The Land Trust recently acquired a scenic 18-acre parcel overlooking the south end of Canandaigua Lake and the West River in Naples, Ontario County. Located on Greisa Hill Road, the property features meadows as well as a rugged gorge and hillside woodlands above State Route 21.
This latest addition to the Land Trust’s holdings was sold by Rochester resident Ed Cloos, who utilized the property as a retreat and a place to grow grapes for more than 40 years. Mr. Cloos agreed to sell the land for less than its appraised fair market value – preferring to forego additional profit so that he would know that his land would be conserved forever.
The Land Trust has set a fundraising goal of $140,000 to develop a scenic overlook on the property and a modest parking area for visitors. Establishing a conservation area on the property will protect the view and limit the amount of runoff to Canandaigua Lake. The hillsides at the south end of the lake are well known for their scenic beauty however, these same slopes are being increasingly developed as home sites.
“Ed’s love and commitment to this land were evident immediately,” said Land Protection Specialist Elizabeth Newbold. “After several decades of hard work and management, he had many stories to share about Bald Eagles landing on the lower meadow with their recently caught meal, the Bobolink birds that nested in the fields in the summer, and the always evolving fresh grape market in the region. Ed’s motivation to protect the land is tremendous and ensures that such a special place will remain available for others in the future to have similar stories of wildlife and open space.”
The property is part of a growing network of conserved lands in this area. Across Greisa Hill Road are hillside meadows protected by a conservation easement held by the Land Trust. Just downhill is an additional woodland already owned by the Land Trust as well as the state’s High Tor Wildlife Management Area. And just a stone’s throw to the north is South Bristol’s popular scenic overlook and Carolabarb Park – which the Land Trust protects with a conservation easement.
The Cloos acquisition is the 13th land protection project the Land Trust has completed in the vicinity of the south end of Canandaigua Lake. In addition to this newest preserve, the Land Trust also owns and manages the Great Hill and West River Nature Preserves. The organization has also partnered with the Town of South Bristol to create nearby Carolabarb Park; Ontario County to acquire Grimes Glen; and with New York State to add several parcels to High Tor Wildlife Management Area.