The Putnam County Land Trust (PCLT) recently announced it has received a donation of approximately 100 acres along Bullet Hole Road and Ice Pond Road in the Town of Patterson. The land was donated by Bedford residents Bob and Beth Mancini. With this addition, PCLT now has 29 preserves and 1 conservation easement within Putnam County, many of which have trails that are open to the public for hiking and other passive recreation activities.
Speaking of the donation, the Mancini’s wrote, “The Ice Pond Conservation Area is an important property from both an environmental as well as historical perspective, and Beth and I are pleased to be able to help the Putnam County Land Trust expand and enhance it.” The property will be named The Burdick Preserve to honor the Burdick family and its farming history in the area.
The property sits at the headwaters of Muddy Brook which is a main feeder into the Croton River and The Great Swamp. The Great Swamp (and its watershed) has been designated by the USDA Forest Service as a Highlands Conservation Focal Area, and was cited by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in a 2009 report for its unique habitat, diverse wildlife, scenic value, and its critical function as an aquifer recharge area which protects and purifies the water supply for millions of New York residents — and provides outstanding educational and recreational opportunities. This acquisition builds on a concerted effort by PCLT, FrOGS, and other local organizations to preserve lands within the Great Swamp and its watershed.
The new Burdick Preserve is large enough to accommodate an inviting public trail, as well as protect the species that depend on these habitats and ecosystems. The Ice Pond basin has already been the subject of one major scientific study of the area’s flora, conducted and published by Daniel Atha of the New York Botanical Garden, and this new donation affords scientists the opportunity to further study the flora and fauna of this unique area.
“When we think about the Ice Pond and its surrounding viewsheds, we can hope that in say 50 or 100 years, that Ice Pond will look much the same as it does today and that future generations will be able to come to Ice Pond, to learn some history both of the ice harvesting period and of dairy farming, to take some beautiful scenic walks and to observe nature and wildlife as it once existed throughout Putnam County,” said PCLT board President, Judy Terlizzi. She continued, “This is an exceptional property and we are most grateful to the Mancini’s for this donation.”
The Putnam County Land Trust is a 44 year old all-volunteer 501(c)(3) corporation. It is managed by a 15 member volunteer board of trustees and supported by memberships and donations. For more information on where to hike, or to learn how to become involved, visit the website at www.pclt.net or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org.