In his state of the state address, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed preserving 4,000 acres of open space in the Mid-Hudson Valley.
These latest acquisitions will expand seven different state parks, including Schunnemunk State Park and Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County.
Included in the governor’s announcement is the addition of 112 acres to Sterling Forest State Park through a partnership with the Orange County Land Trust. In addition, 158 additional acres will be preserved at Schunnemunk State Park
“OCLT is proud to partner with the state on the addition of new lands to Sterling Forest State Park,” said Matt Decker, OCLT Director of Conservation and Stewardship. “We want to thank the governor for continuing to invest in new recreation opportunities and protecting the ecological integrity of State Parks in our region.”
In addition to its ecological value, the property boasts scenic, landscape-scale views that are now accessible to the public through the Doris Duke Wildlife Sanctuary, as well as the Appalachian Trail.
Meanwhile, Assemblyman Colin J. Schmitt said the addition of these 158 acres brings Schunnemunk to over 4,000 total acres and will ensure there is permanent link to the anticipated public trail between Schunnemunk State Park and Storm King Arts Center and assist in protecting the critical Moodna Creek watershed.
Schunnemunk State Park sits in a region with high development pressure and is a critical link to protecting regional watersheds, habitat conservation for numerous species and ensuring natural access for hikers, hunters and outdoor sporting enthusiasts in perpetuity.
The State Park additions are made possible through the investment of $11.4 million through the Environmental Protection Fund and Highlands Conservation Act.