Onondaga Earth Corp member planting trees at Otisco Lake. Photo by Max Heitner

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) recently announced it has completed a restoration project on a recently acquired property adjacent to Otisco Lake. 650 native trees and shrubs were planted by FLLT staff and members of the Onondaga Earth Corp, a Syracuse-based group with the mission “to empower youth to be active participants in creating positive change for their communities and the environment.”

The plantings will create a buffer of native plants around wetlands and lakeshore on the property, increase native plant diversity, and enhance the land’s long-term ability to protect lake water quality.

The FLLT acquired the 35-acre property over the past summer. It features 2,300 feet of undeveloped shoreline at the southeastern end of Otisco Lake, in the town of Otisco, and was identified as a priority for protection due to its role in maintaining the lake’s water quality. The property will be conveyed to Onondaga County to manage as a public conservation area subject to a perpetual conservation easement held by the FLLT.

All trees and shrubs planted were documented as native to Onondaga County. “Planting at Otisco Lake was different because we were out of the city of Syracuse but I enjoyed it,” said Nesha Walker, Onondaga Earth Corp crew member. “It was a good experience to be on the vast property next to the lake. I would love to do it again and I hope our shrubs grow well!”

Funding for this project came from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Water Quality Improvement Project program and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment, Restoration and Implementation Program. 

To watch a beautiful aerial video and learn more about the property, please visit

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 25,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of 35 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 150 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 local residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

Information on the region’s premiere destinations for outdoor recreation may be found at, a resource created by the FLLT to encourage people to get outdoors. Additional information about the Finger Lakes Land Trust may be found at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *