130 Acres on Lake Ontario Watershed Protected (NY)

Webster, NY – June 24, 2004 – The nonprofit Trust for Public Land and the Town of Webster announced today the permanent protection of 130 acres of undeveloped forest and open fields in the Lake Ontario watershed. The property has been a high priority for protection in Webster.

The land, formerly owned by the Gosnell family, was identified as a priority for protection in the town’s 2001 open space plan due to its proximity to Webster Park. “We wanted to see the land permanently protected as public open space,” said Webster Town Supervisor Cathryn C. Thomas. “Because of their real estate expertise and experience in this area, we called on the Trust for Public Land.”

The $800,000 purchase is the first to use funds from the new Open Space Fund, created when a $5.9 million bond was passed by Webster voters on April 27 of this year. Webster’s overall open space plan has a goal to purchase and protect more than 1,000 acres in six diverse geographic areas throughout the Town.

“Voters made their desires to protect remaining open space known,” said Clark Wallace, project manager for the Trust for Public Land. “By working with local communities to protect critical open spaces like this, we are helping to preserve quality of life and contributing to the protection of the overall Great Lakes ecosystem.”

The land will be managed by the Town of Webster as a passive nature preserve. In addition to its recreational potential for hiking, acquisition of the property will help protect the water quality of Lake Ontario and provide opportunities for wildlife observation and education. Eighty species of birds have been identified on or near the property during recent bird counts.

New York State’s Great Lakes shoreline is an invaluable resource of utmost ecological significance. Protection of this property is part of the Trust for Public Land’s Great Lakes Greenprint, an effort to identify and preserve important properties in the Great Lakes watershed in New York State, working in partnership with local communities and organizations.

Within New York State’s Great Lakes watershed, the Trust for Public Land has completed 16 projects totaling more than 4,700 acres. In Monroe County, TPL worked with government partners to acquire the 68-acre Burger Park and the 109-acre Dahlheim properties, both of which are now part of the state’s Braddock Bay Wildlife Management Area. In addition, TPL helped protect the 35-acre Parma property, which features wetlands, coastal forests and one-quarter-mile of Lake Ontario frontage that had been slated for residential development.

With the support of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Henry Philip Kraft Memorial Fund and Sarah K. de Coizart Article TENTH Perpetual Charitable Trust, TPL continues efforts to identify and protect land in the Great Lakes region. Currently, TPL is working on a Great Lakes Greenprint, which takes a comprehensive look at opportunities for land protection and public access along the shorelines of lakes Erie and Ontario and their major tributaries in New York State.

The Trust for Public Land is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since 1972, TPL has helped protect more than 1.9 million acres of land in 46 states.