William H. Pouch Camp Saved For Future Generations Of Happy Campers
The first phase in the permanent protection of the 115-acre William H. Pouch Scout Camp from development has been completed, The Trust for Public Land announced today.
Owned by the Boy Scouts of America for over fifty-years and used as an outdoor recreational resource for Boy Scouts and many other youth groups and families in the Greater New York metro area for decades, Pouch Camp is host to more than 25,000 Boy Scouts from New York and New Jersey, the YMCA, and Kaufman Camp youth who visit the camp annually— many from the region’s most underserved households. The Boy Scouts also host co-ed learning school programs at Pouch Camp, where youth are exposed to life skills, wilderness survival, fishing, boating and camping, many for the first time in their lives.
In 2011, The Trust for Public Land executed an option with the Boy Scouts of America to preserve the property in three phases through the purchase of a conservation easement. The conservation easement, which will be managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, will ensure that the Boy Scouts and others will continue to have the opportunity to camp, hike, and swim in an outdoor setting located in the heart of the largest city in the United States.
The only Boy Scout camp within the city limits of New York City—and a new part of the 3,000-acre protected Staten Island Greenbelt, the Kaufmann Special Management Area, High Rock Park, and Blood Root Valley Nature Preserve—Pouch Camp was one of the largest unprotected open spaces remaining on Staten Island, and in the city.
“The Trust for Public Land is pleased to have collaborated with the State of New York, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, the City of New York, the local community, and the Boys Scouts of America, to protect this extraordinary place,” said Marc A. Matsil, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State director.
The $5 million needed to complete the phase I easement on the property was funded by The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey through The Hudson-Raritan Estuary Resources Program, the City of New York— through the offices of Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro and City Councilmembers Vincent Ignizio and James S. Oddo. An additional $10 million is needed over the next two years to complete phases II and III of the project.
“Aside from recreation, Pouch Camp also provides important stormwater management and flood abatement services to Staten Island, as well as significant habitat for migrating birds and terrestrial species in the Greenbelt, which is very important,” added Matsil.
Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people. Operating from more than 40 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness—including 130,000–acres in New York State—and helped generate more than 34 billion in public funds for conservation. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Learn more at tpl.org (http://www.tpl.org/).