Warwick couple to donate 255 acres to County Land Trust

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    WARWICK-Steve and Liz Roland are doing their part to preserve open land in Warwick. On Friday, at 11 a.m., the Warwick couple will announce, along with Orange County Executive Edward Diana and the Orange County Land Trust, that they are donating 255 acres of their property off Bowen Road to the trust. The trust will own the land but the land will be open to the public for recreation. Linda Gette, director of development for the land trust, said a land stewardship committee will be meeting to determine what will be done with this property. There are already some trails there and a stream that Gette called "wonderful." The addition of this property to the permanent open space in Warwick fits well with the direction the town is going. There is a town-wide purchase of development rights program in place where the town, along with federal and state governments, buy the development rights of farms, leaving them open space forever. Supervisor Michael Sweeton said the location of this land is especially beneficial for the town. "What is really nice about this is that it is connected to the Brady Farm and Cascade Park," said Sweeton. "A whole swath of the mountain will be under easement. This is also watershed land for the village." The Brady farm has applied for purchase of development rights funding. The Rolands owned about 300 acres of land before developing a small part of it. The remaining 80 percent of land is what is being donated to the land trust. It crosses Black Rock, Bowen, and Conklin roads. Since passing the purchase of development rights referendum in 2000, the Town of Warwick has either preserved or is in the process of preserving nearly 2,200 acres of farmland.