Teatown Expands Preserve, Adds Five Acres Next to Shadow Lake

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Representatives of the Westchester Land Trust Teatown Lake Reservation and Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater gathered at the reservation on Monday to announce the acquisition of five critical acres next to Shadow Lake Pictured from left are Lori Ensinger a senior adviser for Westchester Land Trust land trust President Kara Hartigan Whelan Teatown Executive Director Kevin Carter Slater and Geoffrey Thompson past chair of Teatown Lake Reservation

Five pristine acres on the southern edge of Shadow Lake in Yorktown were purchased last month by the Westchester Land Trust and transferred to Teatown Lake Reservation.

Adjacent to existing Teatown land, the tract was the last remaining unprotected property next to the lake. The acquisition is the culmination of a 20-year effort by local organizations and government agencies to protect all available open land around Shadow Lake.

The property cost $555,000, of which $475,000 was awarded to the land trust through a Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) grant administered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The balance of the money came from an anonymous donor.

After the purchase in October, the Westchester Land Trust transferred ownership to Teatown.

Located on Spring Valley Road and Kitchawan Road (Route 134), the land hadn’t been on the market for years. The family owning the property put it up for sale about a year ago.

“This parcel has been on our watch list,” said Kevin Carter, Teatown’s executive director. “Its high conservation value land, meaning that it’s in the watershed so we’re protecting clean water.”

Joining Carter to formally announce the acquisition on Monday at Shadow Lake was Lori Ensinger, a senior adviser for the Westchester Land Trust, its President Kara Hartigan Whelan, Yorktown Supervisor Matt Slater and Geoffrey Thompson, past chair of Teatown Lake Reservation.

“This acquisition represents a great public-private partnership that benefits and improves the watershed,” said Slater. “We are environmental stewards and Teatown is a great asset. The partnership with Yorktown fits with our environmental goals.”

Shadow Lake feeds into the nine-acre Vernay Lake, which along with 59 acres, were acquired by Teatown in 2011 with the help of Westchester County and the Trust for Public Land. Vernay Lake drains into Teatown Lake. which flows into Bailey Brook and eventually into the Croton Reservoir.

The three-lake linkage protects a significant supply of water entering the reservoir and was the driving factor behind the state’s award of the WQIP grant.

Whelan said the project was an effort several years in the making.

“We are thrilled to continue prioritizing the conservation of lands that protect our public drinking water supplies,” she said.

Teatown has 15 miles of hiking trails and more than 1,000 acres of protected land.

The Shadow Lake property expands Teatown, making the nature preserve the largest nonprofit community-supported preserve in Westchester County.

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