10/05/17: Success, You've SAVED Whiskey Island & Northern Great Bear!
The Campaign for Whiskey Island & Northern Great Bear - a Community Success. Friends of Great Bear and Central New York Land Trust announce the success of the Campaign for Whiskey Island and Northern Great Bear, thanks to the local community who worked to preserve this land for recreation and conservation. On September 29, 2017, 130 acres of Great Bear Springs Recreation Area in Volney, New York, was transferred from private ownership to the nonprofit CNY Land Trust. The CNYLT will in turn transfer the land to the Town of Volney. to keep as part of Great Bear. This land purchase is possible because of generous and enthusiastic local support throughout the year-long fundraising campaign.
Over 200 individuals gave to the Great Bear campaign, joined by businesses and organizations. Fulton Savings Bank led the way with a $20,000 gift. Other key donations came from Sunoco Ethanol, Community Bank NA, Pathfinder Bank, Novelis, Page Trucking, Oswego County Federal Credit Union, and the John Ben Snow Foundation. In March, the Richard S. Shineman Foundation, a catalyst for change in Oswego County, awarded CNY Land Trust a $50,000 campaign challenge grant. The central New York community embraced this special giving opportunity.
"We asked for your help and your response was overwhelming! You rose to the challenge and $50,000 was raised before the July 31st deadline," said Margaret Bocsor, Friends of Great Bear, "Your individual contributions were added to generous donations from banks, corporations, local businesses and community organizations to send the campaign over the top."
Great Bear Springs Recreation Area comprises approximately 444 acres along the east bank of the Oswego River, with access from County Route 57, between the Village of Phoenix and the City of Fulton. Friends of Great Bear and the Central New York Land Trust, two local organizations with a deep commitment to the land, partnered to raise $165,000 to acquire Whiskey Island and Northern Great Bear, put up for sale in 2015.
"Protecting Northern Great Bear and Whiskey Island will keep Great Bear Springs Recreation Area intact for permanent public enjoyment," said Richard Drosse, Friends of Great Bear Coordinator, "We have volunteers from across Oswego County who help maintain trails for the Recreation Area. Now we can say not only does the community care for Great Bear, we have protected it, too." Great Bear Springs Recreation Area features a mix of forests, fields and wetlands with almost eight miles of marked trails, accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities year round, free of charge. Hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and more find an opportunity for healthful outdoor activity.
"The community came together in less than a year to achieve this remarkable accomplishment for outdoor recreation and land conservation," said Meredith Perreault, Executive Director, CNY Land Trust.
About Great Bear:
Friends of Great Bear is made up of residents of Oswego County, interested in the conservation and protection of the Great Bear Recreation Area. This unique area is owned by the City of Fulton and the Town of Volney. A diversity of flora and fauna, varying terrain and the Oswego River and Oswego Canal make Great Bear a great place for non-motorized recreation such as hiking, mountain biking and cross-country skiing.
Great Bear is a great place to hike, walk the dog, ride a mountain bike. In the winter you can ski or snowshoe. Trails are all "single track" wooded trails. You can also walk down the Oswego River to swim or fish.
In cooperation with the City of Fulton, Town of Volney and private land owners, we are advocates for the preservation and protection of this natural environment, so that the public may share and make use of the property wisely as a recreational resource. With help from local businesses.
Great Bear is an offical walk of the Niagara Volkssport Clubs.
The Great Bear property is located between Fulton and Phoenix New York on Route 57. Parking and the entrance to Great Bear are at Route 57 and Great Bear Road.
Please remember not to leave valuables in your vehicle.
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