ALBANY - Ahead of the 2020 State of the State address, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced the State’s preservation of an additional 4,000 acres of parkland in the MidHudson Valley region this year.

One of the projects highlighted for 2020 is a partnership between the Hudson Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (“State Parks”) to conserve 150 acres that will expand Fahnestock State Park in Putnam Valley.

The acquisitions represent an investment of $20.6 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Fund and Highlands Conservation Act, according to the Governor’s announcement.

In Putnam Valley, the 150-acre expansion of Fahnestock State Park enabled by the partnership with HHLT will create an ecological corridor for wildlife, as well as connect Fahnestock to a local Scout Reservation with access to a public trail, providing the community with additional opportunities for outdoor recreation.

In other news on state funding for conservation, HHLT was recently awarded a $50,000 grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hudson River Estuary Program.

The grant will enable HHLT, working with land conservation partners, to develop an “East Highlands Green Corridors Plan.”

The goal is to protect key connectors between existing conserved lands across Philipstown, Putnam Valley and other towns across Putnam County.

Creating these “green corridors” will be critical to building climate resilience across the landscape, which is a high priority for the towns, Putnam County and New York State.

The grant is part of the $957,000 that was awarded to 23 projects in 11 counties within the Hudson River Estuary watershed.

These projects improve recreational access, enhance education about the river, and advance stewardship of natural resources in the estuary.

The grants are funded by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund and administered by DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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