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Somers Eagle River Property a Reality

July 22, 2005

County Executive Andy Spano will join Gov. Pataki, Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy and other officials Friday, July 22nd, as they announce approvals for the acquisition of the 654-acre Eagle River property in the Town of Somers.

As part of Spano’s Legacy Program, Westchester County is contributing $4 million to the project, a contribution which was approved in April by the Board of Legislators. A $4 million contribution by the town was approved earlier this month. As announced previously, the state, through the Department of Environmental Conservation, will contribute another $3.2 million.

The county-town-state money will go to preserve 370 acres of the property. The New York City Department of Environmental Protection will purchase the other 269 acres for $9.4 million. (Most of the property drains into the nearby Muscoot Reservoir, which is part of the New York City water supply system.)

“This is the largest tract of open space we have protected in more than a decade,” said Spano. “It is a beautiful parcel, and I thank all those who have helped make this possible, most notably Legislator Michael Kaplowitz.”

Kaplowitz, who represents the northern Westchester area, said, “This is a clear victory for residents’ quality of life. With this acquisition we will have an unbroken ribbon of open space that follows the beautiful, bio-diverse banks of the Angle Fly Brook.”

The property is one of the largest remaining undeveloped parcels in Westchester and its location in the heart of the Croton watershed, which provides water to the New York City water supply system, underscores the importance of its preservation for protection of water quality and biodiversity. Trails on the property will be linked to other county parks -- nearby Muscoot Farm and Lasdon -- and the town’s Reis Park.

The acquisition is a cooperative effort among Westchester County, Somers, the state, the City of New York and the Westchester Land Trust. Under the deal, the operation and maintenance of the 370-acre county-town portion will become the responsibility of Somers, as will a separate 15-acre parcel that will be owned by Somers. The town will also adopt an action plan to provide affordable housing within its borders.

The property straddles Primrose Street (Rt. 139) north of Amawalk Road (Rt. 35) and is located between the Amawalk and Muscoot Reservoirs. A proposal to subdivide this site and build 108 single-family homes has been pending before the town for approvals. The owners/developers have agreed to the sale.

Once acquired, the total amount of property acquired under Spano’s Legacy program will exceed 2,000 acres. The program aims to preserve parkland with an emphasis on protection of environmentally sensitive lands as well as bring active recreational opportunities to communities throughout the county at appropriate sites.

Directions to Eagle River Property, Reynolds Farm House, Somers, located on Primrose Street (Route 139) – just south of Plum Brook Road

From White Plains and south county:

1. Take I-684 North to Exit 6 (Katonah exit) towards Rt. 35..(Keep Right on ramp)
2. At end of ramp, make a left onto Rt. 35
3. Go to where it interesects with 100 (White Hall Corners) and make a right on to 100
4. Pass the 7-11 store and Jehovah’s Witness temple (on right)
5. Make a left onto 139
6. Follow 139 around
7. Entrance drive to Reynolds Farm House will be on the left.


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