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Unprecedented Gift Secures 1,300 Feet of Skaneateles Shoreline

March 9, 2011 | Finger Lakes Land Trust | Ithaca, NY
Unprecedented Gift Secures 1,300 Feet of Skaneateles Shoreline

Photo by Mark Whitmore


Contact: Andrew Zepp


Finger Lakes Land Trust Acquires 20-Acre Property


ITHACA, NY -- The Finger Lakes Land Trust announced today that it has received an unprecedented gift of land featuring 1,300 feet of pristine shoreline on Skaneateles Lake. The twenty acre property is located in the Town of Spafford and features steeply sloping woodlands overlooking the lake as well as a significant portion of the Staghorn Cliffs – a 100 foot escarpment that is well known for its scenic character and its abundant fossils.
The gift was made by Syracuse area resident David Dickinsonand his children: Thomas Dickinson, Scott Dickinson, Gary Dickinson, Laura Dickinson Maguire, and Hollis Dickinson Wilson. The land had been in their family for more than 50 years.

The Dickinson property is located in an area known as the Skaneateles Highlands – a mosaic of forest and agricultural lands that encompass the southern half of Skaneateles Lake. The Land Trust recently completed a conservation plan for the Highlands, which identified undeveloped shoreline as the highest priority for protection.

A year in the making, the Dickinson family’s donation to the Land Trust reflects their desire to keep the land in its natural condition. “That was our intention all along,” says David Dickinson. “My mother discovered the property. We wanted to retain the beauty of the cliffs and preserve the gorgeous south end of the lake in appreciation of her.”
“This is a tremendous gift,” says Land Trust Executive Director Andrew Zepp. “We’re grateful to the Dickinson family for their generosity and their commitment to the land.”

“The south end of Skaneateles Lake is truly magnificent,” adds Skaneateles resident and Land Trust board member Doug Sutherland. “This remarkable gift secures an outstanding stretch of that shoreline. We hope it becomes the cornerstone for additional land protection in the watershed.”

“The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) applauds the Dickinson family and the Finger Lakes Land Trust for the donation and preservation of shoreline in this important watershed,” adds NYSDEC Regional Director Ken Lynch. “We appreciate the efforts of such great partners in fostering the conservation of New York’s magnificent open space and natural resources.”

The acquisition of the Dickinson property is the sixth project completed by the Land Trust within the Skaneateles Lake Watershed. Previous projects include the acquisition of Carpenter’s Falls and the establishment of the High Vista Nature Preserve, as well as the acquisition of a conservation easement on more than 2,000 feet of frontage on Bear Swamp Creek – one of the largest tributaries to the lake.

During the coming year, the Land Trust will develop a management plan for this latest acquisition. In honor of David Dickinson’s mother, the property will be known as the Cora Kampfe Dickinson Conservation Area.
The organization is also continuing to pursue the protection of additional lands within the Skaneateles Lake Watershed and fundraising is underway to support these efforts and to cover costs associated with the long-term stewardship of the Dickinson property.


About Finger Lakes Land Trust

The Finger Lakes Land Trust was established in 1989 to work cooperatively with landowners and local communities to protect those lands that define the character of the region. To date, the organization has secured more than 12,000 acres of significant open space lands through direct acquisition as well as the use of conservation easements on lands that remain in private ownership. The Land Trust today owns and manages a network of 27 public conservation areas and holds and monitors 75 conservation easements. Additional information about the Land Trust may be obtained at or by calling (607) 275-9487.

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