Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Pultneyville Family offers Once-in-a-Lifetime Land Preservation


For more than 200 years the Cornwall family has cared for their farm on Lake Ontario. Now, with the help of the Genesee Land Trust and generous donors, the Cornwall land can become a destination for families, school children, neighbors and tourists alike to walk, explore, enjoy lake breezes or simply experience the ever-changing expanse of Lake Ontario.

This cherished land is one of only a few remaining natural sections of lakeshore of this size along Lake Ontario as residential development has spread out from Rochester. With almost a mile of lakeshore, the orchards, fields and woodlands along the Seaway Trail are a part of the history and fabric of the scenic hamlet of Pultneyville.

Two miles of trails wind through the property from the woods to open views to Lake Ontario and connect into Pultneyville hamlet and harbor. The woods, beach and bluff create a haven for wildlife from bald eagles to butterflies – on the land, lake and sky. This land is also critical for songbirds to stop and rest along the spring and fall migration flyway. The land surrounds the historic Lakeside Cemetery, creating an open-air classroom of history and nature for the future.

Today, Genesee Land Trust has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to purchase 74 acres of this remarkable lake front land made possible by the Cornwall family. This opportunity is only available until the end of September. Their goal is to raise $675,000 to allow them to purchase and manage this land.

The Cornwall land is a place of nature and history, habitat and heritage. Donors can save its future to become a place for families, schoolchildren, neighbors and visitors to enjoy. It will take many people to keep this special place safe from the threat of potential development.

Genesee Land Trust, a local land conservancy organization, is ready to preserve the Cornwall Preserve in Pultneyville – Wayne County. With the help of donors from this area and beyond.

The site has:
• 2/3 mile of shoreline with woods, wetlands, fields and orchards
• Two miles of trails that connect into the scenic and historic hamlet of Pultneyville
• Beckoning vistas of Lake Ontario

This majestic land has been part of the Cornwall farm for over two centuries. A mix of wildlife habitats with over 2/3 mile of natural shoreline, the land has sweeping views over orchards and fields to Lake Ontario.

And it has a unique landscape. It is part of the natural, historic and agricultural landscape dating back to the War of 1812 which is disappearing at an alarming pace. Preservation of this property will protect land connected to that history including the Historic Lakeview Cemetery, containing grave sites dated as early as 1806, and the National Historic District of Pultneyville.

With steady development pressure along Lake Ontario, there is a real concern the land could be developed and not saved for future generations to explore and enjoy. The preservation of this historic and scenic land has received public support from the Town Board, community members and local businesses.

The Cornwall family no longer lives in New York; they have made the decision to give Genesee Land Trust the opportunity to buy lakefront land at a bargain sale for a limited time. They want to see future generations explore and love the land as they have over the centuries.

According to Williamson town Supervisor, Jim Hoffman, the Town Board was approached several months ago by the Genesee Land Trust about the preservation of this land. Because there could be a financial impact on Williamson residents, it was brought to the Town’s attention. Hoffman indicated that the Town Assessor calculated that, if the land becomes part of the Land Trust Preservation, it would mean a potential loss to the Town on tax rates and estimated assessment to the tune of $2,468 from Town tax rolls, $4,472 from County tax rolls and 414,012 from School tax rolls. Although the Town does not need to give approval for the sale of the 74 acres to be purchased by Genesee Land Trust, they did agree that the overall gain of preserved land for nature and trails, would outway the possible losses in assessment.

To help and learn more, visit the Genesee Land Trust website and explore the Cornwall land from a birds-eye view.
You can give now to help meet the Fall deadline. Every gift counts. Have a special gift? Call Gay Mills, Executive Director, at (585) 256-2130.

Late September has a deadline for purchasing this land which will become public land, open to you for your enjoyment. If you wish to help with a gift to Genesee Land Trust, go to genesseelandtrust.org or send a donation to Genesee Land Trust at 46 Prince St. LL005, Rochester, NY 14607.