Gallogly Family Foundation awards Western New York Land Conservancy major grant

Mossy Point is prized for its diversity of plants and animals, including a patch of rare old growth forest.Mossy Point is prized for its diversity of plants and animals, including a patch of rare old growth forest.

The Western New York Land Conservancy has received a $100,000 challenge gift from the Gallogly Family Foundation toward the purchase and protection of Mossy Point, a 222-acre gem located in Wales. Mossy Point is prized for its diversity of plants and animals, including a patch of rare old growth forest. In 2017, the Land Conservancy signed an agreement that gives it until Dec. 31, 2019 to raise $1.6 million to buy the property and create a new nature preserve. The Land Conservancy is halfway to that goal. Right now, the Land Conservancy needs community members to match the challenge gift and donate enough to save Mossy Point by the end of the year.

In the 1920s, Mossy Point was home to Charles and Florence Kennedy and their family. After the family sold the land, one half eventually wound up with the Land Conservancy and is home to its offices at Kenneglenn, while the other half wound up with a private individual. Large forests like Mossy Point are vital for a host of species, such as monarch butterflies, who rely on the native milkweed found here to lay eggs during their long migratory journey. Equally important, Mossy Point is at the headwaters of the Niagara River. By protecting this property, the community will protect fresh drinking water for future generations and prevent flooding. If the Land Conservancy is unable to raise the funds to purchase Mossy Point by Dec. 31, the forests on the property will likely be cut, and this unique place will be lost forever.

But there is hope. Mossy Point is the missing piece of what will become a 1,100-acre protected block of forest along nearly two miles of Hunters Creek, a large section of which runs through Hunters Creek County Park. “We are enormously grateful to the Gallogly Family Foundation for their support of our Mossy Point project,” says Nancy Smith, executive director of the Land Conservancy. “With over two miles of frontage along creeks, this will be one the largest blocks of headwater forests ever protected in Erie County. Our region’s children will have a place to splash in a creek, sit beneath a massive hemlock, and listen to the songs of colorful birds for centuries to come.”

The Western New York community, along with the Land Conservancy and a group of volunteers called the Friends of Mossy Point, is working hard to save this land. Once the property is purchased, the Land Conservancy will build walking, cross-country, and snowshoe trails, and will allow the public access to this pristine chunk of forest. Although they are halfway toward their fundraising goal, with less than half a year remaining in their efforts, they have reached a critical stage. This $100,000 challenge gift from the Gallogly Family Foundation will serve as the catalyst for a final push toward its Dec. 31 fundraising deadline. You can save Mossy Point by donating to the Land Conservancy today. Each dollar you donate now will be doubled until the challenge gift has been matched.

Mossy Point naming opportunities:
• One donor of $350,000 will be able to name the preserve.
• Donors of $200,000 will have a trail named in their honor.
• Donors of $30,000 will have a bench named in their honor.
• Donors of $10,000 or more will have their name listed on a plaque permanently placed at the preserve.
• Donors of more than $2,000 will be recognized in the East Aurora Advertiser.

If you are interested in learning more about the Western New York Land Conservancy’s work, contact the office at (716) 687-1225 or info@wnylc.org. If you would like to support the permanent protection of Mossy Point, you can donate online at wnylc.org or send a check to P.O. Box 471, East Aurora, N.Y. 14052.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is a regional, not-for-profit land trust that permanently protects land with significant conservation value in Western New York for current and future generations. The Land Conservancy envisions a future in which open spaces, working lands, wildlife habitat, and scenic beauty are cherished and protected as part of the landscape and character of Western New York. The Land Conservancy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and is one of 1,000-plus land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State. Land trusts have protected 56 million acres of land.




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