Saving Summer on Staten Island
A deep breath, a big jump, and the first splash of summer. It's a feeling city kids treasure year-round. Now, the permanent protection of a forest retreat on Staten Island means more campers will be making memories for generations to come.
The hundred-acre Pouch Camp is the only Boy Scout camp in New York City; serving tens of thousands of scouts and other visitors every year. Its wooded trails and quiet lakes are many city kids' first experience in the outdoors—and an important resource for wildlife habitat and water quality.
So when a tightening budget forced the Greater New York Councils Boys Scouts of America to consider selling the property, we were eager to help them find an alternative. The Trust for Public Land worked with the council, government agencies, and an alliance of committed community groups to raise $11 million to protect Pouch Camp with conservation easements—special legal protections that prevent development. It's a solution we've used at camps around the country, including the Girl Scout's Camp Conowingo in Maryland.
"Conservation is the best solution whenever possible," says Peg Smith, CEO of the American Camp Association. "The preservation of land is part of our value system."