Yorktown Purchases Granite Knolls property

Tom Anderson
Westchester Land Trust Press Release


Congratulations to the town of Yorktown and its open space advocates for completing the acquisition of the 200-acre Granite Knolls property on Stoney Street yesterday.

The land is now a town-owned nature preserve and will soon have a new network of hiking trails (with playing fields possible in one section as well) for the public to enjoy.

Westchester Land Trust negotiated the $2.7 million deal for the Town and worked with the Yorktown Land Trust and the Town's Advisory Committee on Open Space to rally public support for the acquisition.Westchester Land Trust has now protected more than 6,800 acres throughout the county, including 379 acres in seven projects in Yorktown.

The property had been proposed for a single-family housing development as long ago as the mid 1990s. It straddles Stoney Street and is the site of the old Mohegan Granite Quarry, dating back to the 1830s (one rock on the property was at one time reputed to be the largest boulder in New York State).

Its trails link to Sylvan Glen Nature Preserve, the Yorktown/Taconic Trailway, and the Taconic Woods/Woodlands.

Numerous people deserve thanks and credit for the acquisition, foremost among them Yorktown Councilmen Nick Bianco and Jim Martorano, as well as Councilman Vishnu Patel, who provided the three yes votes in the Town Board's 3-2 decision in the spring of 2010 to buy the land. Town Supervisor Susan Siegel and Councilman Terrence Murphy joined in on a unanimous vote to continue the purchase in the fall of 2010.

John Schroeder and the Yorktown Land Trust, and Walt Daniels and the town's Advisory Committee on Open Space, steadfastly championed the acquisition.

Yorktown Planning Director John Tegeder and Assistant Planner Lorraine DeSisto worked with the Advisory Committee on Open Space to move the project forward. Yorktown Parks Superintendent Jennifer Fava and the Town's Recreation Commission provided much-needed support.

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and the WestchesterMountain Bike Club both worked to establish the trail links.

Bill Reilly, of Billingsley Real Estate, deserves our thanks for bringing the property listing to the attention of Westchester Land Trust in November 2008. Alan Rothschild handled the sale on the part of the owners, the estate of Hubert Bartzick.

And perhaps most importantly, the residents of Yorktown, who twice overwhelmingly approved the open space funding ballot propositions that provided the money for this acquisition.

For more about our land preservation work, visit our website, www.Westchesterlandtrust.org.Yours truly,

Tom Andersen
Deputy Executive Director
Westchester Land Trust