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The Open Space Institute Provides Funding to Protect Last Remaining ‘Springside’ Property in Downtown Poughkeepsie

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY (Jan. 16, 2019)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) and Springside Landscape Restoration today announced the permanent protection of scarce greenspace in downtown urban Poughkeepsie. The newly-protected “Scraggy Knoll” property is the last remaining parcel of the original “Springside” estate.

The nearly two-acre Scraggy Knoll parcel, once approved for the development of a six-unit condominium, is located to the east of the current boundaries of Springside. Both Springside and Scraggy Knoll are a designated National Historic Landmark. OSI’s grant of $16,000 allowed Springside Landscape Restoration to conserve the property and its winding trails, rocky knolls, and pastoral forests.

“For over 170 years, Springside has been a priceless inheritance, connecting families to this wonderful landscape,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “OSI is proud to have helped preserve this special place, and prouder still that the citizens of Poughkeepsie will have it for their permanent enjoyment.”

Once approved for the development of a six-unit condominium, the Scraggy Knoll property is now safe forever.
Once approved for the development of a six-unit condominium, the Scraggy Knoll property is now safe forever.
Photo Credit: John Mylod

"We are overjoyed that this critical and long-awaited property is now permanently preserved,” said John Mylod, president of the Springside Landscape Restoration board of directors. "OSI's grant was the final key to allow us to go ahead with the purchase agreement and welcome Scraggy Knoll back into Springside. This grant was crucial in our fundraising efforts.”

Springside is the only largely intact and documented example nationally of the skill and vision of Andrew Jackson Downing, known as the “father” of American landscape architecture. In 1850, prosperous Poughkeepsie brewer and community leader, Matthew Vassar, hired Downing to design this country estate on the outskirts of Poughkeepsie.

In the mid-1980s, 20 acres of the original estate were saved from development by local volunteers, who established Springside Landscape Restoration to protect the site and open it for public enjoyment. Today, nearly 2,000 people every year visit Springside, to enjoy the property’s landscape layout, an interpretive walking tour, and other amenities.

Scenic Hudson also supported the project with an approximately $8,500 grant to Springside Landscape Restoration to help cover additional transactional expenses from the project, including current property and school taxes.

“Scenic Hudson was delighted to play a role in protecting this historic and beautiful land in the heart of Poughkeepsie, and providing city residents with new opportunities to explore nature and the history of their community,” said Steve Rosenberg, executive director of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust.

Springside is located on the south end of Academy Street in the City of Poughkeepsie and is open to the public year-round, free of charge.

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