Land & Water Protection
The 960-acre Mianus River Gorge Preserve and adjacent wild lands comprise a 1,100+ island of protected land, including an interior old-growth forest with many of its trees over 400 years old, in suburban New York. Surrounded by 172 private landowners, it is facing escalating threats from development of surrounding lands, the introduction of non-native invasive species and ecological imbalances that threaten its long-term viability.
The 22-mile Mianus River runs through the Preserve and is part of a 42-square mile watershed, spanning five towns in two states. The Mianus Watershed is under intense pressure from development, threatening water quality and quantity in the Mianus River, a drinking water supply for 130,000 people.
The not-for-profit Mianus River Gorge, Inc. (MRG) manages the Preserve and works throughout the Mianus Watershed to protect land in three distinct ways:
Land Acquisition / Easements
Over our 65+ year history, MRG has successfully completed over 200 land projects and protected over 1200 acres of land in the Mianus Watershed. MRG works to protect the watershed and the Preserve by the purchase or gift of land and/or conservation easements and by working with local government boards to foster responsible development.
What are conservation easements?
A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified conservation organization or municipality that protects the land from development, with the landowner retaining ownership and the rights to sell the property or pass it onto heirs.
Conservation easements are monitored annually to detect any changes and to ensure the property is being used in accordance with the terms of the restrictions placed on it. The commitment to monitor, defend, and enforce the easements is what ensures perpetual protection.
The Mianus River Gorge is responsible for monitoring numerous conservations easements totaling nearly 200 acres.
We hope that our great care of all these lands will allow our local communities and visitors to benefit from clean water and air, and experience the natural wonder of our Mianus River Gorge for generations to come. Please visit the How You Can Help page to sign-up as a volunteer to help steward our preserves and trails!
Watchdog for the Mianus Watershed
In the last 30+ years, MRG has submitted expert testimony on over 250 development projects totaling hundreds of acres in the Mianus River Watershed, working with town governments to limit the impact of developments on the health of the Mianus River and its watershed. To assess the impact of development, Gorge scientists and staff regularly monitor the water quality of the Mianus River at the Preserve.
Expanding the Mianus River Greenway
Working with partner organizations, MRG has helped create a nationally recognized greenway that starts with the Preserve in Bedford, NY, and ends in Greenwich, CT, where the Mianus River empties into the Cos Cob Harbor and Long Island Sound.