Kim Elliman's Your Environment podcast on the Mid-Hudson News - June 30, 2012
OSI’s home has always been the Hudson River Valley, and for listeners in the lower part of the Valley, I’m happy to tell you we’ve just completed an acquisition that provides increased open space access in Westchester County.
OSI recently helped the Teatown Lake Reservation acquire and protect a 59-acre open space tract that expands both hiking trails and wildlife habitat corridors in Westchester.
The property, known locally as The Croft, is adjacent to Teatown’s own 875 acres of forests, streams and farmland, and includes portions of a three-lake system that drains directly into the Croton Reservoir, a major source for New York City and the rest of the region’s drinking water.
OSI’s relationship with Teatown dates back to the mid-1990s, when we first helped the preserve acquire important habitat lands.
Partnerships like these play an incredibly important role in land conservation.
The reason is that there’s much more to conservation than simply buying up land. Acquisition is only the first step, and across New York State, preserves like Teatown or the Black Rock Forest provide a critical service to the public by managing and caring for thousands of acres of open space, and making these lands available to school groups, hikers and recreational users.
As people begin to recognize their connection to the land, they’re more likely to appreciate land and become knowledgeable stewards of the land.
For these very reasons, care and access to land are major components of our core mission at OSI, and our partnerships with preserves—including Teatown, Black Rock and Mohonk—enhance our direct acquisition work by promoting safe, public access to the natural world.
So, if you’re in Westchester County, I encourage you to get out to Teatown and experience all that the natural world has to offer. If you’re elsewhere in New York, there are parks and preserves all over the state. With the Fourth of July coming up, now is a great time to get outdoors and make those connections yourself.
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