Michele & Margherita Albanese Preserve at the                                 Robert J. Vitkus, DDS Conservation Area

The Central New York Land Trust has announced the acquisition of a 93.17-acre property featuring 600 feet of shoreline on Skaneateles Lake, in the Town of Spafford. This acquisition furthers the Land Trust’s mission to protect our counties’ clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat and create a chance for people to connect with the land. The acquisition of the Michele and Margherita Albanese Preserve within the Robert J. Vitkus, DDS Conservation Area will further its effort to conserve land that can help prevent harmful nutrients from running into Skaneateles Lake. “This acquisition continues our efforts in watershed protection and helps prevent HABs (harmful algal blooms) in our lakes,” said Albert Joerger, Executive Director, Central New York Land Trust.

Located adjacent to Lourdes Camp on the eastern shore of Skaneateles Lake, the property has 600 feet of pebble beach, waterfalls and forest. “Protection of this land helps to safeguard water quality in Skaneateles Lake by filtering runoff into the lake,” said Rick Smardon, Chair of the Central New York Land Trust Board. Along with supporting water quality in Skaneateles Lake, the preserve also supports bald eagles, foxes, turkeys and a wonderful population of white-tailed deer.

Funding for this acquisition was made possible through very generous gifts from the late Robert J Vitkus, DDS and from Michael and Ellen Albanese. We are forever grateful to these two generous families and salute their commitment to watershed protection and wildlife conservation.

The Land Trust will work with its partners: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Skaneateles Lake Association; Department of Water, City of Syracuse; Onondaga County Soil & Water Conservation District; and ESF (State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry) Restoration Science Center to develop a long-term management plan and conduct restoration activities on the site, including creating habitat for ruffed grouse, and forest and watershed protection measures which will create future opportunities for public access for hiking, wildlife observation, hunting and fishing.

This is the Central New York Land Trust’s 47th preserve and its fourth preserve in the Skaneateles Lake watershed.