CHENANGO COUNTY, NY — January, 27 2016 —The Open Space Institute (OSI) today announced the acquisition of land adjacent to Bowman Lake State Park. The 307-acre property, located in the towns of Preston and McDonough and also connecting to McDonough State Forest, was secured by OSI at the request of New York State Parks. The property is expected to be added to Bowman Lake, growing the size of the park by almost 50 percent to nearly 1,000 acres.
The newly acquired property consists of natural meadow, farm fields and forest. The preserved land will buffer the entrance to the popular camping park, provide additional hiking opportunities and add biodiverse landscapes and habitats to park. OSI will hold the land for several months until State Parks acquires it, with funding provided by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
“This addition to Bowman Lake State Park is not only a win for conservationists, it’s a wonderful gift for people who cherish the great outdoors,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s President and CEO. “This project represents the best type of conservation made possible by the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. We applaud the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for their support of healthy communities through investing in great parks.”
“The expansion of Bowman Lake State Park is another example of how New York is expanding outdoor recreational opportunities and protecting the environment for New York residents and visitors,” State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. “I’m grateful to the Open Space Institute for their work to enhance our great state park system.”
Throughout its 40-year history, OSI has been strongly identified with its conservation projects that create, protect, and enhance New York’s state parks. Through nearly 80 conservation successes, OSI has added more than 40,000 acres to New York’s state parks. These transactions achieved a variety of goals, from creating new parks and adding valuable acreage, to providing important buffer zones and connectivity. OSI’s work accounts for more than ten percent of the state park system’s total acreage of 335,000 acres.
Featuring a mixture of young and mature forest stands, the property has been actively managed for wildlife. Wetlands and streams dot the land, whose highest point provides sweeping views of the surrounding hills. The landscape’s diversity also provides valuable wildlife habitat.
Already known as a “camper’s paradise,” Bowman Lake State Park features 150 campsites and seven rustic cabins nestled in shady forests, complete with a nature center and sandy lakefront with picnic area. The 35-acre lake is regularly stocked with trout, and birdwatchers can spot as many as 103 species of birds. In winter, snowmobilers and cross-country skiers enjoy outstanding scenery on eight miles of designated trails. The park also contains a one-mile segment of the 549-mile Finger Lakes Trail, connecting Allegheny State Park in southwestern New York to the Catskill Mountains in the east.