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Monarch butterfly on milkweed
Presentation of Scout projects at Angle Fly Preserve

The Somers Land Trust (SLT) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to preserving open space in the town of Somers, NY.  We use a variety of approaches to protect the natural and historic landscape of the town we love:

  • Owning land: SLT owns Rhinoceros Creek Reservation and a parcel off of Warren Street (not yet open to the public).

  • Managing land: For over 17 years, SLT was the Somers Town board-designated steward for Angle Fly Preserve. In 2023, that responsibility transitioned back to the town. 

  • Conservation easements: Together with the Westchester Land Trust, SLT is party to a number of conservation easements on properties in Somers. SLT also worked with municipal and non-profit partners to preserve Stuart's Farm as agricultural land forever

  • Education and advocacy.

  • And of course, we do a lot of good old roll-up-your-sleeves work – whether out in the fresh air or behind a computer keyboard.

Angle Fly Preserve: An Early Victory

One of the earliest achievements of the Somers Land Trust was contributing to the creation of  Angle Fly Preserve. In 2000, SLT helped bring the Open Space Funding Referendum to voters. Its passage enabled the Town of Somers to join the City of New York, Westchester County and the State of New York to purchase and protect the 654 acre property that otherwise would have been interlaced with roads and buildings. Once Angle Fly Preserve was established in 2006, the Somers Town Board named SLT as the stewards of the preserve, with the responsibility to develop and maintain it as a space for the community to enjoy passive recreation.  Among SLT's accomplishments during it's 17-year stewardship, is the creation of  an extensive and well-used trail system, restoration of the historic farm area and other natural habitats, and sponsorship of many scout projects that enhance visitors' experiences.

Rhinoceros Creek: Our First Acquisition

When Christine Beshar, a dedicated SLT supporter, sold her beloved Stone House in 2017, the family presented us with much of the land surrounding the Somers landmark. Those 115 acres are now known as Crane - Beshar Rhinoceros Creek Reservation. SLT's  mission was a natural fit with the Beshars' wish to protect the land in perpetuity for the enjoyment of the public. The Stone House was built by Gerard Crane, one of Somers' 19th century menagerie owners. SLT named the property to memorialize these two families who have shaped the land and also to celebrate its connection to Somers' unique circus history. 

A Deep Bench of Support

The Somers Land Trust collaborates with  local and national organizations such as the Westchester Land Trust, the Land Trust Alliance, Mianus River Gorge, and Teatown Lake Reservation.  These partnerships bring a wide range of expertise to the Town of Somers.  With the help of affiliated organizations, SLT developed comprehensive management plans and won grants for biodiversity assessments, trail construction, invasive species removal, pavilion and signage construction, public programs, and other projects.

Photos top to bottom: Monarch butterfly on butterfly weed, © Lauretta Jones, Volunteers working on native plant garden © Gail Simpson, Children exploring nature in AngleFly Brook © Gail Simpson, Bird survey at Rhinoceros Creek, © Donald Gambino, Rosey Van Wart presenting scout projects ©Gail Simpson.

Volunteers setting rocks in wildflower garden
Children on nature hike at Angle Fly Brook
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