Warwick, NY (OCLT): Orange County Land Trust Board of Directors, volunteers and supporters gathered at the Land Trust's Fuller Mountain Nature Preserve on Saturday to dedicate the new trailhead kiosk and to thank Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt and Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton for their help in funding and supporting the kiosk, as well as funds for improvements to trails and parking at the preserve.
With a legislative initiative grant from Assemblywoman Rabbitt, Land Trust volunteers built and improved a system of trails and parking at the 255-acre preserve, and constructed a beautifully crafted, natural looking information kiosk composed of local, sustainably-harvested hardwoods. Located near the Bowen Road entrance and parking area, the kiosk houses trail maps and valuable information on the natural history of the region, including diverse and unique flora and fauna that visitors can expect to see while hiking the preserve.
Under Land Trust ownership and stewardship, Fuller Mountain Preserve will remain forever pristine. The preserve is open to the public every day, free of charge, for passive recreation and nature study. It is home to several unusual plants, many species of mammals including black bear and the long tailed weasel, an abundance of bird life, and frogs, toads and salamanders who live in and around Fuller's Brook. There are two marked trails, a 3/4 mile looped trail that crosses Fuller's Brook and has been the site of the Land Trust's "Slippery Slimy Salamander" outing for children. Another trail is about 1 3/4 miles in length, rambling through a magnificent wooded ravine, to areas of steep and rocky terrain, to fantastic vistas overlooking the Warwick Valley.
The Orange County Land Trust has helped protect almost 800 acres of land in the Town of Warwick, including working farmland, diverse woodlands and important wetlands. The Land Trust owns and manages a second nature preserve in Warwick, the Roy Preserve, which is located in the Amity wetlands region. This preserve is unique because it is accessible only by canoe, kayak or other non motorized watercraft via the Pochuck Creek to protect its delicate wetland habitat.
Orange County Land Trust Executive Director Jim Delaune said the continued protection of land is important for Orange County, not only for its scenic value, but for the protection of working farmland and local sources of food, recreational opportunities which encourage healthy lifestyles, and the protection of connecting corridors of natural areas for wildlife habitat.
Since its inception in 1993, the Orange County Land Trust has helped protect almost 4,000 acres of land in communities throughout Orange County and one in Sullivan County. For more information, and for volunteer opportunities and ways of giving, please visit the website at www.oclt.org or call (845) 343-0840.
The Orange County Land Trust's new trail head kiosk at Fuller Mountain Nature Preserve off Bowen Road was made possible with a legislative initiative grant from Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt. Pictured, left to right, at last Saturday's dedication ceremony are Dr. Richard Hull, Warwick Town Historian, Orange County Land Trust board members Francis Wickham, Marlena Lange, and Jo Marvel Hull, Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Land Trust board members Mary Yrizarry and Andy McLaughlin, and volunteer John Yrizarry.