Green Corridors Plan
The goal of the Green Corridors Plan is to provide information and tools to keep wildlife and people healthy by protecting land and water connections in the Eastern NY Highlands region. The Plan includes maps of important “green corridors” (or connector lands and waters), various tools to conserve those areas, and potential sources of funding to implement those tools.
A plan for connecting the Western NY Highlands region, created by partner organizations, can be found here.
The Green Corridors Plan includes a wealth of information on where important “green corridors” are located, as well as tools to conserve those areas, and potential sources of funding. Interested towns may use the information in the Plan to better protect wildlife populations for their sustainable hunting programs. Others may see it as a resource to better protect parks and water resources. It can be used to plan for new hiking or birdwatching sites. It can also be used for natural resources planning and protection work, like showing where the most sensitive environmental areas are in terms of wildlife heath.
The Plan is not prescriptive, but rather provides a variety of information and tools for municipalities and interested groups to meet their needs. The Hudson Highlands Land Trust coordinated the Plan’s creation with information from a variety of residents, stakeholders, state agencies, and nonprofits. We would like to thank all those involved for the support in creating this report, and to share the results with the community.
This Project has been funded in part by a grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Hudson Highlands region is nationally recognized for its incredible biodiversity. Less than 50 miles north of New York City, this area provides critical habitat for many wildlife species. Its trails also attract millions of visitors each year, including to national gems like the Appalachian Trail and the most popular day hike in North America, Breakneck Ridge.
Keeping the land connected ensures these wild habitats and scenic walks remain healthy for (animal and human) generations to come.
Recreational hiking trails help people move across forested landscapes. One of the most famous trails in our area, the Appalachian Trail, runs 2,100+ miles from Maine to Georgia. Some people hike the entire trail at once. Others enjoy short quiet walks. Protecting land on either side of the Appalachian Trail keeps it wild, and helps connect one of the wildest stretches of land on the East Coast.
Animals and plants need to move—daily for food, seasonally to stay warm, or over lifetimes to find mates and new homes. Connecting big green spaces keeps them healthy and vibrant. When animals and plants can move among different green spaces, they exchange genetic material and keep ecological communities strong. Those movements in turn help green spaces thrive.
That’s why we are working on growing connections—or “green corridors”—across the Eastern Highlands region and beyond.
Wildlife need to move to be healthy. Some species migrate long distances over ground or air. Others make small but important relocations every year to breed. These movements help them meet their lifecycle needs throughout the year, be it keeping warm in winter or finding a mate in the spring.
Development—like new houses, roads, and utility lines—can fragment the land, making it harder for wildlife to go where they need to. Protecting pathways among large green areas ensures that wildlife can move and thrive.