Nearly 300 acres of undeveloped forest in Saratoga County permanently protected

GREENFIELD, NY (July 5, 2016)—A critically significant property within one of New York state’s fastest-growing regions is now permanently protected, thanks to the Open Space Institute (OSI). The property, adjacent to Lincoln Mountain State Forest, safeguards drinking water resources and is a crucial piece of a recreational trail envisioned to ultimately connect Moreau Lake and Saratoga Spa State Parks.

OSI purchased the 282-acre Greentree Lake parcel for roughly $1 million. The property is also one of the highest-priority acquisitions within Saratoga County for climate resiliency, meaning that its protection will help increase the county’s ability to absorb floods and other weather events associated with climate change.

“The preservation of the Greentree Lake property will support clean drinking water and recreational trails as Saratoga County continues to grow,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s President and CEO. “This acquisition builds on OSI’s decades-long commitment to strengthening communities through the protection of natural resources that provide clean water and air, outdoor recreation, habitat protection and climate change mitigation.”

Saratoga County is among New York’s fast-growing counties. In the face of this growth, OSI and its partners are working to enhance the county’s recreational opportunities, protect climate-resilient lands and safeguard drinking water resources.

The Greentree Lake tract fulfills all of these priorities. For instance, it is a key linkage in the middle of an envisioned 13-mile recreational trail that will run atop the Palmertown Range and connect Moreau Lake and Saratoga Spa State Parks. The “Palmertown Ridge Trail” is a long-term priority of Saratoga County, and with the help of OSI, Saratoga PLAN and many local municipalities, will provide a recreational link that connects the communities of Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls and Queensbury.

Moreover, Greentree Lake’s connectivity with the surrounding landscape makes the property an important ecological corridor for the region’s wildlife to migrate and thrive, according to analysis by The Nature Conservancy and Saratoga PLAN. Diverse natural features found on the property also support diverse environments that will allow species to adapt to a changing climate. These features include the Snook Kill River, an important tributary of the Hudson River; two significant wetland complexes; and a lake that is also known as Greentree Lake. These features retain excess rainwater, preventing extreme run-offs and reducing damage from flooding and drought on area businesses and residents.

Additionally, the property’s undeveloped forests and other natural features make it highly important for groundwater recharge of county-wide drinking water resources.

“Saratoga PLAN is delighted that its landscape analysis highlighting the importance of the Palmertown Conservation Area has been adopted by OSI and NYS and that our partners have been able to accomplish this strategic conservation achievement by protecting the Greentree Lake tract,” said Maria Trabka, Saratoga PLAN’s executive director.

“With the transfer of 709 acres of McGregor Prison lands to Moreau Lake State Park last year, and now protection of the282-acre Greentree Lake tract, we’ve been able to conserve nearly a thousand acres in the past year. Drawing attention to this special place is yielding results and hopefully more of the Palmertown forest will be conserved in the near future, while it is still intact,” she said.

With the conservation of Greentree Lake, OSI continues to build on a decades-long role in protecting land within the region. Over its 40 years of existence, the organization has added over than 2,000 acres to the roughly 5,300-acre Moreau Lake State Park.

Looking ahead, OSI will hold onto Greentree Lake until the state acquires it. Trails will be created on the property after its transfer to the state.

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