CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- The dream of keeping a pristine part of Cortlandt intact forever became a reality recently when the town took official ownership of the Hudson Highlands Gateway Park, Supervisor Linda Puglisi said.
Hundreds of townhouses were once planned for the 352-acre site off Sprout Brook Road, Puglisi said in a March 10 press release.
But now, thanks to an agreement between the town and its partners -- Scenic Hudson, New York state, Westchester County, private citizens, and developer Martin Ginsburg – the Hudson Highlands Gateway Park and its 5.2 miles of hiking trails and woodlands will be forever preserved as open space.
According to Cortlandt officials, the site was originally going to be developed as “Hillpoint” by Ginsburg in the late 1990s. But after much opposition from the community, the town and Scenic Hudson, a nonprofit land preservation group, got together and purchased the land.
According to Puglisi, in 2000, the state chipped in $1 million; the county, $1 million; Scenic Hudson, $2.5 million; the town, $1 million; residents, $600,000, and Ginsburg, $100,000.
The deal was that Cortlandt would be considered the steward of the land for 15 years and then it would own the whole thing, town planning officials said.
The official transfer took place on Thursday, March 10.
The park not only offers beautiful views of the Hudson Valley from the summit of its hiking trail, it is also a haven for bird watching, folks who fish, and outdoorsy types who like to cross-country ski and snowshoe.
"This pristine property is now part of our open space in Cortlandt for future generations to enjoy," Puglisi said in announcing the transfer.
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