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Tompkins County Land Added to Land Trust


The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) has acquired eleven acres with more than 3,100 feet of frontage along Fall Creek in the town of Dryden. The Tompkins County parcel will be added to the FLLT’s adjacent Etna Nature Preserve, safeguarding habitat for fish and wildlife as well as water quality within Fall Creek—the drinking water supply for Cornell University and a major tributary to Cayuga Lake.

Situated between Upper Creek Road and State Route 366, the newly acquired property is a floodplain and brings a protected streambank here to 6,200 feet. The new parcel is accessible from an existing pull-off on Route 366.

“This acquisition adds to a growing greenbelt along Fall Creek,” says Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “By acquiring this land, we’re protecting important habitat while expanding recreational opportunities and helping to maintain water quality”.

The FLLT’s Etna Nature Preserve consists of woods, wetlands, and streams, with a short hiking trail that complements the landscape and facilitates bird watching. The trail crosses over a tributary to Fall Creek and loops through a small spruce plantation.

Partial funding for this project was provided by the FLLT’s Finger Lakes Forever campaign and the estate of Margaret Bald.

By working cooperatively with landowners and local communities, the Finger Lakes Land Trust has protected over 30,000 acres of the region’s undeveloped lakeshore, rugged gorges, rolling forest, and scenic farmland. The FLLT owns and manages a network of over 45 nature preserves that are open to the public and holds perpetual conservation easements on 179 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 residents about conservation and the region’s unique natural resources.

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