The Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) announced that it has conveyed 50 acres in Philipstown to New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYS OPRHP). The acreage has been added to the western boundary of Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park, between Route 9 and Jaycox Road in Philipstown. This transfer of land is another important step in creating a northern hiking corridor from the Hudson River to the Appalachian Trail.
The transfer of land completes a 20-year effort that was imperiled when budget cuts forced the state to suspend land acquisition projects in 2010. The parcel, which includes the 15-acre Jaycox Pond and now allows Fahnestock State Park to be accessed from Jaycox Road, is adjacent to property recently acquired by Open Space Institute (OSI) that is also part of the envisioned hiking corridor.
“HHLT has been working on the Jaycox Pond project for many years. We’re pleased that our partnership with OSI and NYS OPRHP has brought about a long-sought public benefit of adding a beautiful land and waterscape to the park, while furthering the original vision to connect the two parks,” said HHLT Executive Director Andy Chmar.
HHLT’s acquisition of the property in 2012 was made possible through a Program Related Investment Loan from The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation and funds devoted to acquisition projects from HHLT’s own Highlands Steward Fund.
“We appreciate the hard work and expertise of the staff at HHLT in completing the important addition to the envisioned hiking corridor,” said Chris Buck, president of The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation.
“The Hudson Highlands Land Trust continues to be terrific partners and great stewards for public land,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “Park users, especially hikers, will particularly enjoy this treasured acquisition, which includes the beautiful 15-acre Jaycox Pond, as it continues the momentum to keep these beautiful and breathtaking lands in their natural state. The Highlands Conservation Act funding, so vital in this process, is doing what it was intended to do and that is to recognize and preserve our natural resources in the Highlands region.”
“The Open Space Institute applauds the Hudson Highlands Land Trust for this important addition to New York’s public parklands,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “This move furthers OSI’s decades of work and HHLT’s efforts to connect Hudson Highlands State Parks and Fahnestock State Park, which will ultimately allow people to hike from the Hudson River to the Appalachian Trail.”