Stillwater, NY (April 11, 2017)— The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the transfer of a 170-acre parcel to the National Park Service (NPS) to be added to the Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park. The property, located in the Town of Stillwater at the northeast end of the park on State Route 4 (see map), is a key portion of the historic site of the Battle of Saratoga, considered by many to be the turning point of the American Revolution.
“Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park is one of the National Park system’s most valuable historic resources, connecting families to a priceless heritage. OSI is proud to have protected this significant, storied, and visually stunning acreage,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “Thanks to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the congressional leaders who support it, and our partners at the National Park Service, this scenic property will be added to the park and permanently protected.”
“The Battles of Saratoga were the turning point of our fight for independence, so it is crucial that we preserve this sacred ground and never forget its significance in the American Revolution,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “Thanks to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, our National Park system has gained a powerful addition that makes American history more accessible for visitors from across the world. I want to thank the Open Space Institute and the Town of Stillwater for their steadfast dedication to protecting this portion of the Saratoga Battlefield and look forward to seeing how the expanded park will be used to educate students, families, and tourists for generations to come.”
“The Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park has preserved one of the most historically significant places of the American Revolution for New Yorkers and families from around the world to experience for generations to come,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “The Battlefield not only helps tell the story of our past, but its vast open spaces and stunning views make it one of our most beautiful and treasured national assets. I applaud the continued efforts to preserve, protect, and expand these parklands for future generations to explore, learn from, and enjoy.”
“Our corner of the nation stands out for our rich history and I am pleased that Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park will be permanently protected through this program,” said Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. “For 50 years the Land and Water Conservation Fund has supported wilderness, historical, and Community Park projects across the North Country and I will continue to fight in Congress to fund this important program so that our unique history is preserved.”
“The vision of OSI and the private landowner to conserve this sacred ground, a key site of the Revolutionary War, ensures the protection of this historical property in perpetuity,” said Amy Bracewell, the Superintendent of Saratoga National Historical Park.
“The Saratoga Battlefield National Park in Stillwater is without question a significant slice of historical importance to our Nation. The battles fought over these lands ushered in the turning point of the American Revolution,” said Edward D. Kinowski, Supervisor of the Town of Stillwater. “The OSI transfer of the parcel to the National Parks Service is a welcomed addition to the prominence this park and area of Saratoga County offers to all Americans. OSI has once again stepped forward to help preserve a vital landscape in all our best interests – many thanks from the Town of Stillwater!”
“The Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park is an amazing gem in our County and, thanks to OSI, this transfer will benefit our residents and visitors,” said Vice President of Community Development at the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce, Kathleen Fyfe. “Increased access to green space improves the health of the economy, tourism, and people of Saratoga County. For the second year in a row, Saratoga County has been ranked as the healthiest county in the state of New York by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. One of the variables measured in this ranking is resident access to parks and green spaces which has just been increased thanks to this project.”
In September of 1777, this parcel was surrounded by the British Army to the north and the American Army to the south. When the British broke camp and advanced upon the American positions, they crossed over this terrain to begin the first battle in this area, the battle at Freeman’s Farm. A road cut diagonally across this parcel and a fortification was built on the hilltop to block the road. After the second battle at Saratoga, concentrated along the bluffs, the British withdrew and retreated to modern day Schuylerville. On the bluffs of the parcel, is a cemetery dating back to the 18th century.
The property, once under threat of development, was protected with funding secured through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The 170-acre property is now part of the Saratoga Battlefield National Historical Park and permanently protected as part of the vision for the National Historical Park.
Saratoga County is one of the most rapidly growing counties in New York and development pressures increasingly threaten farmland and undisturbed wooded areas. For more than two decades, OSI has worked in this Saratoga County landscape to protect the historic site, its viewshed, and the important farmland that has supported its community for hundreds of years. Since 1997, OSI has protected 2,700 acres within the Saratoga Battlefield viewshed.
The LWCF is a dedicated funding stream to protect America’s irreplaceable recreational, natural, historic, cultural, and outdoor landmarks using proceeds generated by offshore oil and gas drilling leases. Over the decades, this fund has made significant impacts on landscapes across the nation creating national, state, and local parks; protecting wilderness areas; supporting conservation-based timber practices; promoting a range of recreational activities, including fishing, camping, hiking, and biking.