ITHACA, N.Y. — The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced on Monday that it has acquired a parcel of land in the Town of Ithaca along State Route 13, adjacent to Robert H Treman State Park and the Tapan Mitra Nature Preserves.
The Land Trust sought to acquire the property after learning it was put up for sale and already zoned for industrial use. The 7 acre parcel has long served as a popular yet informal parking spot and trailhead for hikers looking to retreat into the Lick Brook Gorge, one of the lesser visited waterfall laced glens in the Ithaca area.
FLLT Executive Director Andy Zepp said, “This is a popular gateway to Ithaca’s extensive trail system and we were concerned that public access would be lost and the scenic meadow replaced with a warehouse or other incompatible use.”
The Finger Lakes Trail along the border of the parcel in Robert H Treman State Park, and is a frequented throughline to the Sweedler and Thayer Preserve — also managed by FLLT—where the Lick Brook Gorge is. Over 27,000 acres of land are protected by FLLT throughout the Finger Lakes Region, an area larger than the size of Disney World in Florida.
The Land Trust’s newly acquired land includes some young forest and a meadow which will now remain as a natural buffer for the already preserved areas it sits next to. Informational kiosks are planned to be installed on the property to inform hikers of the area’s conservation value. The Land Trust is launching a fundraiser to make up for the cost of acquiring the land, and also to guarantee its long-term stewardship.
Town of Ithaca Supervisor Rod Howe said that the “Town of Ithaca applauds this acquisition as we actively work to improve access and connections for our trails, preserves, and parks.”