Eight acres added to pine bush — and the preserve’s not done

— Photo by Jake Humm

A spring peeper rests easy in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

Through the work of six groups, another 8.3 acres has been added to the globally rare Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

The property in the town of Colonie was acquired by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy through a collaboration with Albany County that helps to identify and preserve tax-foreclosed parcels with ecological significance.

Since 1988, with the creation of theAlbany Pine Bush Preserve Commission, over 3,400 acres, spanning three municipalities — Colonie, Guilderland, and Albany — have been permanently protected as part of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.

This is the first direct connection between the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the Schenectady County Pine Barrens, also known as the Woodlawn Preserve. The property will be managed by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission with access provided by a cooperative agreement with the city of Schenectady, which owns the 135-acre Woodlawn Preserve.

Additionally, the Friends of the Pine Bush Community provided financial support to offset the closing and legal costs associated with the acquisition.

“This is a great story of six partners coming together for a common goal, including Albany County, the city of Schenectady, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, our Friends group, and Friends of Woodlawn Preserve,” said Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission Executive Director Christopher Hawver in a release announcing the acquisition.

“We’re incredibly thankful for the cooperative effort and enthusiasm that everyone put into this project,” Hawver continued, “and it’s an excellent example of the importance of environmental protection here in our region.”

The commission still wants to protect an additional 2,000 acres to assure the viability of the ecosystem.

Neighbors can connect with the commission, the release said, “to learn more on how to help protect additional land as well as support the restoration of this outstanding National Natural Landmark.

“The Albany Pine Bush Preserve is the largest open space area in the immediate Capital District, with a future goal of 5,380 acres. The APBPC works with willing sellers with additional properties that can be protected and added to the preserve.”

— Melisa Hale-Spencer

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