ALBANY – Governor Andrew Cuomo, Sunday, proposed preserving 4,000 acres of open space in the Mid-Hudson Valley, expanding seven state parks, adding new trails and viewpoints, and conserving valuable ecological corridors.
The acquisitions represent $20.6 million in state funding from the Environmental Protection Fund and the Hudson Highlands Conservation Act.
A total of 965 acres would be preserved in the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve. A 20-parcel would create new trail routes, provide new views of West Point and the Hudson River, and connect Arden Point on the Hudson River with the remainder of Hudson Highlands State Park. The remaining 945-acres at Scofield Ridge would protect the largest remaining private inholding in the Hudson Highlands.
A total of 633 acres would be added to Minnewaska State Park Preserve, including several parcels and is a major addition to the northeastern section of the preserve in Ulster County.
Schunnemunk State Park would see 158 acres preserved in Orange County providing a link to an anticipated public trail between Schunnemunk and Storm King Arts Center.
“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,” said State Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R, New Windsor).
Sterling Forest State Park would expand by 112 acres creating access to the 22,000-acre Sterling Forest State Park and to the Appalachian Trail.
“The Orange County Land Trust 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.
One acre would be added to Rockefeller State Park Preserve to remedy the long-standing lack of a formal entry to Rockwood Hall.
Fahnestock State Park would see a 150-acre addition to protect natural resources as well as connect the park to a local Scout Reservation that has a trail open to the public.