The Western New York Land Conservancy is making giant strides these days, by pulling off miraculous success stories that will will have an immediate and longterm impact on Western NY.
Now there’s more good news for nature lovers.
This time, Land Conservancy has moved forward with a significant purchase of Mossy Point, the 216-acre Wales property adjacent to its Kenneglenn Scenic and Nature Preserve. The purchase was made possible thanks to the unwavering efforts of Friends of Mossy Point and the Land Conservancy community.
Altogether, $1.6 million was raised to secure the wooded parcel, which will now be protected in perpetuity. This was a two-year effort that has now proved to be beyond fruitful, especially due to its proximity to a bounding nature preserve. The result is a huge win for all of us, and the majestic creatures that occupy the lands, including the great-horned owl and the woodland warbler.
Mossy Point, combined with the adjacent Kenneglenn Scenic and Nature Preserve and Hunters Creek County Park, now forms one of the largest patches of protected forests in the entire Niagara River watershed.
“The campaign to Save Mossy Point is an important reminder of just what our community can accomplish when it bands together in common cause,” said Nancy Smith, the Land Conservancy’s Executive Director. “When you raise funds to protect land, getting to this stage is never a guarantee. But so many individuals, businesses, and organizations stepped up and believed in Mossy Point. It was a tremendous effort by all involved, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to finally, officially, save Mossy Point.”
This herculean fundraising effort gained significant momentum when New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded the Land Conservancy with a $655,000 Water Quality Improvement grant, early on in the campaign. That funding opened the doors for other funders to jump in to help the cause.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC is excited to partner with the Western New York Land Conservancy and the surrounding community to help protect their drinking water resources through the State’s Water Quality Improvement Project Program. The Mossy Point Forest acquisition, now part of a 1,100-acre contiguous protected forest, will provide significant source water benefits to the Niagara watershed for years to come and is one of many great outcomes of the billions of dollars New York State is investing to protect water quality here in Western New York and across the state.”
The purchase of the lands will help to protect our region’s vitally important Niagara watershed, along with countless ecosystems that depend on the land’s existing natural (and now protected) state.
Back story by The Conservancy: The Kenneglenn Scenic & Nature Preserve in Wales is one of our most important properties. Its deep gorge on Hunters Creek is an iconic natural wonder. Mossy Point is its other half—an expansive forest on the other side of Hunters Creek that was sold off long before the community protected Kenneglenn. After waiting for many years, the Land Conservancy now has the rare opportunity to buy this adjacent land and make Kenneglenn whole!
Now that this story has a happy ending, the Land Conservancy will focus its attention upon efforts to save College Lodge Forest near Fredonia in Chautauqua County. The Land Conservancy must raise $790,000 by the end of this year. This would be yet another significant win for Western NY. Click here for more information on this vital woodlands that is need of protection.
Lead image courtesy James Hoggard