Photo: Chris Ray

Acquisition Expands Growing Network of Conserved Lands on Ithaca’s West Hill

The Land Trust acquired 73 acres of mature forest and meadows on Ithaca’s West Hill. Once part of a farm owned by the Babcock family, the property is situated within the West Hill Wildway—a growing greenbelt extending along the west side of Ithaca from Robert Treman State Park to Bundy Road.

Acquisition of the property, which features extensive undeveloped frontage on Culver Road, expands the wildway by linking Town of Ithaca conservation land with the Cornell Botanic Gardens’ Coy Glen Natural Area. Protected lands within the wildway also include the YMCA’s environmental education facility on State Route 79, Land Trust conservation easements on Sheffield Farm, and portions of EcoVillage. To date, the Land Trust has worked with partners to conserve approximately 600 acres within the wildway.

The Land Trust intends to sell half of the Babcock property to the Town of Ithaca as an addition to its adjacent conservation holdings. The other half will be sold to a private buyer, subject to a perpetual conservation easement that will limit development to a single home.

Conserving this property will help protect water quality in the Cayuga Lake watershed, secure diverse habitat for wildlife, and buffer the Coy Glen Natural Area. It also creates additional outdoor recreational opportunities for residents living on Ithaca’s West Hill.