CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. — The Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA), with significant funding support from the Open Space Institute (OSI), has purchased a property located in the Town of White Creek, at the edge of the Village of Cambridge, with the goal of creating a community forest. The 140-acre wooded property will be owned by ASA and managed for public recreational use, including hiking, mountain biking and fishing; educational programming; and as a demonstration site for sustainable forestry management. This property is the first land purchase for ASA.
“The Cambridge Community Forest represents ASA’s investment in the forestry aspect of our mission as well as the community of Cambridge. It will be a place for families to be active, children to explore nature and for educators to utilize as an outdoor classroom”, says Renee Bouplon, Association Director for ASA. The location is within easy walking and biking distance of downtown Cambridge, Cambridge Central School, daycares and youth programs.
ASA, with community and stakeholder input, will be creating a Land Management Plan over the course of the next year that will address improvements, trail design, forest management and the long-term stewardship of the property.
This project was primarily funded by OSI with a grant of $80,000. “The conservation of Cambridge Community Forest creates a priceless inheritance that will connect young children and families to this richly forested landscape,” said Kim Elliman, OSI’s president and CEO. “OSI is proud to have played a significant role in preserving this property, and prouder, still, to pass it along to the community for their permanent enjoyment.”
Additional support to acquire the property comes from Fields Pond Foundation and individuals from the community. Additional fundraising is needed to prepare the site for public use, including repairs to the existing bridge, creation of a small parking area, signage, kiosk, trail improvements and a fund to over the annual carrying costs of owning the property (including property taxes).
ASA has helped more than 130 families conserve 22,327 acres of working farms and woodlands in Washington and Rensselaer counties. ASA’s mission is to protect our community’s working landscape of farms and forests, connect people to the land, and promote a vibrant future for agricultural and forestry in the region. For more information about ASA’s work, visit www.agstewardship.org.
–Agricultural Stewardship Association
For more articles out of New York, click here.