Dear Friends of the Finger Lakes, thank you for another extraordinary year in land and water conservation. You helped the Land Trust surpass milestones of 21,000 acres protected forever and 40 miles of trails opened to the public! Please enjoy the following highlights in our Year-in-Review. Together we can do more great things in 2018. Help us prepare for another milestone by sending us your best photos in our 30th Anniversary Photo Contest! Happy New Year.
The Land Trust launched a new web site—gofingerlakes.org—offered as a free public service to help residents and visitors discover the best locations in the region for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, and other outdoor recreation activities. “Go Finger Lakes” features over 55 locations and 650 miles of trails across the 12-county Finger Lakes region of New York State. Visit Go Finger Lakes.
This fall, the Finger Lakes Land Trust formally dedicated its 194-acre Houghton Land Preserve in Corning. The preserve is a gift from longtime Corning leaders Jamie and Maisie Houghton, who donated their land in 2016. Learn more.
The Land Trust acquired 158 forested acres in southern Tompkins County, within the Emerald Necklace Greenbelt—a priority project in New York State’s Open Space Plan. The property is adjacent to the Land Trust’s existing 196-acre Charles Spencer Nature Preserve. See the story.
The Land Trust protected 29 acres on the eastern hillside of Skaneateles Lake, in the town of Spafford, with a conservation easement. The property has been in Art Woldt’s (1928-2017) family since 1920 when it was purchased by his grandfather who farmed the land into his 80s. Learn more.
Catalpa Farm’s 596 acres of prime farmland are conserved forever thanks to a partnership between the Land Trust, the Pritchard family, New York State, and the Town of Canandaigua. The farm is located along the east side of Route 332, just north of the city of Canandaigua, where many property owners face increasing development pressure. See the story.
The Land Trust conserved a 104-acre horse farm that provides valuable buffer to the Finger Lakes National Forest. The property, which operates as an equestrian training and riding center, is located in the town of Hector, Schuyler County. Learn more.
The Land Trust acquired 144 wooded acres, containing approximately one mile of the Finger Lakes Trail, in the town of Danby, Tompkins County. The property was purchased in partnership with the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Tompkins County. The land will ultimately be conveyed to New York State as an addition to Danby State Forest. See the story.
The Land Trust added to conservation lands in the Southern Tier when it accepted the donation of a conservation easement on 83 acres in the town of Horseheads, Chemung County. Owned by Tim and Paddy Welles, the property is a couple of miles up the road from Quarry Farm, where the Land Trust holds several easements protecting the historic site of Mark Twain’s summer home. Learn more.
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. See the story.
The Land Trust protected 200 wildlife-rich acres in the town of Prattsburgh, Steuben County, while also generating funds for the organization’s education and outreach efforts. Learn more.
Increased nutrient runoff into the lakes, including soil erosion from farm fields and contamination from lakeshore septic systems, is raising the risk of toxic algae outbreaks across the region. While all of the factors contributing to outbreaks are not completely understood, the increasing intensity of storm events is washing more nutrients into the lakes — putting all eleven Finger Lakes at risk. Outbreaks threaten human health as well as the region’s tourism economy. Thus the stakes are high to counter these threats as development pressure increases. The Finger Lakes Land Trust is working to buffer our streams, create new wetlands, and save our last undeveloped shorelines. You can see our Top 10 conservation strategies in our free report, “Lakes, Farms, and Forests Forever.” See the Facebook post and join the conservation.
Video of the Month
Why are bobcats bobbing? Why are wild turkeys dancing? Find out in our 2018 Creature Feature – starring woodland critters of the Finger Lakes region! You can share it with friends on Facebook. Thank you again for your unflagging support, and here’s to a great new year in Finger Lakes conservation.