In 1954, a concerned group of citizens asked The Nature Conservancy to help save 60 acres in the Mianus River Gorge in Bedford, New York from development. The Conservancy pledged $7,500 to purchase the land, stipulating that the loan be repaid for use in other conservation efforts.
It was The Nature Conservancy’s first land preservation project and the beginning of a successful partnership with a conservation-minded community. That strong partnership continues today. The Mianus River Gorge Preserve is now managed by Mianus River Gorge Preserve, Inc., a nonprofit land trust, and has grown to a total of more than 900 acres, 166 of which are protected through conservation easements.
The Nature Conservancy and Mianus River Gorge Preserve, Inc.
Mianus River Gorge Preserve, Inc. manages the entire Mianus River Gorge Preserve and owns 183 of the 738 acres. It also maintains the trail system on the preserve, conducts research and holds a variety of educational programs and workshops. The Nature Conservancy owns the remaining 555 acres. These two organizations work together toward the common goal of preserving the Gorge’s hemlocks, fern gullies and rare species.
- Studying the biological control of the woolly adelgid, an invasive insect that is damaging the gorge’s 350-year-old hemlock trees.
- Controlling other invasive plant and animal species.
- Studying the browsing ecology of white-tailed deer.
- Analyzing the potential for wildflower restoration at the preserve.
- Assessing eastern bluebird mortality.
- Maintaining an ongoing inventory of plants and animals.
- Actively protecting the watershed and adjacent land through land acquisition, conservation easements, and collaboration with local governments.
Mianus River Gorge Facts
Size: 738 acres
Natural Features: The Mianus River, which empties into Long Island Sound; a magnificent cathedral of 350-year-old hemlocks; Havemeyer Falls; and Hobby Hill Quarry.
Recreation: Over 7,000 hikers experience the shady tranquility of Mianus River Gorge each year.