New Park Links White Plains Greenways (NY)

White Plains, NY, 12/20/2001: The Trust for Public Land and Mayor Joseph Delfino announced the completion of a project protecting of one of the last remaining open spaces in the City of White Plains after more than 25 years in private ownership. The 5.3-acre wooded property is located in a densely developed residential neighborhood and has been the subject of numerous plans for residential development over the years. The acquisition as open space, links to two greenways within the city—the White Plains Greenway and the Highland Avenue Nature Trail.

“This project preserves a key piece of open space for a community with limited publicly accessible land,” said Kate Garrett, project manager for the Trust for Public Land. “White Plains has shown its commitment to preserving the few remaining parcels of open space before they are lost to residential development. The foresight and partnership of Mayor Delfino and the Common Council are to be commended.”

The Common Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase bonding for the $1.75 million purchase. “This is the first of what I hope to be many more acquisitions by the City to preserve open space. This truly is an important legacy that will benefit our residents for generations,” said Mayor Delfino.

The White Plains community, represented primarily by the Concerned Citizens for Open Space, has been clamoring for the protection of this property for more than a decade. Members of the citizens group were key partners in convincing the city’s Common Council to authorize the funding for the acquisition.

“I’m elated that the city recognized that this property is a critical link to the in-city trail system that we have visualized for so long. After 14 years, we are so fortunate to have this protected from development for open space and we are grateful to the Trust for Public Land for all they did to make this dream a reality,” said Jack Harrington of the Concerned Citizens for Open Space.

The acquisition of the D’Elia property is the first in a series of acquisitions contemplated by Mayor Joseph Delfino in his environmental protection initiative introduced in early 2001.

This project was done through the joint venture partnership of the Trust for Public Land and the Open Space Institute through which the two nonprofit land conservation organizations help government, businesses and community groups across New York State acquire and fund public lands.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, conservation finance, and law to protect land for people. TPL has long been involved in land conservation initiatives in Westchester County. In April of this year, the group transferred a conservation easement on 50 acres along the Hudson River in Cortland to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, adding to the adjacent 50-acre area known as Harbor Landing that was protected by TPL last summer. In 1999, TPL protected the 120-acre Gaisman Estate in Hartsdale, now known as the Hart’s Brook Nature Preserve. The group also helped protect more than a mile of riverfront in Croton and provided a 20-acre addition to Yonkers’ Untermyer Park. TPL’s Conservation Finance program helps expand public funding for land conservation. In 2000, the group provided advice and technical assistance to citizens groups and government officials in seven Westchester towns that passed local ballot questions on open space funding. To date, TPL has protected more than 1 million acres of land, including more than 56,700 acres in New York.