Jay Burgess Director of Communications, Scenic Hudson, Inc. Tel: (845) 473-4440 x222 Cell: (914) 489-0362 Fax: (845) 473-0740 firstname.lastname@example.org
76-acre property offers sweeping views of Hudson River, Berkshire Mountains
NEW BALTIMORE (Greene County)—Scenic Hudson has protected 76 highly scenic, historic and ecologically important acres along the Hudson River that could offer exciting new opportunities for exploring nature and engaging in river-based recreation. Another important victory in Scenic Hudson’s ongoing Saving the Land That Matters Most campaign, the transaction builds on the organization’s record for conserving lands that contribute to the quality of life and economic prosperity of valley communities. Scenic Hudson plans to partner with the New Baltimore Conservancy, which will assist with the management and stewardship of the property and which also raised funds to support the project.
By acquiring the land, Scenic Hudson has permanently conserved 1,370 feet of Hudson Riverfront offering sweeping views, as well as rocky bluffs, upland forests, rolling meadows, intermittent streams, woodland pools and a pond. Open fields afford vistas extending to the Berkshires. A path traversing the property runs downhill to the level, relatively open Hudson shoreline—making the property ideal for public access and recreation.
Located in the state-designated Columbia-Greene North Scenic Area of Statewide Significance, the land also contributes to outstanding views from popular Schodack Island State Park and the Lewis A. Swyer Preserve.
The property is the site of an historic farmstead purchased by James K. Bronk in 1856 and worked by three generations of the Bronk family until sold in 1922 to Joseph Armstrong, who with his descendants worked the land for another 80-plus years. Buildings that remain on the property—the barn to store hay and house milking cows, a pig house, chicken house, granary, corncrib and fruit cellar—tell the story of what the farm produced. Much of its output was for the New York City market, as was stone from an on-site quarry and river ice harvested and stored in what once was a six-room icehouse by the river.
Groups will seek input on access plans, amenities
Scenic Hudson and the New Baltimore Conservancy will seek input from community partners, including local officials, neighbors and residents, to determine specific plans for public access. The groups are particularly interested in sharing information about the land’s historic significance to the New Baltimore community. Before allowing public access, the organizations will secure a special use permit from the town, as required by zoning regulations. Both groups look forward to working with the town’s land-use officials to establish a timeline for opening the property for low-impact recreation, with improvements to be phased in over time.
Land preservation boosts economic opportunity
Scenic Hudson pursues its campaign to Save the Land That Matters Most realizing that preserving land provides the cornerstone of a sustainable Hudson Valley economy. The region’s parks and open spaces contribute substantially to a 10-county tourism industry that generates $4.7 billion in spending annually and sustains 80,000 jobs. Annual tourism spending in Greene County is $139 million and supports nearly 3,200 jobs. Protected lands also help grow other parts of the economy. A study by the Trust for Public Land notes that executives looking to relocate or start firms rank quality of life—including an abundance of parks and open space—higher than housing, cost of living and good schools.
Speaking about the acquisition, Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “By working with the New Baltimore Conservancy, we’ve ensured that this land will forever support the region’s robust tourism economy. In fact, we foresee this magnificent property becoming one of Greene County’s premier riverfront conservation areas.”
Steve Rosenberg, executive director of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust, added, “This land’s astonishing natural beauty, outstanding vistas and river access make it a critical part of what we call ‘The Land That Matters Most.’ We look forward to working with the New Baltimore Conservancy and the local community to make the property accessible to the public.”
Janet Angelis, president of the New Baltimore Conservancy, expressed the organization’s appreciation to Scenic Hudson and all those who made it possible to secure this vital piece of land. “This acquisition protects land that matters not only because it enhances the quality of life for current and future residents of and visitors to the area but also because it can add to our understanding of the economic and cultural heritage of the Hudson Valley. We look forward to working in partnership with Scenic Hudson and our community to ensure that current and future generations can enjoy its beauty and recreational opportunities.”
Scenic Hudson Senior Land Project Manager Kelly Boling negotiated the transaction. It was completed with funds from Scenic Hudson’s Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Hudson Valley Land Preservation Endowment, with the New Baltimore Conservancy securing $50,000 to be contributed to the project. The seller was represented by Vicki Wolpert of Keller Williams Realty in Latham.
Conserving natural areas improves human health
Protecting open space also offers myriad human health benefits. Trees sequester pollutants that contribute to asthma, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, while releasing oxygen. In addition to helping keep drinking water clean and avoid flooding, conserved land maintains biodiversity, which plays an important role in preventing diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease.
Conserving large, contiguous landscapes links and expands habitat networks on which many wildlife species depend and ensures that development-sensitive species, such as migratory songbirds and vernal pool amphibians, continue to thrive. Scenic Hudson’s parks also encourage people to be active, contributing to their better overall health.
Collaborative campaign targets protecting valley’s most important landscapes
Scenic Hudson’s campaign to Save the Land That Matters Most is a multi-year, collaborative effort with fellow land trusts, governments, individuals and businesses to protect lands of the highest scenic, ecological and agricultural significance throughout the Hudson Valley. Since initiating the campaign in 2007, Scenic Hudson has conserved 6,372 acres and our land trust partners an additional 2,212 acres.