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Dominican Sisters Of Hope Preserve 34 Acres Along Hudson River Forever

A group of the Dominican Sisters of Hope stand outside on the preserved land along the Hudson River. Photo Credit: Provided/ Dominican Sisters of Hope
Sister Lorelle Elcock, O.P., Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, unveils the land conservation easement at a Sept. 28 press conference Photo Credit: Provided/ Dominican Sisters of Hope
Sister Lorelle Elcock, O.P., Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, signs the land conservation easement along with Westchester Land Trust president Lori Ensinger. Photo Credit: Provided/ Dominican Sisters of Hope
Sister Lorelle Elcock, O.P., Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, works with Westchester Land Trust to draft the land conservation easement in 2017. Photo Credit: Provided/ Dominican Sisters of Hope
Liz Feldman of the Town of Ossining, left, and Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity, right, both presented the Dominican Sisters of Hope with proclamations for the Day of Hope in Ossining. Photo Credit: Provided/ Dominican Sisters of Hope
Westchester Land Trust officers and board members with Sister Lorelle, O.P., Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope at Friday's news conference in Ossining. (See story below for names of those in this group photo.) Photo Credit: Provided/ Westchester Land Trust

The Dominican Sisters of Hope announced the preservation of 34 acres -- more than half the riverfront property known as Mariandale.

Mariandale is owned by the Dominican Sisters of Hope and is situated along a stretch of the Hudson River.

The property is adjacent to the Village of Ossining’s 30-acre Crawbuckie Nature Preserve. Together, nearly one mile of uninterrupted Hudson shoreline now is protected in perpetuity.

The property will continue to be owned and managed by the Sisters as a retreat and conference center.

Westchester Land Trust will hold the conservation easement, which prohibits further development and protects significant ecological resources, forever.

Dozens of community members including state Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, county Legislator Catherine Borgia, and Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity attended a Day of Hope celebration on Friday, Sept. 28.

“Since 2011, we have been blessed to have a number of people help us focus on this core value and ultimately commit to this land conservation easement,” said Lorelle Elcock, O.P., Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope. “Our hope is that, in the future, this land will be a source of healing for body, mind, and spirit, as well as a place of refuge for the wildlife.”

The Sisters, along with Westchester Land Trust Vice President Kara Whelan, unveiled a map delineating the conservation easement boundaries and signed a copy of the conservation easement.

The easement does not extend to the already developed area of the 61-acre campus, so the Sisters will have the option to renovate and redesign existing buildings.

Westchester Land Trust retains the obligation to ensure that the terms of the conservation easement are honored forever.

Mariandale includes a retreat and conference center, as well as a labyrinth, gardens, and a nature trail for people to meander. The conserved land consists of a variety of habitat types, including woodlands, meadow, wetlands, and a steep ravine through which flows a stream on its way to emptying into the Hudson River.

For more details about the Dominican Sisters of Hope, click here: www.ophope.org

Since its founding in 1988, Westchester Land Trust (WLT) has preserved nearly 8,300 acres of open space including more than 700 acres of preserves owned by the organization which are free and open to the public year-round. Westchester Land Trust works with public and private partners to preserve land and to enhance the natural resources in Westchester and Putnam counties. For more details about WLT, click here: westchesterlandtrust.org

Appearing in the large group photo, above far right are: (Back row, from left,) WLT Vice President Kara H. Whelan; WLT Advisory Board Member Brendon DeSimone of Greenwich, WLT Board Member Douglas M. Kraus of Chappaqua, WLT Advisory Board Member Michael Surdej of Lewisboro; WLT Board Member Gary Perusse of Yorktown; (front row, from left to right,) WLT Board Member Norma Silva of Yonkers, Sister Lorelle, O.P., Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope of Ossining, WLT Land Conservation Projects Manager John Baker; and WLT Board Member Nanette Bourne of White Plains.

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