STAATSBURG — A formal transfer of property from Winnakee Land Trust to New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will take place in front of the Taconic Regional Office building in Staatsburg at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 15 to mark the occasion of nearly 11 acres of land being donated to the state-owned Parks agency from a local property owner.
A property transfer to NYS OPRHP, initiated in late October 2017, was facilitated by Winnakee Land Trust and is complete as of the filing of the deed as of September 20, 2018. This generous donation of adjacent land adds 10.7 acres to the Hopeland Area of the Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills State Park.
The first step in 2017 was for the donation of the land to be deeded to Winnakee Land Trust on December 22 since the land trust was able to move quickly to close on the land transaction within the year and still accomplish the charitable intentions of the landowner. This included the required Environmental Site Assessment completed by Chazen Engineering and title search by Sneeringer Monahan Provost Redgrave Title Agency, Inc. Also needed was an appraisal provided by R.P. Hubbell and Company to confirm the value of the donation.
Once ownership was secured by Winnakee Land Trust, an agreement to make a gift of lands was signed with New York State, on behalf of the People of the State of New York, on March 28, 2018. This triggered a process that would ultimately lead to the actual gifting of the land executed on September 4, 2018 that was filed with the Dutchess County Clerk on September 20, 2018.
“What a joy to fast-track this transfer of acreage to an incredible community resource, Mills Norrie State Park,” said Carl Meyer, Winnakee President. “I am pleased we are nimble enough to work within the landowner’s timetable to close on this property, allowing us to accomplish the transfer of land quickly and effectively.”
Linda Cooper, Regional Director at NYS OPRHP, Taconic Region, was extremely supportive and responsive during the process of making this transfer of land. “We were pleased to work with the landowner and Winnakee Land Trust, adding acreage to the Hopeland area of Mills Norrie Park to ensure the protection for local habitat.”
“Winnakee Land Trust is pleased to be the facilitator of this transaction allowing for the successful transfer of land to the Hopeland Area at Ogden Mills and Ruth Livingston Mills State Park,” said Gregg Swanzey, Winnakee Land Trust Executive Director. “This is an exemplary project allowing us to collaborate with OPRHP and providing new recreational opportunities for our community.”
Winnakee Land Trust of Dutchess County is a fully accredited 501(c)3 located in the pastoral village of Rhinebeck, New York. Winnakee works arduously to conserve our natural and agricultural resources providing a lasting legacy in our communities. Through the preservation of land and development of trails Winnakee promotes more resilient communities while engaging and connecting people to the cultural and scenic resources of the Hudson Valley. As an accredited land trust, Winnakee not only protects farmland and natural habitats from development, but also provides public recreational opportunities through its two parks — Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill in Rhinebeck and Winnakee Nature Preserve in Hyde Park. Winnakee has established miles of public access trails and are continually working to add more.