The Land at Mariandale: Preservation

Fall Winter BrochureThe Center at Mariandale is a spiritual retreat center founded on the mission of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, with care of the Earth as its central tenet. The retreat center offers programs and events centered around spirituality and love for Nature and the Earth. They encourage our community and retreatants to find ways to lighten our footprint on the Earth, and to practice land and environmental justice.

Situated on 61 acres of meadows, trails, and woods, the Center at Mariandale offers open spaces for contemplation and healing.

Did you know that over half of the land at Mariandale has been preserved in a conservation easement with Westchester Land Trust? This means that the land cannot be developed, and the easement protects that land into the future.

In 2018, the Dominican Sisters of Hope preserved 34 acres of the 61-acre Mariandale property in Ossining from future development with a conservation easement.  This land and its meadows, wetlands, and woodlands are now part of a nearly 1-mile stretch of conserved shoreline along the Hudson River.

The property will continue to be owned and managed by the Sisters as DSH administrative offices and the Center at Mariandale, a spiritual retreat center. Westchester Land Trust will hold the conservation easement, which prohibits further development and protects significant ecological resources, forever.

The protected property is adjacent to the Village of Ossining’s 30-acre Crawbuckie Nature Preserve. In addition to protecting significant ecological resources, the conservation easement means nearly one mile of Hudson River shoreline is now protected in perpetuity—honoring a priority in the 2016 New York State Open Space Conservation Plan.

“As the holder of this easement, Westchester Land Trust now assumes the awesome responsibility to protect this land in perpetuity,” said Kara Whelan, Vice President of Westchester Land Trust. “In this way, we have joined together with the Dominican Sisters. We have become stewards alongside them and we share their faith in the future and hope for our planet.”

“Since 2011, we have been blessed to have a number of people help us focus on this core value and ultimately commit to this land conservation easement,” says Lorelle Elcock, OP, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Hope. “Our hope is that, in the future, this land will be a source of healing for body, mind, and spirit, as well as a place of refuge for the wildlife.”

The sisters provided a map delineating the conservation easement boundaries and signed a copy of the conservation easement in 2018 with Westchester Land Trust.

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The Center at Mariandale | New York Retreat Center