Land Conservancy Takes Over SUNY Lodge Forest

OBSERVER Photos by M.J. Stafford The ribbon cutting Friday for the acquisition of part of the College Lodge's forest by the Western New York Land Conservancy.

BROCTON — The Western New York Land Conservancy took over most of the College Lodge’s forest at a ceremony this week.

The SUNY Fredonia Faculty Student Association will retain the lodge and 33 acres but sold a couple hundred acres, including an “old growth forest” featuring centuries-old trees, to the land conservancy. As part of Friday’s event, the Old Growth Forest Network presented the conservancy with a plaque designating the area as an old growth forest.

The forest will remain open year-round as a publicly accessible nature sanctuary, featuring miles of recreational trails.

Various officials waxed poetic about the grand old forest during the event, which also featured a ribbon-cutting.

“We decided four years ago we can and should do this,” said Nancy Smith, executive director of the land conservancy. SUNY Fredonia put the property up for sale to raise funds and her organization decided to step in and preserve it.

OBSERVER Photos by M.J. Stafford Nancy Smith, executive director of the Western New York Land Conservancy, receives a plaque from Old Growth Forest Network leader Joan Maloof (right) Friday. The plaque designated the conservancy's newly acquired piece of land near the College Lodge in Brocton as a registered old growth forest.

The forest “is mesmerizing, it is inspiring, it has healed many for hundreds of years,” Smith said. “This is a place settled and intricate, and it is now also secure.” She thanked all who worked on the acquisition “for your generosity, your vision and your persistence.”


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