The Land Trust is protecting 1,100 feet of Owasco Lake shoreline through the acquisition of 74 acres in the town of Owasco, Cayuga County.
The Land Trust intends to manage the site as a public conservation area, and will restore wetlands to filter runoff to the lake. A hiking trail will traverse the site’s diverse wildlife habitats while also providing access to scenic views of Owasco Lake.
The property features forested bluffs overlooking the lake as well as meadows, brush land, hay fields, and a rugged gorge. The site was identified as a priority for protection through a systematic effort by the Land Trust to identify and assess properties within the Finger Lakes region that feature 1,000 feet or more of undeveloped shoreline.
The Land Trust purchased the property through individual donations, an interest free loan from the Norcross Wildlife Foundation, and an allocation from the organization’s revolving land protection fund. A $950,000 fundraising campaign is underway to cover the purchase price of the property, public access improvements, wildlife habitat restoration, and also to provide a contribution to the organization’s Stewardship Fund to support long-term management of the site.
The fundraising campaign already includes lead gifts from the Peter J. Emerson Foundation and the Gallogly Family Foundation. Additionally, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation has indicated its intent to purchase a conservation easement to ensure public access to the site and its continued preservation.
“We’re grateful to our donors and partners for making this project possible,” said Andrew Zepp, the Land Trust’s Executive Director. “Acquisition of this land will allow the public to experience one of Owasco Lake’s last stretches of wild shoreline. It also allows us to restore wetlands that will help filter runoff to the lake, helping to address harmful algal blooms.”