Members of the Board of Trustees of the Lake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC), the Barkeater Trails Alliance, and LPLC staff gather to celebrate the closing of Wilmington’s community forest preserve. Featured (Left to right): Matt McNamara, Georgia Jones, John Rosenthal, Jeffrey Graff, Scott Avery, Liz Clarke, and Gregory Fetters.

Lake Placid Land Conservancy awarded $50,000 capital grant from Open Space Institute

The Open Space Institute (OSI) recently awarded Lake Placid Land Conservancy (LPLC) a capital grant in the amount of $50,000 to support LPLC’s acquisition of a community forest preserve in Wilmington, N.Y. LPLC acquired approximately 100 acres in Wilmington between Hardy Road and Quaker Mountain Lane on April 19, 2017, and plans to create a community forest preserve that will include approximately 2 miles of scenic, recreational trails. The new trails will create a connection between the Hamlet of Wilmington and existing public lands and trails on the Beaver Brook tract of the Wilmington Wild Forest located on Hardy Road.

The OSI grant funding will be applied toward land that was purchased by LPLC. The purchased land will be combined with adjacent land that was donated by Wilmington resident Scott Avery to create the preserve. In addition to the OSI grant and land donation from Avery, LPLC also received a $25,000 donation from an anonymous donor who wished to support LPLC’s efforts to conserve lowland forest habitat and enhance recreational opportunities in the Wilmington area.

The Wilmington Community Preserve is the future site for recreational trails that will add critical connector trails to an established trail network in and around Wilmington. LPLC is partnering with the Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) to develop trails. BETA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing, maintaining and advocating for a diverse, sustainable and interconnected system of trails for ski touring and mountain biking in the greater Adirondack High Peaks Region. BETA will design, develop and maintain a two-mile trail corridor that will allow mountain bikers, hikers and cross country skiers to enjoy the preserve year-round. Initial trails are expected to be completed by Labor Day of 2017 as part of the Wilmington Trail Days celebration.

In addition to opening lands for public access, the preserve also protects portions of the southern habitat of the Black Brook forest, which is classified as rare, sandy pine forest by the New York Natural Heritage Program. Kerry Crowningshield, LPLC’s Outreach Coordinator, comments, “The Wilmington Community Preserve is an important ambassador project for our organization. It provides a great example of how landowners, organizations and communities can partner to conserve land and enhance recreational opportunities for the benefit of their communities.”

“This Community Forest Preserve is a priceless new asset for Wilmington, N.Y., that will permanently expand recreation for local and regional residents and beyond in the northern Adirondacks,” said Kim Elliman, president and CEO of OSI. “OSI congratulates Lake Placid Land Conservancy on their dedication to securing this land for future generations.”

The Open Space Institute protects scenic, natural and historic landscapes to provide public enjoyment, conserve habitat and working lands and sustain communities. Founded in 1974 to protect significant landscapes in New York State, OSI has been a partner in the protection of nearly 2.2 million acres in North America. A leader in environmental conservation, OSI leverages its knowledge and attracts resources for strategic investments to make innovative land conservation happen. Visit OSI online at