Today, Sisters and staff gathered with the Westchester Land Trust to walk the land at Mariandale Retreat and Conference Center. Together, the group walked the perimeter of approximately 30 acres that the sisters intend to put into a conservation easement. “We know we’re not going to be here forever,” Prioress Lorelle Elcock explained. Although the sisters will not own the property forever, they intend to preserve it for generations to come. Today’s walk was one of many steps in this process.

Below are photos and quotes from the walk.

Susan E. Carpenter, Director of Land Preservation and In-house Counsel at Westchester Land Trust, explains the Trust to the group. “Basically, what you’re saying to future owners is, ‘We’re telling you what you have to work with,'” she explained.

A conservation easement prohibits activities that are harmful to the environment on preserved land. Harmful activities can include building, among other options.

John Markewicz, Administrator, explains the property

“You may not want a Home Depot here,” the Westchester Land Trust warned.

“That’s the goal,” one sister replied.

Sisters and staff enjoy the view of the Hudson

“We will live with the markings [of the potential easement] for awhile to be sure they fit with our goals and vision for the easement,” Sister Catherine Walsh says.