FULTON – Championed by an Oswego-based foundation, Friends of Great Bear and the Central New York Land Trust announce the community phase of our capital campaign to raise funds to purchase land at Northern Great Bear and Whiskey Island.
The Richard S. Shineman Foundation, a catalyst for change in Oswego County, has made a generous “champion” pledge of $50,000 to the Campaign to Save Whiskey Island and Northern Great Bear.
The Shineman Foundation’s pledge is a matching grant, serving as a community challenge to give to this campaign – The Shineman Foundation will match gifts dollar-for-dollar, but only until July 31, 2017.
“The Richard S. Shineman Foundation works to create a vibrant community life for the Oswego County region,” said Karen Goetz, executive director. “Helping to save the northern third of Great Bear Springs Recreation Area is an investment in community health and protection of Oswego County’s land and waters.”
The Central New York Land Trust was one of sixteen not-for-profit organizations awarded grants from the Richard S. Shineman Foundation in the first of three 2017 grant rounds in late March.
Projects receiving awards focus on community revitalization and preservation, education, health and human services, and arts and culture.
Great Bear Springs Recreation Area comprises approximately 444 acres along the east bank of the Oswego River, with access from County Route 57, between the village of Phoenix and the city of Fulton.
The northern 130 acres is privately owned and is now for sale.
Friends of Great Bear and the Central New York Land Trust, two local organizations with a deep commitment to the land, have partnered to raise $165,000 to acquire this property, including Whiskey Island and Northern Great Bear.
“Protecting Northern Great Bear and Whiskey Island will keep Great Bear Springs Recreation Area intact for permanent public enjoyment,” said Richard Drosse, Friends of Great Bear Coordinator, “We have a community of volunteers from across Oswego County who help maintain trails and care for the Recreation Area. Seeing it remain as it is would mean so much to all of us.”
Great Bear Springs Recreation Area features a mix of forests, fields and wetlands with almost eight miles of marked trails over varied terrain, accessible to people of all ages and physical abilities year round, free of charge.
Hikers, bicyclists, equestrians and more find an opportunity for healthful outdoor activity.
“Our team is very grateful to have the Shineman Foundation as an essential partner in raising the funds to purchase this land,” said Meredith Perreault, Executive Director, Central New York Land Trust, “With the foundation’s grant, we have $26,000 more to raise, and we invite our community to rise to the challenge!”
Any gift more than $50,000 is considered a champion gift.
If you would like to join this campaign, please go to FriendsOfGreatBear.org and CNYLandTrust.org.