Tom Burke Memorial Preserve

Tom Burke Memorial Preserve

McLain Street & Broad Brook Road
Bedford Hills
7.5 acres

The Tom Burke Memorial Preserve in Bedford Hills is perfect if you're looking for a short stroll in an open area and is great for birdwatching or botanizing. Almost all of the 7.5-acre preserve consists of an open meadow and adjacent swamp, bordered by a stone wall. We mow the meadow once a year in late fall to maintain the habitat and we keep a short trail cleared. Consider wearing boots, because the preserve and parts of the trail itself can be very wet.

As long ago as the early 1970s, Bedford residents had identified the field, which is at the intersection of McLain Street, West Patent Road and Broad Brook Road, as a priority for preservation. It was known as Knapp's Field and its prominent location in Bedford Hills, its openness, and its wildflowers and meadow grasses made it a local landmark.

Following the passage of Bedford's land referendum in 2000, the town's open space committee reaffirmed Knapp Field's high ranking for preservation. In November 2002, thanks to the financial support of over two dozen area residents, Westchester Land Trust bought Knapp's Field, for $300,000.

At the suggestion of the property's neighbors the Land Trust named the property the Tom Burke Memorial Preserve after Thomas Burke who died on September 11, 2001 in the attack on the World Trade Center. Mr. Burke lived on McLain Street across from Knapp's Field.

Directions: The entrance to the Tom Burke Memorial Preserve is on McLain Street, at the intersection of McLain Street and Springhurst Road in Bedford Hills. Park on the shoulder on the north side of McLain and east of Springhurst Road.