Preserving the Land at Mariandale

The Dominican Sisters of Hope have preserved 34 acres of the 61-acre Mariandale property in Ossining with a conservation easement that prevents this acreage from future development. This land and its meadows, wetlands, and woodlands are now part of a nearly 1-mile stretch of conserved shoreline along the Hudson River.

The property will continue to be owned and managed by the Sisters as the Center at Mariandale, a spiritual retreat center. Westchester Land Trust will hold the conservation easement, which prohibits further development and protects significant ecological resources, forever.

The protected property is adjacent to the Village of Ossining’s 30-acre Crawbuckie Nature Preserve. In addition to protecting significant ecological resources, the conservation easement means nearly one mile of Hudson River shoreline is now protected in perpetuity—honoring a priority in the 2016 New York State Open Space Conservation Plan.

“As the holder of this easement, Westchester Land Trust now assumes the awesome responsibility to protect this land in perpetuity,” said Kara Whelan, Vice President of Westchester Land Trust. “In this way, we have joined together with the Dominican Sisters. We have become stewards alongside them and we share their faith in the future and hope for our planet.”

“Since 2011, we have been blessed to have a number of people help us focus on this core value and ultimately commit to this land conservation easement,” says Lorelle Elcock, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope. “Our hope is that, in the future, this land will be a source of healing for body, mind, and spirit, as well as a place of refuge for the wildlife.”

The sisters provided a map delineating the conservation easement boundaries and signed a copy of the conservation easement in 2018 with Westchester Land Trust.