The Open Space Institute (OSI) has announced the acquisition of Camp Little Notch, a 2,346- acre former Girl Scout camp in the southeastern corner of the Adirondack Park in the Town of Fort Ann. The Open Space Conservancy, OSI’s land acquisition affiliate, purchased the property from the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York (GSNENY) “to ensure its long-term protection, and continued use for wilderness recreation and education” according to the OSI’s Communications Coordinator Jeff Simms.
OSI is partnering with the Friends of Camp Little Notch, a new nonprofit created by former Little Notch campers, counselors and supporters from around the U.S. and abroad that intends to operate the camp as an outdoor education facility, according to Simms.
“This has been a place of inspiration for generations of women,” said Caity Creitz, the president of the Friends of Camp Little Notch. “Little Notch has so much to offer—simplicity and serenity for those who seek it, an incredible space for growth and adventure, and a vibrant community of supporters who want to sustain something beautiful in the world.
“We are so grateful that OSI created this opportunity for the Friends of Camp Little Notch to realize our first goal of conserving the land. Now comes the hard work to ensure the camp stays in operation.”
OSI is also working with a timber company that will sustainably manage the forestland on the property, creating jobs and tax revenue for the Town of Fort Ann.
“Camp Little Notch has been an important recreational and educational facility for seven decades,” said OSI President Joe Martens. “OSC’s acquisition of Camp Little Notch ensures the long-term protection of an important ecological corridor, promotes sustainable forestry and provides for its continued use as a recreational and educational resource. This project is a win-win for the environment and the economy of the Adirondack Park.”
The property connects a largely intact, forested corridor between Lake George and Lake Champlain, and also sits directly between two of the parcels that OSI helped The Nature Conservancy (TNC) acquire as part of the landmark Finch, Pruyn transaction three years ago.
Camp Little Notch and the surrounding forestlands are dominated by northern hardwoods, an 80-acre lake that is drained by Mount Hope Brook, and a variety of rustic camp structures. Its lands, now permanently protected, are ideal habitat for a variety of Adirondack flora and fauna, including black bear.
The property contains numerous trails, wood roads and important historic resources, including the remnants of an iron mining community and a 19th century blast furnace [I believe these were the property of the Horicon Iron Company - ed.].