Photo: Matt Champlin

$250,000 Challenge to Help Finger Lakes Land Trust Protect Owasco, Otisco, and Skaneateles Lake Watersheds

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced an exciting opportunity to conserve more land and water in the Owasco, Otisco, and Skaneateles lake watersheds. An anonymous donor is making a $250,000 challenge gift to leverage additional resources. All gifts made to the FLLT to benefit conservation in the eastern Finger Lakes will be matched 1:1, up to $250,000.

The FLLT is working on important conservation projects across the three easternmost Finger Lakes. Near Owasco Lake, the organization is working with a local family to conserve their farm overlooking the lake’s western shore. As part of the project, the FLLT will work with partners to create stream buffers on the property that will limit nutrient-laden runoff to the lake. The organization is also partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore wetlands at Owasco Flats and planting native trees at its popular Owasco Bluffs Preserve.

Earlier this year, the FLLT completed its second lakeshore protection project on Otisco Lake, establishing the first new Onondaga County Park in 20 years! Now, the FLLT is working to protect additional lands within the watershed that play a vital role in filtering runoff to the lake.

Around Skaneateles Lake, the FLLT just acquired a key addition to its High Vista Nature Preserve in Spafford. Expanding protection around the south end of Skaneateles Lake is a priority for the FLLT, as the steeply sloping hillsides are vital to the health of the lake. The FLLT is also poised to acquire hillside woodlands overlooking the lake’s western shore and is working on conservation easements on more than 800 acres of land within the watershed.

For additional information on our conservation work in the Owasco, Otisco, and Skaneateles lake watersheds, and to support this effort, please contact Senior Director Kelly Makosch at (607)-275-9487 or