OSI acquires Legacy Ridge property

Purchase will keep the parcel in its natural state for public recreation and scenic vistas

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— Local officials expressed their satisfaction over the Open Space Institute’s acquisition of the 702-acre Legacy Ridge parcel in the Village of Woodbury, which now adds to the conservation corridor between Black Rock Forest and Schunnemunk State Part that institute began protecting in 2010.

“I think it’s great news when Woodbury can have 702 acres to be saved forever, forever green,” said Town of Woodbury Supervisor John Burke. “It’s a piece that’s part of a long range of open space area that go through the town and will now be forever protected.”

$2.2 million

OSI recently paid $2.2 million for the property along Trout Brook Road and which stretches between Route 32 and Smith Clove Road in northern Woodbury, according to a published report.

The seller put the land up for sale again after a developer, who had an option to buy it, dropped plans to build 287 homes on a 300-acre section of the site, that report said, which created controversy due to zoning changes made in Woodbury. Though a lawsuit ensued in 2008, it was dismissed in 2010.

OSI officials said its acquisition will prohibit development and ensure the parcel will remain in its natural state.

“The benefits of this preservation are many,” said Kim Elliman, OSI president and CEO. “It will increase public recreational access, which is notable because of the project’s proximity to already protected public land, and its ecological significance, in terms of furthering our goal to link Black Rock and Schunnemunk as a connected wildlife corridor, is considerable.”

Open to the public

OSI plans to develop an internal trail network on the property and open it to the public for hiking and other passive recreational uses, according to a statement.

In 2010, OSI began to project a largely privately owned wildlife corridor between Black Rock Forest and Schunnemunk State Park. Two acquisitions that year ended up protecting 185 acres within the corridor, “providing roaming ground for wildlife and preserving vitally important connectivity in a region of New York State known for its diverse habitat and clean water quality,” the statement said.


OSI has partnered with the Black Rock Forest Consortium, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust and the Orange County Land Trust to develop the Hudson Highland Connectivity Project, with the plan of providing links for recreation and preserve scenic views for the public to enjoy.

“If you’re going to put so many homes in an area, there’s going to be an impact on natural resources and schools,” Burke said. “Now, we don’t have to deal with water or sewer issues and the Cornwall schools don’t have to deal with those (population) issues. It’s a win-win for the nature group and the Town of Woodbury in terms of adding even more space than we have. It might be seen as a win-win for Cornwall, too, but I’ll let them speak for themselves. It’s wonderful.”

By Nancy Kriz

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