The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced it has received an unprecedented gift of land featuring 1,300 feet of pristine shoreline on Skaneateles Lake. The 20 acre property is located in the town of Spafford and features steeply sloping woodlands overlooking the lake as well as a significant portion of the Staghorn Cliffs - a 100 foot escarpment that is well known for its scenic character and its abundant fossils.The gift was made by Syracuse area resident David Dickinson and his children: Thomas Dickinson, Scott Dickinson, Gary Dickinson, Laura Dickinson Maguire and Hollis Dickinson Wilson. The land had been in their family for more than 50 years.
The Dickinson property is located in an area known as the Skaneateles Highlands: a mosaic of forest and agricultural lands that encompass the southern half of Skaneateles Lake. The Land Trust recently completed a conservation plan for the Highlands, which identified undeveloped shoreline as the highest priority for protection.
A year in the making, the Dickinson family's donation to the Land Trust reflects their desire to keep the land in its natural condition. "That was our intention all along," David Dickinson said. "My mother discovered the property. We wanted to retain the beauty of the cliffs and preserve the gorgeous south end of the lake in appreciation of her."
"This is a tremendous gift," said Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. "We're grateful to the Dickinson family for their generosity and their commitment to the land."
"The south end of Skaneateles Lake is truly magnificent," said Skaneateles resident and Land Trust board member Doug Sutherland. "This remarkable gift secures an outstanding stretch of that shoreline. We hope it becomes the cornerstone for additional land protection in the watershed."
"The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) applauds the Dickinson family and the Finger Lakes Land Trust for the donation and preservation of shoreline in this important watershed," said NYSDEC Regional Director Ken Lynch. "We appreciate the efforts of such great partners in fostering the conservation of New York's magnificent open space and natural resources."