The Finger Lakes Land Trust today announced it has acquired a 38 acre forest on Van Kirk Road in the town of Newfield, Tompkins County. The property borders Cornell University’s 4,000-acre Arnot Research Forest and is part of a habitat corridor that leads to the Land Trust’s nearby 265-acre Charles Spencer Nature Preserve.
Situated in the Susquehanna River watershed, the land was acquired from Donna Callais, who generously agreed to sell her property for less than its fair market value. The property features mature oaks and maples, and will be managed in conjunction with the Charles Spencer Nature Preserve, which includes frontage along Jackson Hollow Brook.
Protection of the property will help ensure that wide ranging animals such as black bear and bobcat will continue to wander through Ithaca’s Emerald Necklace. This latest addition comes as the Land Trust enters its second decade working on the Emerald Necklace, an effort to link 50,000 acres of existing public conservation land extending through the hills around Ithaca. The necklace is recognized as a priority project within New York State’s Open Space Plan and it features two Audubon-designated Important Bird Areas and several dozen county-designate Unique Natural Areas.