OCLT Protects Habitat Bordering Sterling Forest State Park in Greenwood Lake
Orange County Land Trust has conserved 57.5 acres of vital buffer lands adjacent to the Doris Duke Wildlife Sanctuary section of Sterling Forest State Park in Greenwood Lake.
The agreement was finalized at a closing held on Wednesday, September 6th with Orange County Land Trust and landowners Adam J. and Tinie Filipowski of Greenwood Lake, who first contacted the Land Trust about conserving their land.
The property is situated within the Greenwood Lake watershed and contains habitats identified by the Department of Environmental Conservation’s New York Natural Heritage Program as significant, including a Hemlock-Northern Hardwood Forest in the lower elevations, and Chestnut-Oak Forest in the higher elevations. The water quality of a stream that runs through the property is also protected as a result of the acquisition.
According to Orange County Land Trust Executive Director James Delaune, the purpose of this project is to enhance the habitat connectivity of Sterling Forest State Park by protecting unbroken deep-forest habitats that surround the State Park. “Large tracts of forest that are not fragmented by major roadways or developments are increasingly rare in the Hudson Valley,” said Delaune. “Protecting what we have left is important for the survival of forest interior bird species and other forest-dwelling wildlife such as fishers and black bears,” Delaune added.
The Open Space Institute partnered with the Land Trust on this project by contributing $50,000 through their Small Grants Program.
“The preservation of this land will help support wildlife habitat and clean water even as Orange County continues to grow,” said Kim Elliman, President and CEO of OSI. “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 mitigation.”
The project also received support from The Walt Disney Company and the Sterling Center of New York.