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Westchester, Putnam Groups Protect 115-Acre Tract

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Putnam County Land Trust, Westchester Land Trust and Friends of the Great Swamp, or FrOGS, have announced that the organizations have permanently protected a critical landholding in the Ice Pond Conservation Area of the Great Swamp in the town of Patterson.

The organizations worked together to acquire three contiguous parcels on Abbeyfield Lane that total 115 acres. The parcels will be renamed the Dextra Baldwin McGonagle Preserve in honor of the foundation of the same name, which was a lead donor to the project.

PCLT will maintain sole ownership of the preserve, and WLT will hold the conservation easement on the land.

“Protecting these parcels of land, which are a part of a significant ecological system in the Ice Pond Conservation Area, has been a major priority for our three organizations for several years now,” said PCLT President Judy Terlizzi.

The Ice Pond Conservation Area is an exceptional habitat and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species.

“In addition to a newly discovered species of leopard frog and more than 120 species of birds, there are as many as 600 species of vascular plants, mosses and lichens in the area," said Jim Utter, chairman of FrOGS.  "It is also a major stopover roost for migrating waterfowl with as many as 5,000 ducks spending the night.”

“We are honored to have partnered with such an impressive group of conservation partners and contributors to permanently protect this land, " said Lori J. Ensinger, WLT president. "Truly, without the generosity of so many different partners, we would never have been able to protect this vital wetland system."

The organizations will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the community to celebrate the creation of the preserve later this spring.

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