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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Westchester Land Trust Opens Arboretum at Pound Ridge Nature Preserve

Paul Zofnass and Renee Ring plant a blueberry bush at the entrance to the arboretum.

Westchester Land Trust (WLT) has opened a three-acre arboretum adjacent to its 125-acre Westchester Wilderness Walk / Zofnass Family Preserve in Pound Ridge.                                 

The arboretum was donated to WLT by the Preserve’s founding family, Paul Zofnass and Renee Ring. Established by Paul Zofnass over the past 10 years, the arboretum includes more than 250 plant species, all identified with name tags and educational signage along a third of a mile of meandering footpaths.

“Looking beyond its clear educational value, the arboretum’s highly diverse species array will inform the management of the other 31 preserves that Westchester Land Trust protects,” says Brendan Murphy, WLT’s director of stewardship. “The arboretum will also further our understanding of local climate change impacts. It just gives back to our group and to the community in so many ways.”

The Westchester Wilderness Walk / Zofnass Family Preserve is WLT’s most visited property and has been the site of numerous community programs and research initiatives, including a preserve-wide inventory led by the New York Botanical Garden.

WLT works with public and private partners to preserve land in perpetuity, and to enhance the natural resources in Westchester and eastern Putnam counties. Its conservation efforts impact the long-term health of these communities through the protection of watershed areas, air quality and food supply. In total, WLT has preserved nearly 9,000 acres of open space, including 900 acres of preserves owned and managed by the organization.

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