National Park Trust, The Trust for Public Land, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and Oblong Land Conservancy completed the $2.38 million purchase of 219 acres of wooded land surrounding the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in July 2018. The land has been conveyed to the National Park Service where it will be protected in perpetuity as federal land.
The land is located near Pawling, NY and will enable the trail to be moved around a marshy wetland where current hiker traffic is in conflict with the habitat needs of several endangered animal species. The property will also allow NPS to relocate a parking area away from the landmark Dover Oak. This eastern white oak is the largest tree along the entire length of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and compaction of soil by cars parked around it threatens its root system and long-term survivability. The Dover Oak is a local landmark and the largest white oak in New York State at over 114 feet in height and a circumference of over 20 feet. Had the property not been protected it would have been developed into a 50-unit residential subdivision that would have forever marred the trail’s pristine viewshed.
Photo courtesy of The Trust for Public Land
Another great feature of this section of the trail is that hikers can reach it by a 1.5-hour train trip from Grand Central Station in New York City, disembarking at the Appalachian Trail Train Stop. The train runs twice a day in the morning and again in the afternoon on the weekends making this section of the Appalachian Trail one of the most accessible units of the National Park System to an urban population.
Due to each of these unique attributes, this property was the number one priority for the National Park Service nationwide for 2018.
National Park Trust has made concerted efforts over the past few years to protect and expand the land surrounding the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. In 2017, the Park Trust worked with The Trust for Public Land on the acquisition of an adjacent 1,500-acre parcel of old-growth woodland in Somerset County, ME. This land also protects the nearby Bald Mountain Pond, one of the few bodies of water in the lower 48 states which hold arctic char. The federally-listed threatened Canada lynx also roams nearby along with moose, fisher and black bears. The remoteness and scenic views make the property an iconic destination for backcountry adventures that combine paddling and hiking on the AT into a single day’s outing. It is one of the largest uncut forest blocks in central Maine with individual trees cored at almost 200 years old.
In 1996, National Park Trust also purchased a small but historic viewshed atop South Mountain, near Highfield-Cascade in Maryland. The site was a part of the Confederate artillery position during the September 14, 1862 Battle of South Mountain, where over 5,000 casualties occurred as troops marched to the Battle of Antietam on September 17. By preserving this land and donating it to the National Park Service hikers can continue to see the landscape that played a pivotal role in the Civil War.
Photo courtesy of Dare2B.
Over the past few years, through The North Face Explore Fund, NPT has supported Dare2B, a non-profit organization that provides “green” career programming for homeless youth in New York City. This year, the children went to Randall’s Island in Manhattan. They experienced teamwork as they picked vegetables and prepared them for their meal. Then they learned about careers that support the island and the park.
“We are truly grateful to The North Face Explore Fund and National Park Trust,” stated Dare2B Executive Director Roxana Colorado. “The kids left creating new bonds essential to providing them the friendships and stability required to overcome hardships encountered during their transitional living phase.”
Saturday, August 26 is Women’s Equality Day. Did you know that in the 1990’s NPT helped the National Park Service preserve and share an important story behind the Women’s Rights Movement, especially the role of Elizabeth Cady Stanton? NPT worked with partners to purchase properties in Seneca Falls, NY where Elizabeth Cady Stanton famously spoke at the Seneca Falls Women’s Rights Convention, and donate them to Women’s Rights National Historical Park.
In 1993, NPT made a loan to the Trust for Public Land so they could buy property and a house that once belonged to Jacob P. Chamberlain, a successful farmer, businessman and politician. He began his political career as the Town Clerk of Varick, NY in 1830, finishing it as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1863. He opposed slavery, and supported women’s rights, attending the First Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls in 1848. He is also thought to have been a signer of the Declaration of Sentiments at that event; Elizabeth Cady Stanton was a co-author.
In 1996, NPT gifted the NPS necessary funding to buy the parcel of land, which, when added to the park, made up the entire property owned by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and her husband when they lived on Washington Street in Seneca Falls. Her house, already part of the park was what she called the “Center of the Rebellion” where she and others discussed advocacy of equal rights for women. She and her family lived there from 1847-1862.
Happy #MonumentMonday! In honor of Independence Day, we are featuring the Statue of Liberty National Monument.
Did you know it took almost 30 years for Lady Liberty to turn green? The green coating is also referred to as patina, and actually helps protect the copper from corrosion. This coating forms naturally over time though a chemical process called oxidation that occurs when copper is exposed to oxygen in the air.
Happy Fourth of July from your friends at National Park Trust!
What a way to kick off the second year of President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative! National Park Trust, The North Face (TNF) and the Outdoors Alliance for Kids joined forces to bring 90 fourth graders from P.S. 119 Amersfort in Brooklyn, NY, to the Ecology Village at Gateway National Recreation Area for a day of fun and educational outdoor activities. This was the first of five events in different cities (NYC, DC, Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco) funded by TNF’s Explore Fund. The second was at Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.
The students were first welcomed by Jennifer Nercesian, the superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area, and received their Every Kid in a Park passes. They participated in 5 rotations of activities led by the National Park Service (NPS), TNF, and Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.
At our next event in Rock Creek, Deputy Superintendent Frank Young helped kick off the celebration by distributing park passes before the students explored the park and the planetarium.
TNF helped kids at both parks learn about setting up tents and packing a backpack for overnight trips. These events were a huge success, and we couldn’t have done it without the continued support of The North Face! You can follow them @thenorthface.