At a special meeting held on December 2nd, the executive board of the Greater New York Councils (GNYC), Boy Scouts of America, unanimously approved permanently preserving and protecting most all remaining parcels of the Scout’s Staten Island Pouch Camp.
“I am extremely proud of the volunteers and staff who have worked so hard for all these years to make this day a reality. This agreement represents a great future for Staten Island and all of NYC Scouting and Exploring”, said Alair Townsend, GNYC President.
The new combined conservation easement of 50.9 acres will cover what was originally slated to be separate 2nd and 3rd phases of an agreement that was jointly reached with the Trust for Public Land to preserve Pouch Camp as green space in perpetuity. Added to the 1st phase conservation easement of 43.9 acres, approximately 83% of Pouch Camp will be protected. Pouch Camp is about 113 acres and was formed in the early 1950’s located in the heart of Staten Island’s Greenbelt.
“Under the proposed agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Protection, GNYC will receive $6 million to preserve this property as green space”, said Ted Gamble, GNYC Finance Committee Chair. The agreement is expected to close within 30 days.
Staten Island Borough President Jim Molinaro said, “instead of selling the land as many owners would have done, the Scout volunteers and staff worked with government to come up with a solution”.
Chris Williams, GNYC Staten Island Council President, voted in favor of the conservation easement and said “as a third generation Staten Islander and member of the Scouting community I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. It permanently preserves the Greenbelt as well as a very popular Scout Camp.”
Except for weekends and summer, the agreement allows for approved public access during weekdays of Green Belt trails along the eastern boundary on trails crossing into Pouch Camp.
Governor Cuomo has also released a statement on the Pouch Camp easement which can be found by following this link Governor Cuomo Press Release on Pouch Camp.