In 1999, County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef announced the County's first Open Space Acquisition Program to acquire areas of scenic beauty, environmentally sensitive lands, farms and Hudson River waterfront areas. He realized the importance of protecting the rapidly disappearing natural, cultural and historic resources in Rockland County, and decided to take action to protect these important features for the future by creating the program. In addition, the County Executive took an aggressive stance by recommending that $30,000,000 be allocated to this program in the capital budget, factoring in the high cost of purchasing a valuable and dwindling commodity, our natural resources.
To date, 31 individual properties have been acquired preserving 1,204 acres of land. A total of $23,300,000 County funds have been expended while leveraging $34,785,456 in state grants and partnerships with Land Trusts and local municipalities. The Open Space Acquisition Program has successfully provided access to the Hudson River (27 acres), preserved steep slopes (500 acres), protected wetlands (350 acres), and preserved a valuable historic resource (.5 acres). The remaining acreage includes floodplains, scenic vistas and properties to provide access to other parklands. These parcels are scattered throughout the five Towns in the County, and offer a variety of recreational opportunities.
To see locations of acquired open space, please click on map above.