Open Space Acquisition Committee

Mission Statement

The Open Space Acquisition Committee is charged with preserving the bucolic character of Bedford, reaching back to its agricultural and rural roots. It is the job of the committee to identify and develop a priority list of agricultural, open and undeveloped land and to protect these lands from residential, commercial and industrial growth. The Open Space Committee serves as an advisory board to the Town of Bedford, identifying and recommending for purchase by the Town key parcels of land to preserve as open space. The is a 7-member board with a 4-year term appointment.

History

The Town Board of the Town of Bedford enacted a local law in 2000, amended in 2012 and 2017, as Chapter 85, Open Spaces and Areas, Park and Water Protection Debt Reserve Fund. This provides for the raising of funds for the purpose of acquiring property, interest or rights in real property, for the reservation of open spaces. 

Role

In this role, the committee identifies land conducts research and site visits, and recommends for purchase any parcels with recreation potential, historic and/or cultural significance, unique or prominent natural features. 

Land Preservation Fund

The Open Space Committee recently established a task force to study the viability of a Land Preservation Fund dedicated to establishing and preserving parks, recreation areas and fresh water, among other dedicated uses. Six towns in the Hudson Valley and several Towns on Long Island overwhelmingly passed a local referendum enacting a CPF. Bedford hopes to be the first Town in Westchester to lead by example. 

Acquistions

Over the past several years the efforts and recommendations of the Open Space Acquistion Committee have resulted in the purchase of:

Buxton Gorge, Bedford Hills, 56 acres (2019)

Twin Lakes, Bedford, 22 acres (2012)

Ridge Road, Katonah, 17 acres (2010)

Vernon Hills, Bedford Village, 3.3 acres (2006)

Zema Farm, Katonah, 9.5 acres (2005)

Leatherman's Ridge, Bedford Hills, 33.95 acres (2005) 

Tom Burke Preserve, Bedford Hills, 7.5 acres (2002, private donations)