On July 6, 2011, the Trust for Public Land announced the historic agreement between the the national land conservation organization and the Greater New York Councils Boy Scouts of America to preserve the William H. Pouch Scout Camp in three phases. If completed, 94 acress of the Scout Camp would be preserved forever through a "Conservation Easement" while retaining the use as a scout camp and open space. For the complete agreement, click here.
UPDATE - December 2013: Governor Cuomo Announces Approval of Conservation Plan for William H. Pouch Scout Camp
Conservation easements are permanent legal agreements entered into by a landowner and state or local government, or a non-profit land trust. Easement documents identify the open space values being protected, and clearly describe the restrictions being placed on a property. First, an appraiser determines the value of the property rights given up by a landowner, and then the easement is purchased, or it can be donated, resulting in a variety of tax benefits. When the state accepts and holds a conservation easement it takes on the responsibility to monitor and enforce the terms of the easement in perpetuity (forever); the easement is recorded with the deed and is binding on future landowners.
The Preservation Plan
What is the plan to preserve Pouch Camp and how much is needed?
In 2011, the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America (GNYC/BSA), the landowner of the William H. Pouch Scout Camp, entered into an agreement with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to facilitate the preservation of the Camp.
The agreement intends to preserve the land in three phases:
Phase I will be a conservation easement of approximately 44 acres over the core of the camp. The price of this easement is set at $5,000,000;
Phase II will be a conservation easement of approximately 25 acres. The price of the easement is set at $5,000,000;
Phase III will be a conservation easement of approximately 25 acres adjacent to the areas in Phase I and II. The price of this easement is set at $5,000,000.
The area, commonly known as the Camp-o- Ree field, of approximately 19.4 acres, is not included at this time.
Phase I must be funded by July, 2012, Phase II must be funded by July, 2013 and Phase III must be funded by July 2014.
Money to fund this proposal can come from a variety of sources including private and public donations.
Preservation Plan Update
In November, 2012, Phase 1 of the Preservation Plan was completed. This $5 million conservation easement was finalized with the support of Borough President Molinaro, Councilmembers Oddo and Ignizio and the Port Authority of NY and NJ. For information on what this means for Pouch Camp, the Scouting Community and the public, visit the DEC website.
More work needs to be done to complete Phases 2 and 3.
Pouch Camp and the Greenbelt
What is the William H. Pouch Scout Camp?
- Privately owned open space, including woods, wetlands and Lake Ohrbach.
- Located in Staten Island, this is New York City's only Scout Camp and sits in the ‘heart’ of the Greenbelt.
- Pouch Camp is open year round for scouting activities.
- Tens of thousands of Scouts and visitors utilize the camp each year.
- Pouch offers a number of camping options for scouts and has full service cabins, leantos, tent sites, a Chapel and a low- impact Camp-O-Ree field with an adjacent Amphitheater.
In 2009, the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America, announced that the privately owned Pouch Camp could be sold due to financial conditions at the organization