Boy Scout Council Enters Agreement For Pouch Camp Conservation
The Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America (GNYC) is taking steps to permanently protect the William H. Pouch Scout Camp on Staten Island. Upon completion of the project, 94 acres of the property would be preserved and would have a permanent legal blanket of protection from development.
GNYC, working with The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization, has entered into an option agreement to preserve the property in 2 phases. In the first phase to be completed by July 2012, TPL will protect the most used part of camp with a perpetual conservation easement to be recorded over 40 acres. Scouts will continue to use this portion as they do today.
The second phase, if funded, would be completed by July 2013 and includes the outright purchase of 51 acres through TPL for permanent conservation. Scouts will retain use of the cabins and trails on this portion through a management agreement. The Scouts will also retain the 40 acres known as the Camporee Field.
Pouch Camp has been an important resource of Scouting in Staten Island for over 60 years and is a critical holding within the 2,500-acre Staten Island Greenbelt. It has been a priority for conservation since at least the mid-1980s. It is a recreational destination, an environmental education hot spot, and has important habitat and water resources. Throughout its history, Pouch Camp has been managed and maintained in the spirit of protecting these resources. This agreement further allows the Boy Scouts to make Pouch Camp an enduring ecological and public resource, with permanent restrictions for development of the property, managed by entities dedicated to its preservation.
The permanent preservation of Pouch Camp as described in the agreement is contingent upon achieving the conservation funding. TPL and GNYC will work with federal, state, regional and local public agencies to facilitate the overall funding and the ownership of the portion of property to be acquired.
This landmark conservation deal strikes a balance that will allow Scouting activities to continue at Pouch Camp while also providing the public access to this incredible resource through a reservation system. Permanent protection would provide financial resources to the help secure the future of New York City Scouting as well as benefit the entire community.
About the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America
The BSA is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America provides traditional Scouting and unique outreach programs available to all New York City youth. Visit www.bsa-gnyc.org.