Conservation of Mystery Point Property on the Hudson River

NEW YORK, NY (June 13, 2013) — The Open Space Institute and Scenic Hudson announced today the sale of the 129-acre Mystery Point property in Philipstown, NY, to Jon Stryker of Kalamazoo, MI. He is an architect and a leading philanthropist in social justice and animal conservation. 

“I'm very excited that the new conservation easement we have put in place will ensure that Mystery Point will be protected and accessible forever,” Stryker said.  

The entire property is being sold subject to a conservation easement that permanently ensures that the property’s scenic and natural character is retained. Hudson Highlands Land Trust will hold the easement. The parcel’s parking area and extensive network of public trails, including on-foot access to the Hudson River, will continue to be managed by the Open Space Institute and will remain largely unchanged and open to the public, with the exception of a 21-acre residential area. 

“This sale, and the conservation easement that it is subject to, solidifies the permanent protection of Mystery Point,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “It was our hope in transitioning this property to a private owner that public access would be retained on nearly all of the parcel. This is an asset that is treasured by the community, and each of the parties involved is pleased to have achieved that result.”

Overall, the Open Space Institute has protected more than 10,500 acres in Putnam County, including nearly doubling the size of Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, creating Arden Point State Park and making substantial additions to Hudson Highlands State Park. In addition, OSI donated the land used for the Philipstown Community Center and the Philipstown Town Park.

In the Hudson Highlands, Scenic Hudson has protected more than 3,500 acres and created several parks—lands essential for sustaining world-class views and connecting people to the river and the region’s history and extraordinary biological diversity.

Together, OSI and Scenic Hudson acquired the Mystery Point property in April 1990. 

After acquiring the parcel, OSI and Scenic Hudson worked on an adaptive re-use plan for the surrounding property to provide the greatest public benefit. Outward Bound, a not-for profit outdoor educational organization, leased the property for almost 20 years as its national headquarters.

“Beginning with our founding 50 years ago to protect Storm King Mountain, Scenic Hudson has been committed to conserving the natural and scenic treasures in the Hudson Highlands. We are very pleased to have found a buyer for Mystery Point whose sense of stewardship of this beautiful land is compatible with these values, and we’re also delighted that people will continue to access its wonderful riverfront trails,” said Steve Rosenberg, executive director of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust.

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