Visitors to Dyken Pond now have access to forty more acres for hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, birding, and Center programs. With our purchase of the Newcomb Pond parcel, the Friends of the Dyken Pond Environmental Center has protected high-quality beech, maple, and hemlock forestland, a 9 acre pond, emergent wetland and forested shrub wetland. And there’s more! The family that owns the land that sits between our new parcel and the Center has granted a trail easement across their property. Thanks to their conservation spirit, the Center’s existing trails will be extended to the new Newcomb Pond parcel.
With the purchase of the Newcomb Pond parcel, the protected open space corridor around the Dyken Pond Center now includes 433 acres of private and public conservation lands. Acquisition of the new parcel also ensures that it remains a component of the open space of the Rensselaer Plateau, home of one of the largest forest blocks in New York State. These large forest tracts provide habitat for wildlife found at the Center that require large areas of unbroken forest, such as fisher, bear, moose, and porcupine.
The Friends of Dyken Pond purchased the Newcomb Pond parcel in the early winter of 2011 for $22,000, which we will pay in four annual installments. Our contract calls for annual payments each March of $5,500. As of December 2012 we are two thirds of the way to our goal of being paid in full in March 2014.
We hope to have the new trail in place connecting the Center’s existing trails to the Newcomb Pond parcel sometime in 2013.