Finger Lakes Land Trust dedicated Otisco lake preserve
The Finger Lakes Land Trust formally dedicated its 36-acre Otisco Lake Preserve in Spafford, Onondaga County on Friday, September 28. Members of the Otisco Lake community and Land Trust staff gathered under beautiful autumn skies for a ribbon cutting ceremony and guided hike on the preserve.
With over 1,300 feet of wild shoreline on the west side of the lake, this new preserve is the Land Trust’s first conservation area in the watershed. It provides prime habitat for Bald Eagles and a hiking trail for rare public lakeshore access. Several cascading streams flow through the 36-acre preserve and into the lake below. A hiking trail passes through mature forest and descends steeply to the water’s edge.
The preserve was formerly owned by the Stopyro family for more than 100 years. The Land Trust was able to acquire the site in 2015 due to a generous gift from an anonymous donor and broad support from the community.
The preserve is located on Willowdale Road approximately three miles south of State Route 174. It is open during daylight hours for quiet nature observation and low impact recreational activities such as hiking, bird watching, and snowshoeing. Visitors are encouraged to stay on marked trails, where they exist, to minimize disturbance of native plants and wildlife, and to avoid hazards.
By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected more than 21,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The Land Trust owns and manages a network of over 30 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 136 properties that remain in private ownership.
The Land Trust focuses on protecting critical habitat for fish and wildlife, conserving lands that are important for water quality, connecting existing conservation lands, and keeping prime farmland in agriculture. The organization also provides programs to educate local governments, landowners, and local residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at fllt.org. Information on the region’s premiere destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a new web site developed by the Land Trust to encourage people to get outdoors.