Scenic Mount Loretto tract turned over to state Gina * Gina email@example.com
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Catholic New York News
Scenic Mount Loretto tract is turned over to state
By Brian Caulfield
The archdiocese has taken the final steps in turning over to New York State 194 acres of scenic beach front land at the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto on Staten island.
After paying the archdiocese the first of three $8.3 million installments in the $25 million deal, the state took possession Jan. 6 of the land on the south end of the island, one of the city's last undeveloped shoreline tracts. The parcel includes 49 underwater acres in Raritan Bay and features red clay bluffs, rolling meadows, wetlands and wooded areas that are home to rare migratory birds.
The remaining state payments will be made in equal annual amounts over the next two years.
The sale to the state, at a price well below what the archdiocese could have gotten from a commercial developer, was designed to preserve the natural setting and place the land at service to the people of New York. The site will be administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation, which has opened it on a permit basis for limited recreational use while laying out hiking trails, viewing areas and information and education stations.
The sale was arranged by the Trust for Public Land, which is releasing the state funds to the archdiocese from the Environment Protection Fund.
The archdiocese has placed $1.5 million of the purchase price in a state-controlled account for management and maintenance of the property.
The Mission of the Immaculate Virgin (MIV) is retaining 251 acres of Mount Loretto just north of the shoreline site, across Hylan Boulevard, where it has residential programs for learning disabled young adults, a public school for 100 emotionally disturbed students, a day care center for 42 children, a day program for 200 senior citizens and a summer camp.
Stephen W. Ryan, executive director of MIV said that the sale is good for Mount Loretto and the neighborhood.
"We will no longer have responsibility for maintaining the land and we will improve our relationship with the communities of Staten Island," he told CNY. "More people will be coming to this part of the island and enjoying this beautiful area."
Mount Loretto was founded in 1882 by Father John C. Drumgoole as an orphanage for street boys and grew over the years to include residential foster care for thousands of boys and girls and teens. A Catholic elementary school operated on the grounds.
The sale of the land was announced in October 1998, when Gov. George E. Pataki held a press conference at the site and Auxiliary Bishop Robert A. Brucato, vicar general, spoke on behalf of Cardinal O'Connor.
"The countless number of young people who lived here, grew here and were helped here is a legacy to our faith," the bishop said at the time.
Earlier article October 1, 1998
Governor Announces Protection Of Historic Staten Island Land
October 1, 1998
"Magnificent Example of God's Creation"
Preserved on New York's Raritan Bay
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