the Greenburgh Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and one of the original neighborhood activists who organized to save the property. “We had been working to save the property for seven years, and without OSI’s involvement it never would have happened.”

“The Town of Greenburgh is thrilled to have acquired this diverse and ecologically significant open space from OSI,” said Paul Feiner, Town Supervisor in Greenburgh. “Local residents will enjoy the property for generations to come.”

 

   

 

This past spring, parks and environmental communities celebrated an historic expansion of New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Now, two recent announcements highlight the real impact this EPF milestone is having on increasing public access to nature – particularly for people who can face barriers to outdoor exploration – the physically challenged and certain disadvantaged students.

Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature the EPF grew to $300 million in 2016. This historic expansion translates into greater investment in cleaner water and air, park expansions and farmland protection, among many critically important programs. Improving the public’s access to parks and all that they offer are among the great achievements of the EPF.

“Every year, OSI and our many partners work together to make the case for greater investment in the EPF,” said KE. “It is gratifying to see how the EPF is making our state’s most spectacular natural landscapes more accessible to a fuller range of visitors and explorers.”

In just the last month two great initiatives were announced that underscore how the EPF is making it easier to get New Yorkers outdoors.

Black Rock Forest just south of Newburgh boasts some of the best hiking opportunities in the Hudson Highlands. Now, thanks to a $217,000 EPF grant, a new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible pathway was created at this popular old growth forest. This trail can be safely accessed by just about everyone—including people using wheelchairs or walkers, as well as families with young children and strollers.

“We are thrilled that more visitors will be able to enjoy the expansive trails that make up Black Rock Forest, thanks to the great new addition of the Visitor Access Pathway,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “This is a great example of how the Environmental Protection Fund provides real recreational opportunities for New Yorkers.”

Douglas Hovey, the executive director of Independent Living, Inc. offered this perspective, “As a person who uses a wheelchair, being able to experience nature and the great outdoors is such an essential part of my well-being. There are very few outdoor resources for people with disabilities, therefore this addition at Black Rock Forest is significant for the thousands of people living with disabilities in the Hudson Valley.”

Improving park access is also at the heart of a new EPF-funded program offering grants to Title 1 schools to cover transportation costs associated with trips to a state park, environmental nature center or historic site. Title 1 schools serve children who historically had the least opportunity to reap the benefits of access to open space—students who are struggling academically and students from low-income backgrounds.

The $500,000 statewide transportation grant program is one part of State Parks’ “Connect Kids to Parks” program. Like the National Parks Service, New York State is offering free admission to state parks, historic sites and day-use areas operated by Department of Environmental Conservation for every fourth-grader in the state for 2017.  

 

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