save the college lodge forest
The College Lodge Forest in Chautauqua County near Fredonia is one of the most exquisite natural areas remaining in Western New York. There are groves of ancient hemlocks and a thriving marsh. Trillium, orchids, and lilies cover the forest floor. But the land is threatened, and the old-growth trees could be logged. Thanks to the dedication of people who have fought to protect this land, we have an opportunity to purchase it right now. Will you give today to save the College Lodge Forest forever?
You can save a magnificent old-growth forest right here in Western New York. Right now, you can double your impact by matching a $200,000 challenge gift.
A cherished community gathering place
The College Lodge Forest has been loved for generations. In 1939, during the Great Depression, Fredonia college students purchased the forest with their own money to have a place to experience nature. As a result of their foresight, the forest became a prized learning laboratory for thousands of teachers, researchers, and students. The Faculty Student Association (FSA), a non-profit auxiliary of SUNY Fredonia, has owned the property and operated a historic lodge on the site since 1969.
Incredible natural diversity
The heart of the forest is anchored by a large grove of towering old-growth trees, hundreds of years old. This is extremely rare in Western New York.
The forest is part of a major flyway for migratory birds that come from as far south as the Amazon rainforest in the spring, and from as far north as the Arctic tundra in the fall. It also boasts a stunning diversity of reptiles, amphibians, fish, mammals, and countless other species that have few such sanctuaries left in our region. These include beautiful orchids, carnivorous plants that eat insects, and bryozoans—sometimes referred to as freshwater coral—that live in the wetland.
Do you want to learn more about the importance of the old-growth forest? You can watch our talk with Joan Maloof, founder of the Old-Growth Forest Network with the link below.
The land is threatened
To help with the high cost of maintaining the property, the FSA proposed a plan to raise funds by logging the forest, including theold-growth trees.
Fortunately, the FSA decided to sell a large portion of the land to the Land Conservancy in order to protect the forest. The FSA will continue to own and operate the lodge and the 33 acres surrounding it, while the Land Conservancy will purchase 168 acres of the forest, the wetland, and the trails.
Your gift today will ensure that the College Lodge Forest is protected forever. If we don’t protect the College Lodge Forest now, it may be logged—and its diverse ecosystems lost forever. We have only until December 31, 2020 to raise at least $790,000 to save the College Lodge Forest. The Land Conservancy will maintain it as a publicly accessible nature preserve, with miles of year-round trails.
One donor of $200,000 can name the preserve
One donor of $100,000 can have the old-growth grove named in their honor (reserved)
One donor of $100,000 can have the beaver pond named in their honor
One donor of $50,000 can have the small island named in their honor (reserved)
One donor of $50,000 can have the birdwatching blind named in their honor
One donor of $50,000 can have a wooden footbridge named in their honor
One donor of $50,000 can have a panoramic viewpoint of the beaver pond named in their honor (reserved)
Donors of $20,000 can have a bench in the outdoor amphitheater named in their honor
Donors of $10,000 or more will have their name listed on a plaque placed at the preserve
Donors of $2,000 or more will be recognized in the Land Conservancy newsletter