Sen. David Carlucci on February 19 held an informational meeting at the Valley Cottage Library concerning the proposal to expand Hook Mountain State Park by acquiring the Marydell property of Upper Nyack through the State Trust for public Land.

Thirty acres of the land, owned since 1924 by the Sisters of our Lady of Christian Doctrine (Sisters of Marydell), will be acquired for $3.1 million and incorporated into the adjacent Hook Mountain State Park; an additional nine or so acres belonging to the Sisters will be preserved with a conservation easement; and land will be utilized for new hiking trails that will better connection adjacent Nyack Beach State Park with Hook Mountain Park.

This land was previously used as a summer camp and became the Marydell Faith and Life Center in 1990 to continue the convent’s mission to serve the poor.

The agreement between the Sisters and the state pledges that the state will maintain the property’s natural beauty and add to Rockland’s open space. Eventually, the Trust for Public Land would transfer ownership to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Funding for the purchase will be procured through a combination of NYS agencies, not-for-profit organizations, private donors, along with state and local governments. George Hoehmann, Town of Clarkstown supervisor, praised the purchase, which Clarkstown contributed to. “As our town continues to grow, we must ensure our outdoor heritage is preserved for future generations. I’m proud that Clarkstown’s financial commitment sealed this deal and allowed us to move forward to preserve 30 acres of open space.”

The “Protect Hook Mountain” advocacy group noted that for over three years, local community members worked with a diverse group of stakeholders and elected officials to make this happen.

“A special thank you to the Sisters of Our Lady of Christian Doctrine (“Marydell Sisters”), The Trust for Public Land, The Durst Organization, Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain,  Open Space Institute, Jim Hall and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, United States Congresswoman Nita Lowey, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation, Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann and the Clarkstown Board, Upper Nyack Mayor Hindin/ Deputy Mayor Esmay and the Village Board, New York State Senator David Carlucci, New York State Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, Rockland County Legislature Chairman Alden Wolfe, Rockland County Legislator Harriet Cornell, Glantz Design, and the nearly 1,000 community members who wrote letters of support and signed a petition to protect this special property,” said advocates David Neil, Bob Stein, Enid Weishuas and Robert Maher in a recent press statement.

Hook Mountain State Park, Nyack Beach State Park and Rockland Lake State Park lay adjacent to each other in the area of Congers and Upper Nyack.

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