The Western New York Land Conservancy and the Friends of Mossy Point have now raised nearly $1.1 million toward the purchase and protection of Mossy Point, a 222-acre property located in South Wales. They need to raise an additional $500,000 by Dec. 31, 2019 in order to purchase the property and create a new nature preserve on the site. If the community doesn’t save the land by the end of this year, its forests could be cut and developed, lost forever.
Mossy Point is adjacent to Kenneglenn, land already protected by the Land Conservancy. Once purchased, the Mossy Point property would combine with Kenneglenn to become an integral part of a new preserve that will include walking, cross-country and snowshoe trails, and it will allow the public access to a lush patch of forest. The combined preserve will also feature an object never before seen in New York State: A nature “megaphone.” A nature megaphone is a wooden cone-shaped “bench” that absorbs and amplifies sound naturally. Instead of making noise, the megaphone will allow visitors of all ages to sit inside and listen to the sounds of the forest, songs of birds, and the babbling waters of Hunters Creek.
To kick off the final fundraising push of the campaign, the Land Conservancy will host a fundraiser at Knox Farm Mansion in East Aurora on Oct. 24. The public is encouraged to attend this free event, but anyone who wishes to go must RSVP by Oct. 22 (event and RSVP details below). Attendees will hear stories from people in the community who want to save Mossy Point, and they will have multiple opportunities to donate, including a silent auction. 42 North Brewing Company in East Aurora is producing a special Mossy Point IPA for the event using locally grown ingredients, and Arrowhead Springs Vineyards in Lockport is donating wine.
Mossy Point is at the headwaters of the Niagara River and is a vital component of a much larger ecosystem, one that safeguards the Niagara watershed, the source of our region’s fresh water. By protecting this property, the community will protect fresh drinking water for future generations and prevent flooding in Erie County.
The Land Conservancy has received broad support from the community, with gifts ranging from small to large, but donors are all united behind one consistent goal, protecting Mossy Point.
“Protecting Mossy Point is no less critical than saving fertile, endangered farmland,” says Mossy Point donors Franklin and Linda Meyer on why they’ve chosen to back the cause. “It is a spectacular property of soaring trees and cliffs, but the water that meanders through the property is what makes it magical. We can’t afford to allow Mossy Point to be developed. It is a place of rare beauty and a significant water resource that will become increasingly valuable to the environment.”
Patrick Marrano, president of Marrano Homes, agrees. His company, in partnership with Gordon Reger, chairman and chief executive officer of Reger Holdings LLC, made a $25,000 gift to save Mossy Point. “As both a developer and a corporate citizen,” he says, “we understand the importance of land preservation. At Marrano, it’s about more than just the homes we build. It’s about the communities we create. Mossy Point is a natural gem that enhances our community, providing residents with a special place to enjoy. It’s our job as community members to preserve and protect it.”
“Mossy Point is truly spectacular,” says Nancy Smith, executive director of the Land Conservancy. “It has towering old growth trees. Owls nest in the canopy and raise their chicks there each year. Once Mossy Point is protected, our region’s children will be able to hike in the woods. I am grateful to the hundreds of people who have already donated to save this place. But time is running out and we don’t yet have enough money to purchase the property. We only get one chance to save this place, and that chance is now.”
Save Mossy Point Fundraiser
When: Oct. 24, 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: Mansion at Knox Farm State Park in East Aurora
Cost: Free to attend, but please consider making a donation to Mossy Point
RSVP: Email Kyle Semmel at email@example.com or call (716) 687-1225, ext. 112
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
• One donor of $150,000 will have a nature “megaphone” 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to donate to save 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+ land trusts nationwide, including 90 in New York State. Land trusts have protected 56 million acres of land.