FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Representative Nan Hayworth to Visit Angle Fly Preserve for October 29 Volunteer Day
(Somers, NY) – The Somers Land Trust, Westchester Land Trust, and Town of Somers will play host to U.S. Representative Nan Hayworth when she visits the newest park in northern Westchester County, Angle Fly Preserve. Representative Hayworth, who co-sponsored recent federal legislation to continue the important tax deduction for conservation easements, will be treated to a tour of the 654-acre property during one of the many volunteer days that the Somers Land Trust and Friends of Angle Fly Preserve mount throughout the year.
Acquired in a complex agreement between the Town of Somers, County of Westchester, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection, and the State Department of Conservation in 2006, the purchase represented one of the largest public land purchases in Westchester ever. The property, named for the historic Angle Fly Brook that flows through, is comprised of 628 contiguous acres with a separate wetland parcel approximately one-half mile north of the main body. It was preserved for conservation and passive recreation purposes as part of a multi-year effort by both New York City’s watershed agency and the northern towns and land trusts in Westchester to preserve fast-dwindling open space in the region.
By the agreements through which the $20.5 million property was purchased, the Town of Somers was given management responsibility for those areas directly owned by it and the County, approximately 400 acres. The Somers Land Trust with the assistance of Westchester Land Trust and Teatown Lake Reservation, offered to undertake the planning, facility and trail construction, and management of the property stipulated by the agreements. Since officially opening the first trail in late 2008, the Land Trust has completed a management plan, sponsored a forest management plan, numerous environmental initiatives, and is on track to complete the ten miles of trails specified in the federal Recreational Trails Grant for $75,000 that the Town and Land Trust won in 2007.
The trails, bridges, soon-to-be installed comfort stations, kiosks, and other facilities were constructed entirely by over 350 community volunteers, many of whom participate in the Land Trust sponsored Friends of Angle Fly Preserve. The recently constructed forty-foot hiking bridge over the Angle Fly Brook, in fact, brought out 175 volunteers over two weekends to carry in and assemble the state-of-the-art fiberglass structure. Scout troops and local students are now undertaking projects such as a recently completed deer exclosure and soon-to-be-completed interpretive nature trail. Additionally, many businesses have also provided tens of thousands of dollars in donated services and materials to repair and upgrade the property making the project a prime example of public-private partnership at its best.
With over two-hundred acres of wetlands, three major stream corridors that directly feed the Muscoot Reservoir, many regionally threatened plant and animal species, and enormous recreational opportunities including hiking, hunting, nature observation, snowshoing, cross-country skiing, not to mention proximity to Lasdon and Muscoot Parks and acres of watershed property, Angle Fly Preserve is an important piece of Representative Hayworth’s district. But it has even more importance as a new center of community dedication and involvement. The Town of Somers and Somers Land Trust look forward to Representative Hayworth’s visit as a fun and rewarding opportunity to showcase a community treasure.
About the Somers Land Trust
The Somers Land Trust (SLT) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preserving open space in the town of Somers. Together with the Westchester Land Trust, the SLT holds a number of conservations easements throughout Somers. In addition, we promote environmentally sensitive planning and helped devise the town survey soliciting public input for the Somers Master Plan. Perhaps the most visible achievement of the SLT is the Angle Fly Preserve. The SLT helped bring the 2000 open space funding referendum to voters whose approval enabled the purchase of Angle Fly Preserve. The SLT also assisted with the purchase of this 654 acre property in 2006 and founded the Friends of Angle Fly Preserve, a group of volunteers dedicated to protecting the natural beauty of the land for public enjoyment. For more information about the Somers Land Trust please visit somerslandtrust.org.