Press Releases

Westchester Land Trust Press Releases

Westchester Land Trust Receives Challenge Grant

to Preserve Yorktown Land through Regional Partnership

BEDFORD, NY – Westchester Land Trust (WLT) announced today the award of a $55,000 challenge grant toward the $200,000 acquisition of an environmentally significant parcel adjacent to Turkey Mountain Preserve in Yorktown, NY. The grant, from the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, provides a major boost to WLT’s fundraising efforts to acquire the parcel and preserve it in perpetuity. With additional financial support from the Town of Yorktown, private donors, and WLT’s own funds, the land trust hopes to fill a $50,000 funding gap in order to close on the acquisition within the next several months.

The 24-acre parcel, located on Saw Mill River Road in Yorktown, lies directly to the east of Turkey Mountain Preserve, a 125-acre preserve owned and managed by the Town of Yorktown. The protection of this parcel will create a 550-acre contiguous corridor of permanently protected forest and wetland, that also adjoins other protected lands owned and managed by NYS DEC and NYC DEP as a critical watershed area. The property lies within the Croton-to-Highlands Biodiversity Area, explicitly prioritized in the 2016 New York State Open Space Conservation Plan. For these reasons, Yorktown’s Advisory Committee on Open Space (ACOS) and the Yorktown Land Trust ranked this parcel their top preservation priority.

“We are deeply grateful to the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation for their generous support of this exciting project. We have been working with Yorktown Land Trust (YLT) and the Yorktown ACOS through the Hudson to Housatonic Regional Conservation Partnership (H2HRCP) for several years to identify and protect ecologically sensitive land, and we are hopeful that this challenge grant will inspire other donors to help us bring this acquisition to completion very soon,” said Lori Ensinger, WLT’s President. “The H2HRCP, which WLT co-coordinates, is a 40-organization regional partnership created to increase the pace of land protection between the Hudson and Housatonic Rivers.”

“We are delighted to be working with WLT and YLT to realize our longstanding vision for linking this parcel to Turkey Mountain Preserve, and to expand the preservation of a beloved resource in our community. The addition of the John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation to this wonderful public-private partnership brings us one step closer to success,” said Michael J. Grace, Yorktown Supervisor.

Once it acquires the property, WLT will manage the land as an extension of the Preserve, and construct a new public trail that links directly to the existing trail network at Turkey Mountain. The Town of Yorktown will hold a conservation easement on the property, further ensuring that it will always remain a nature preserve. Those interested in contributing to the fundraising effort for this acquisition are encouraged to contact Kara Whelan, WLT Vice President: Kara@westchesterlandtrust.org or 914.234.6992 ext 12.

403 Harris Road Bedford Hills, NY 10507 914.234.6992 westchesterlandtrust.org

 

Helping Those in Need

 “FaVoRs” and Westchester Land Trust

Harvest Fresh Produce for Local Residents in Need

Bedford Hills, NY – On Sunday, September 10th, members of FaVoRs, a volunteer club of local families who spend time volunteering together, enjoyed a picture-perfect afternoon to harvest fresh produce from Westchester Land Trust’s (WLT) micro farm at its headquarters in Bedford Hills. Doug DeCandia, FB4W’s Food Growing Coordinator, and Dr. Shaun McCoshum, WLT’s Preserve Manager & Educator, co-facilitated the afternoon outing.

A local leader in the protection of environmentally-important open space, WLT promotes sustainable agriculture which can provide both ecosystem services and quality of life benefits.  Westchester Land Trust is one of five area non-profits, institutions, and agencies partnered with FB4W to grow much-needed food exclusively for the nearly one in five individuals who are hungry or at risk of hunger in Westchester County.

Local FaVoRs families worked in the long garden rows to pull potatoes from the nutrient-dense soil and pluck tomatoes from the vines. Young volunteers (ages 2 on up!) volunteered alongside their parents, grandparents, and friends. All fresh produce was donated to Food Bank for Westchester’s (FB4W) Food Growing Program which services dozens of food pantries throughout the County.

“Our family loves participating in FaVoRs because it exposes  us to non-profits in our own backyard and gets our children involved,” said Sarah Webb. “I drive past the Westchster Land Trust’s headquarters nearly every day and didn’t know what it does or the significant impact it has in providing fresh produce to local foodbanks.”

Volunteers, led by Westchester Land Trust’s professional staff, are an essential part of Sugar Hill Farm’s success—helping to raise 2,670 pounds of vegetables in 2016 alone!  Through hands-on experience, participants—like FaVoRs Families—become informed advocates on the impact of their work at the individual, community, and regional levels.

ABOUT FAVORS

FaVoRs is a Volunteer “club” for families who want to engage, involve, and educate their children in the concept of “doing good”. It’s for any family that wants to give back to our amazing community in a way that is easy, organic, and fits with your family’s busy lifestyle. Founded in December 2009, FaVoRs has helped dozens of non-profits with all manner of projects — from trail clearings to sorting donated clothes to writing notes to soldiers. Membership is open. Contact FaVoRs for more information: westchesterfavors.org

 ABOUT WESTCHESTER LAND TRUST

Based in Bedford Hills, the Westchester Land Trust works with public and private partners to preserve land in perpetuity and to enhance the natural resources in Westchester and eastern Putnam counties—a densely populated region under persistent threat from the pressures of development.   Through the use of conservation easements and outright acquisition, WLT’s efforts benefit the long-term health of these communities by safeguarding air quality, food supply and community character, as well as critical watershed areas.  One of the first land trusts in the nation to receive Accreditation through the Land Trust Alliance, WLT which was founded in 1988, has preserved almost 8,000 acres of open space. More than 700-acres of land are owned by the organization which are free and open to the public year round. For the fall calendar of free family and community events, please visit: westchesterlandtrust.org and connect with WLT on Facebook & Instagram (@WestchesterLandTrust) as well as Twitter (@WLT_NY).

 

Caption: From left  to r – Lily Reuben (age 5), Harry Trotta (age 3) and Hadley Webb (age 4) helped harvest fresh produce for local residents in need at a FaVoRs outing hosted by Westchester Land Trust at their headquarters in Bedford Hills.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kara H. Whelan, Vice President

914.234.6992 ext. 12, kara@westchesterlandtrust.org

 

September 1, 2017

 

BEDFORD, NY – Westchester Land Trust announced today the permanent protection of 15.8 acres in Bedford, through a conservation easement donated to WLT, its 200th. This major milestone for WLT brings the organization’s total acreage protected by conservation easement to 5,380. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust that permanently restricts the development of a property in order to protect the land’s important conservation values.

“We are grateful that these visionary landowners have chosen to protect their property in perpetuity. This easement expands a significant corridor of protected land in the Town of Bedford, where WLT first got its start 29 years ago. With the completion of our 200th easement, I would like to salute all the landowners, donors, municipal officials, volunteers, and staff members who have supported our mission over the years to make it possible. It’s a great day for land conservation in Westchester,” said Bruce Churchill, WLT’s Chairman of the Board.

The property lies within the Mianus River watershed a region noted for its ecological and biological significance.  The permanently protected land boasts a wide diversity of plant communities and a mosaic of habit types including healthy woodlands, dense shrublands – ideal for nesting songbirds, and wetland areas that offer safe breeding ground for a variety of native animals. During a recent site visit to the land, WLT’s land project manager John Baker, observed late summer cicadas calling from the dense understory of a woodland area, while a pair of nesting red-tailed hawks circled high above the shrubland.

“We are thrilled to have worked with WLT to realize our vision for our land and our long-standing interest in protecting our local environment,” shared the easement landowners who wish to remain anonymous. “We now truly appreciate how individual landowners’ actions can have such a beneficial impact on the wider region. We hope our actions might inspire others to consider preserving their land as well.”

While the conservation easement is not open to the public, the landowners have reserved the right to allow future access for horseback riders to the bridle trails on the property.

Landowners who wish to learn more about exploring their land protection options with the Westchester Land Trust are encouraged to call John Baker, WLT Land Conservation Project Manager, at 914.234.6992 ext. 25 or John@westchesterlandtrust.org.

ABOUT WESTCHESTER LAND TRUST

Based in Bedford Hills, the Westchester Land Trust works with public and private partners to preserve land in perpetuity and to enhance the natural resources in Westchester and eastern Putnam counties—a densely populated region under persistent threat from the pressures of development.   Through the use of conservation easements and outright acquisition, WLT’s efforts benefit the long-term health of these communities by safeguarding air quality, food supply and community character, as well as critical watershed areas.  One of the first land trusts in the nation to receive Accreditation through the Land Trust Alliance, WLT which was founded in 1988, has preserved almost 8,000 acres of open space. More than 700-acres of land are owned by the organization which are free and open to the public year round.

For more information about WLT, please visit westchesterlandtrust.org and connect with us on Facebook & Instagram (@WestchesterLandTrust) as well as Twitter (@WLT_NY).

Caption: Westchester Land Trust’s 200th conservation easement protects an important corridor in the Mianus River watershed in Bedford, NY.

Westchester Land Trust Welcomes Over 300 Supporters to Annual Benefit at Sugar Hill Farm

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kara H. Whelan, Vice President
914.234.6992 ext. 12, kara@westchesterlandtrust.org

Norma Silva, Aimee Whitman, and Susan Carpenter: WLT’s Women in Conservation

Celebrating Women in Conservation

More than 300 guests gathered in Bedford Hills at the beautiful Sugar Hill Farm on June 17th for dinner, dancing, and another highly anticipated live auction, to celebrate Westchester Land Trust’s (WLT) continued conservation efforts in the region.  WLT welcomed an exciting mix of supporters—both long-standing and brand new—who came together to honor Women in Conservation: Susan Carpenter with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Norma Silva and Aimée Whitman with Preservation Angel Awards.

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OSI Donates Overlook Trail Property to Teatown Lake Reservation for Nature Preserve

May 25, 2017
Contact: Maria Slippen
914.234.6992 ext. 15, maria@westchesterlandtrust.org

Westchester Land Trust will hold a conservation easement on the property to protect it from development forever.Continue reading

John Baker Joins Westchester Land Trust Staff as Land Conservation Projects Manager

May 11, 2017
Contact: Maria Slippen
914.234.6992 ext. 15, maria@westchesterlandtrust.org

Additions to Staff and Appointment to New York Land Trust Advisory Board Announced

 

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Annual Benefit Honors Women in Conservation

March 21, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Slippen
914.234.6992 ext. 15, maria@westchesterlandtrust.org

The 2017 event will be “at home” on Sugar Hill Farm and celebrate the dedication, hard-work, and commitment of three amazing women.

 

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New Directors Named

January 25, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kara H. Whelan, Vice President
914.234.6992 ext. 12, kara@westchesterlandtrust.org

BRUCE CHURCHILL LEADS WESTCHESTER LAND TRUST AS NEWLY APPOINTED CHAIRMAN

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