Northeast Queens (NY) property preserved as open space by the Trust for Public Land

Douglaston, Queens (NY): The Trust for Public Land announced the protection of 0.61 acres of land in northeast Queens this week. The property is now part of Udall’s Park Preserve, a nature preserve managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation that allows public access for uses such as hiking and nature observation.

“This property is a critical piece among other protected lands in Udall’s Ravine and the adjoining Udall’s Cove,” said Clark Wallace, Trust for Public Land Field Representative who negotiated the purchase. “We have worked for a long time to protect land in this area and are pleased to work with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to further the open space protection efforts in Queens.”

The land was purchased by the Department of Parks and Recreation with funds appropriated in the City Council budget. “It is only natural that this property be designated park land as its former owner, Mary Stuart, wanted it. It will be a perfect spot for our urban park rangers to teach environmental education classes, as it is frequented by waterfowl as they travel across the North Atlantic flyway,” said Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Henry Stern.

Funds were allocated through a City Council member capital item proposed by Councilman Mike Abel of the 19th Council District. “It is a great pleasure to see this latest portion of land protected and reserved for public use,” said Councilman Abel. “Although more needs to be done, every parcel of land saved represents another giant step forward for preservationists everywhere.” The Councilman has allocated funding for the acquisition of private land, the preservation and restoration of Udall’s Cove, Udall’s Ravine and Aurora Pond, among other areas virtually every year he has been in office.

For more than 25 years, the city and the state have been working to protect land in this area of Queens. Udall’s Ravine is a watershed that feeds into Udall’s Cove, a tributary to Little Neck Bay and eventually the Long Island Sound.

TPL has long been a part of this protection effort, in partnership with both the city and the state. The group negotiated the purchase by the Department of Parks and Recreation of 1.25 acres in Udall’s Cove, providing access to a public trail and wildlife preserve. TPL also coordinated the donation of 6,000 square feet of land and conservation easements, ensuring the permanent protection of two additional lots, on an additional 0.5 acres. This land is managed by the Douglaston Manor Environmental Association.

“In a city like New York, where property is in great demand and land values are high, it is important to protect pieces in the open space puzzle as they become available-no matter how big or small,” said Wallace.

The protection of this land in Douglaston also complements New York City’s Alley Pond Park, a 635-acre park that includes woodlands, meadows, and fresh and saltwater marshes. “Preserved open space is vital to the quality of life for all-wildlife and humans alike. This addition represents the continued effort of the residents of northeast Queens to preserve natural areas,” said Irene Scheid, Executive Director, Alley Pond Environmental Center.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, and based in San Francisco, TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance, and law to protect land for people. To date, TPL has protected more than one million acres of land nationwide, including more than 50,000 acres throughout New York State.