The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) announced it has acquired fifteen acres directly across from the entrance to Ganondagan State Historic Site on County Road 41 in Victor, Ontario County. The property features meadows and a pond which provide habitat for grassland birds in an area that is facing significant development pressure.
The FLLT purchased the property at the request of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as part of the agency’s effort to safeguard this rural landscape from encroaching suburban development. The parcel will eventually be transferred to New York State as an addition to Ganondagan.
Spanning 569 acres, Ganondagan, a National Historic Landmark, is the original site of a 17th-century Seneca town and home to the 17,300-square-foot Seneca Art & Culture Center, a Seneca Bark Longhouse, and a series of interpretive trails. Built into the surrounding natural landscape, the Art & Culture Center is a year-round interpretive facility featuring a theatre, gift shop, and multimedia exhibits. Ganondagan is New York State’s only historic site dedicated to a Native American theme, and the only Seneca town interpreted in the United States.
“Ganondagan is a site of both national and local historical importance and is particularly cherished by the Haudenosaunee people,” said Michael Galban, Ganondagan’s Historic Site Manager. “We seek to protect the site and preserve it into the future, for the seventh generation to appreciate and enjoy. The partnership with the Finger Lakes Land Trust plays a critical role in that mission and we thank them for all they do.”
The purchase was made possible by the FLLT’s Opportunity Fund—an internal revolving loan fund that is utilized for time-sensitive acquisitions and then replenished either through fundraising or the sale of land to a public conservation agency.
By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 30,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 45 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 179 properties that remain in private ownership.
The FLLT 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 residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.
Information on the region’s premier destinations for outdoor recreation, including Ganondagan State Historic Site, may be found at www.gofingerlakes.org, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at http://www.fllt.org.