GARDINER, NY-New York State has acquired 2,518 acres of vacant land known as the Awosting Preserve that had been earmarked for development. The purchase will expand the state’s Minnewaska State Park. Environmentalists had been waging a battle for years to “Save the Ridge.”

The state purchased the parkland from the Trust for Public Land, which negotiated the agreement along with the Open Space Institute. The $17-million purchase is being funded through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. The new parkland comprises the Awosting Reserve property located here and in the towns of Warwarsing and Shawangunk. The property is at the base of Shawangunk Mountain Ridge and occupies the southern slopes leading up to Minnewaska State Park and Mohonk Preserves.

“The loss of this land to development would have been a tragedy,” Trust for Public Land senior vice president Rose Harvey comments. “It would have forever changed the face of the ridge.” The Awosting Preserve land purchase follows several land additions to Minnewaska State Park in the last few years totaling 1,793 acres. The park a now includes 16,400 acres, an increase of 4,311 acres since 2000.

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