milkweed and native flowers beside pond
Glen Roberts

Amenities for you coming soon in some very special places

soaring bird

Can you feel the anticipation? Plans for making nature areas close to you accessible are underway, and we’re excited to get you out and moving in forests, wet meadows, and grasslands later this year.

David S. Smith Public Conservation Area

Located in the Town of LeRay, this special place will likely become a “go-to” destination given its proximity to Fort Drum families. With mostly farms and commercial properties here, publicly accessible natural areas are few.

But safe public access will be on the way after a site plan detailing natural resources on the property is approved, and funding secured — providing parking, trails, and more for recreation and learning activities.


French Settlement Public Conservation Area

Thanks to Dr. Marvin Reimer’s generous 2020 donation, this beautiful 121-acre property will be a neighborhood favorite. Its bird, beaver, and porcupine habitat has been caringly watched over by volunteer and neighbor, Kris Dimmick, and will soon hold parking, trails, and interpretive signage for the public to enjoy created by Art of Wilderness’s Bob McNamara.


school house in the fallMohawk Hill Public Conservation Area

Restored to open wetland by Ducks Unlimited, and donated to the land trust in 2022, this Town of West Turin site has sweeping views of grassland and shallow wetland habitats and is home to a variety of wildlife including Bobolink and many types of waterfowl.

Ducks Unlimited will provide maintenance on the property including mowing and other habitat improvements as it gradually transfers these responsibilities to our land trust. A NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory installed last winter documented lightning strikes during lake effect snow events, adding vital information for understanding future storms.


For more information about these public conservation areas, or other trails and places to go, please refer to our website and eNewsletters. If you’d like to help, please contact John Souva by email at