Open Space Institute Hubbard Perkins Loop Trail Fahnestock Ribbon Cutting 1 crop

Open Space Institute Buys Land, Caps 12-Year Effort to Protect Hubbard-Perkins Conservation Area

New York, NY - February 11, 2003 - This morning, the Open Space Institute announced the acquisition by its land acquisition affiliate, the Open Space Conservancy, of a 500-acre site known as “Gleneyre” in Philipstown, NY. The announcement caps a twelve-year effort to acquire and protect the Hubbard-Perkins Conservation Area. 

Ultimately, the “Gleneyre” tract will be sold to NY's Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and added to the Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, a popular park for New Yorkers living in NY's metropolitan area. In the meantime, the state will manage the property for public use. OSI's efforts to acquire and protect the Hubbard-Perkins Conservation Area started more than a decade ago in 1991, when OSI purchased a 2,068-acre tract of land, thwarting a controversial development proposal for a 700-lot subdivision. In this earlier transaction, OSI purchased land from the estate of Helen Campbell Fahnestock Hubbard, the sister of Clarence Fahnestock, who originally purchased the more than 2,000 acretract in 1915 and for whom the park is named. 

OSI's early acquisitions of property adjoining Fahnestock were made possible by the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Fund for the Hudson Highlands. More recent transactions, including today's Gleneyre property, were made possible by the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Endowment. This endowment was created in 2001 at Open Space Conservancy by the Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Fund for the Hudson Highlands. “OSI is deeply grateful to the legacy left by Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace, which has made it possible for OSI to practically double the park's size,” said Joe Martens, President of OSI. “The Gleneyre property is a key acquisition. I think New Yorkers and others who come to visit Fahnestock will enjoy this substantial addition to the park and the fact that we—OSI and the state—are gradually expanding its boundaries north, south, east and west. The alternative is to sit on the sidelines and watch development encroach along the park's periphery,” added Martens. 

Martens noted that the Gleneyre property is an important link in the greater watershed surrounding Fahnestock. Avoiding water quality impacts associated with commercial and residential development, like road construction and septic systems, is all the more critical. Also, Fahnestock State Park sits at the top of the watershed in Putnam County. “Gleneyre is a high elevation property that is critical to the protection of the area's watershed,” said Martens. 

The Open Space Institute, founded in 1974, has conserved more than 70,000 acres of land in New York State, its traditional area of focus. “Acquiring tracts like Gleneyre is consistent with the organization's geographic focus on the Hudson Highlands, as well as our strategy of seeking out opportunities to work with the state and expand on the parks that already exist,” said Martens. 

OSI's newest acquisition also achieves a goal outlined in the State's Open Space Conservation Plan, which calls for the protection of properties adjacent to the Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park. "This acquisition by the Open Space Institute contains scenic woodlands, miles of trails and unique wildlife habitats that offer the best of New York's natural resources," said State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro. "With its potential expansion of Fahnestock State Park, the new property will continue Governor Pataki's commitment to increasing opportunities for families and visitors to enjoy the Hudson River Valley while also ensuring that this land is protected for the benefit of future generations." 

The state's plan also places priority on protecting the Clove Creek watershed, an important tributary of the Fishkill Creek Aquifer. The Gleneyre property covers the upper portion of Clove Creek. The site is also viewed as an important resource because of its wetlands, which cover about one quarter of the land and support hundreds of species of wildlife, including many species of waterfowl and other migratory birds. 

“Visit this site and you'll see why we've been in this for the long haul,” said Joe Martens. 

The Open Space Institute is a nonprofit organization that protects significant recreational, environmental, agricultural, and historic landscapes in New York State. Since its inception more than 25 years ago, OSI's work has expanded or created more than 30 parks and preserves and permanently protected over 70,000 acres from the Palisades to the Adirondacks.

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