The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) announced its official acquisition of the Joppenbergh Mountain property in Rosendale from the Open Space Conservancy, Inc., the land acquisition affiliate of the Open Space Institute (OSI) in late December, 2011.
The Past: Joppenbergh Mountain, located in the heart of the Town of Rosendale, has a rich history. Mined in the late 19th century of limestone as a part of then-booming Rosendale cement industry, it also was the site of several long-distance ski-jumping competitions in the mid-20th century. At over 500 feet, and supporting the northern end of the Rosendale Trestle, it dominates the natural landscape of the Town of Rosendale.
Since 1971, the majority of Joppenbergh Mountain has been uncultivated, privately owned open space, resulting in the re-growth of important habitats.
More Recently: The Open Space Conservancy (OSC) was able to purchase the property from the Joppenbergh Mountain Corporation in July of 2011, The Shawangunk Conservancy, a local no-for-profit organization, stepped forward to raise the $85,000 needed to complete the OSC land transaction, while the Wallkill Valley Land Trust agreed to owning and managing the property. This opened up the opportunity for the land to become public space for the recreation of the Town’s 6,000+ residents, as well as visitors from near and far, as well as conserved, undeveloped land in the heart of Town immediately.
A section of the base of the 118-acre parcel contains a very important parking area for the Town of Rosendale, which is leased to the Town. This area includes a small park, known as Willow Kiln Park, which is maintained by the Town. The Town also oversees activities year round for Willow Kiln Park.
In January 2012, WVLT initiated a formal land management planning process to determine future use of the property, and the process included meetings with all interested parties and public hearings to ensure that all interests were represented. The group that worked on this with WVLT called themselves "JMAG" for Joppenbergh Mountain Advisory Group.The planning process created the Joppenbergh Mountain Land Use Plan which outlines the current needs and future desires for the property.
Today: With the Joppenbergh Mountain Land Use Plan in hand, WVLT is working with the Town and local partners to secure the hazards on the mountain and continue to permit pedestrian access. For safety reasons, WVLT asks that people do not use the property for the bicycling and skiing until a formal trail development occurs. Motorized vehicle use of the property is not allowed.
Fundraising to implement the needs addressed in the Land Use Plan are ongoing.
See Joppenbergh Mountain Rules