Eight acres preserved in burgeoning Bethlehem

— Map from the Albany County Land Bank

The dashes outline eight acres to be maintained as open space in a once-rural area of Bethlehem, now being developed.

BETHLEHEM — Eight acres of landlocked farmland will be preserved in Bethlehem as development encroaches.

The land, near the intersection of Route 9W and Wemple Road, was acquired by the not-for-profit Albany County Land Bank from the county for tax foreclosure, and will now be kept open by the town.

Bethlehem, according to a release from the land bank, has no immediate plans to develop passive recreation on the land. The parcel will simply remain protected open space, allowing its wetlands, trees, and soils to continue providing important “natural systems services” such as water quality protection, flood protection, and wildlife habitat.

The town has recently surveyed residents and found that conservation of farms and forests is a priority; the acquisition forwards the goals of the town’s open-space plan.

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