As a conservation land trust, fundamental to our mission is protecting land with conservation value through both conservation easements and fee-simple properties. Fee-simple ownership means the Kingston Land Trust has full ownership of the property by holding title to it.
We own four properties in the City of Kingston, three properties in the Town of Ulster, and two properties in the Town of Hurley. Our current fee-simple properties fall into three categories: floodplain, rail-trail contiguous, and historic/urban.
Our conservation priorities are informed by our own criteria, and will be complimented by prioritization identified by the Open Space Plan currently being developed for Kingston (see Public Space Policy, Planning & Design page). We are working to finalize land management plans and are continuing outreach to neighbors and other stakeholders to receive input on the public’s vision for use of these spaces.
Until we are ready to open our properties to the public you can visit our land when we host tours and events as well as programming of partner organizations. Those opportunities are all listed below when available.
There are many reasons for protecting land in floodplains as open space, especially given the likely future of more flooding events caused by shifting precipitation patterns in a warming climate. We own six small floodplain properties--five associated with the Lower Esopus Creek (in Kingston, Ulster, and Hurley) and one with a stream and wetlands that drain Onteora Lake. Five of these properties were purchased as surplus county parcels after being identified as areas to remain open space by Ulster County and FEMA, as part of the FEMA Catskill Flood Remediation Program. The sixth property was purchased after the Lower Esopus Creek corridor was identified as an open space priority during the initial phase of the Kingston Land Trust.
In the summer and fall of 2018, the KLT Greening Group began to transform one of our Town of Ulster Esopus Creek properties by first doing a plant survey and beginning to control the spread of opportunistic plants that have colonized the vacant lots. We worked with Earth Designs Cooperative to create a design for the property for an edible riparian buffer with many functions serving natural communities and humans alike.
The Greening Group planted about 70 native shrubs and trees, almost all of which are fruit-bearing, and began a small trial of sheet-mulching seeded with native meadow mix. The majority of the shrubs and trees were provided by the Trees for Tribs program of DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program. We plan to continue to develop this site and begin to make it accessible to the public as an educational example of applying ecological design and permaculture principles to small creekside properties.
One of our organizing principles is protecting land around rail-trail corridors as this allows for biological corridors, and serves trail users. Currently, hold title to a piece of land just that is contiguous with the Kingston Point Rail Trail (in construction to open in August 2019) and a very small piece of land contiguous with the O&W Rail Trail. These are both segments of the Kingston Greenline, our joint initiative with the City of Kingston and Ulster County.
Kingston and the surrounding region is particularly rich in history, and we believe in the importance of protecting historical sites that link us to the past through the land. Currently, we own a small parcel in the Kingston neighborhood of Ponckhockie that has historical significance related to the revolutionary war and to lime and cement production during the 19th century industrial period. We are also currently working on protecting an 18th and 19th century African Burial Ground in Kingston.