GREENS TO GREEN conservancy - fact sheet

Purpose of the Conservancy

The primary goal of the Greens to Green Conservancy (or Conservancy) would be to provide a natural setting that would create educational opportunities to complement the FASNY curriculum and enhance FASNY’s educational mission. Outdoor learning spaces would be created in suitable locations throughout the site. The Conservancy would also provide local residents a unique educational resource and access to passive open space. Interpretive signage would provide additional opportunities for appreciation of ecological functions, geology, and local history.

Habitat Restoration

The Conservancy would retain the overall character of the project site as low intensity open space, but would enhance the site with new plantings and low-disturbance eco-sensitive trails. The project site’s existing ecological features would be enhanced through progressive habitat restoration projects.

PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE Passive Open Space

The Conservancy would function as part of FASNY, but would also operate as a publicly accessible passive open space from dawn to dusk. The property, previously accessible only to private country club members, would be open to the neighborhood and White Plains community for low-impact passive recreational use.

Eco-Sensitive Trail Network

A network of eco-sensitive trails and paths would provide pedestrian circulation throughout the site. Existing asphalt golf cart paths would be retained and new paths would be created using stone dust, wood chips, or mowed grass as the location and potential use dictate.

Parking and Local Pedestrian Access

Three small gravel parking areas (four to six spaces each) are proposed within the Conservancy. FASNY anticipates, however, that most usage would come from nearby residents who would be able to walk to the Conservancy.

Ownership, Maintenance, and Security

FASNY would continue to own, control, and maintain the Conservancy and would provide full-time security and staffing. A Conservancy “steward” would be retained by FASNY. This person would coordinate restoration of the habitat areas in alignment with FASNY’s educational mission. The steward would also be responsible for overseeing maintenance and security of the Conservancy year round.

Permanent Conservation Easement

FASNY intends to enter into a permanent, irrevocable conservation easement on the Conservancy that would allow educational uses and minor accessory structures (e.g. storage sheds) associated with FASNY but prohibit any residential subdivision on the property. The conservation easement would be fully binding on FASNY and any successor in interest to the property. A third-party, independent beneficiary that has yet to be identified, but could potentially be a land trust organization and/or the City of White Plains, would be named in the conservation easement. The conservation easement “beneficiary” would have the authority to enforce the restrictions within the conservation easement on FASNY, and any successor in interest. The conservation easement would be recorded in proper legal form at the time of approval of the proposed project.

Size of Parcels

The 78-acre Conservancy is composed of three parcels (see Figure S-1). Parcel B is 10 acres and would be a meadow. Parcel C is 15 acres and would potentially include a fruit grove and edible landscaping, a propagation green house, and labeled specimen trees. Parcel D is approximately 60 acres, including two ponds, New York State designated wetland, and would potentially include a community garden.
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PHASING OF CONSERVANCY MASTER PLAN

Conservancy master plan implementation would rely heavily on modifying land management practices rather than traditional construction activity. FASNY has already ceased irrigating with millions of gallons of water annually and applying pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides to the property. FASNY intends to target the removal of invasive and undesirable plant species, as well as introduce native vegetation types appropriate for the property and the defined habitat types. 



Stage 1 implementation is not aspirational and will have all necessary commitments and assurances incorporated into the final approvals. This includes enhanced maintenance and security, regular cutting and habitat maintenance, informational features and signage, outdoor classrooms, FASNY gardens, walking trails within the Conservancy and installation of three small gravel parking areas. FASNY will begin to remove invasive species and introduce native species in former fairways and greens. A Conservancy “steward” would also be retained by FASNY and would coordinate restoration of the habitat areas in alignment with FASNY’s educational mission. These features will be completed simultaneous with the construction of Phase 1 of the Campus. The Conservancy will be operated and maintained at a higher level than present, irrespective if the aspirational items (see below) are completed in the near future.

Stage 2 aspirational elements of the Conservancy as funding becomes available: habitat restoration, wetland restoration, stream restoration, propagation greenhouse, community garden, seating areas, shade structures and storage sheds, rehabilitated bathrooms, observation deck and floating pier, woodland boardwalk, and ADA compliant trails. The ultimate realization of certain elements shown in the Master Plan would also be dependent on the natural progression of ecological functions and growth cycles of plant materials.