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Helping Hands Pitch In At Rose Preserve

CROSS RIVER, N.Y. - The Westchester Land Trust marked the first day of summer by hosting 16 volunteers from Swiss Re American Holding Company at the Frederick P. Rose Preserve on Route 121 in Cross River.

The corporate volunteers and team leaders from the land trust spent Tuesday, June 21, working to improve the hiking trails within the preserve, refurbish the “Quest” - a series of 15 stations comprising a nature treasure hunt for families, and install a bench in memory the late MJ Mercurio who was a resident of South Salem and an ardent conservationist and active member of the Rusticus Garden Club and Lewisboro Land Trust.

Team leaders included three members of the land trust staff who were joined by Darielle Rayner, an experienced trail maintainer and volunteer with the New York/New Jersey Trails Conference, and Blaze Jones-Yellin, a Cornell University junior studying natural resources management and who is completing a six-week internship with the land trust funded by the Rusticus Garden Club and the Lewisboro Land Trust.

The Armonk-based Swiss Re group participated in its third “Helping Hands” project with the land trust.  The Helping Hands program provides an opportunity for volunteers from area corporations and businesses to work on one-day projects on lands that are preserved in perpetuity for a variety of conservation purposes including protecting wildlife and water quality, providing open space within neighborhoods, and providing opportunities for hikers and other visitors to learn about and experience nature. At the end of the day, the participants left the preserves and the trails more accessible, more inviting, and safer.

The Westchester Land Trust, founded in 1988, is a private non-profit conservation organization headquartered in Bedford Hills and dedicated to protecting land in partnership with private property owners, helping communities create new parks and preserves, and fostering environmentally sound land-use planning rules.

The Frederick P. Rose Preserve and adjacent Rock Shelter Preserve is a combination of parcels given to the Westchester Land Trust by Adam R. Rose of Cross River, the Rock Shelter Road Homeowners Association, Waccaboro Corporation, Victor Weingarten, and Ray Neuberger.  The preserve is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Rose’s father, the late builder and philanthropist, Frederick P. Rose.  It was opened to the public in 2005, and information including a map of the trails may be had by visiting the Westchester Land Trust’s web site at www.westchesterlandtrust.org .

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