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Finger Lakes Land Trust expands Tompkins preserve, plans public access for spring 2024

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Finger Lakes Land Trust (FLLT) has acquired an additional 24 acres of land to expand the Sims-Jennings Preserve at Cayuga Cliffs in Lansing, Tompkins County. The organization aims to prepare the expanded preserve for public access by spring 2024.


This new addition will enhance the frontage of the preserve on State Route 34B, allowing for the development of a parking area and trailhead on the property. FLLT Executive Director Andrew Zepp expressed enthusiasm about the project, emphasizing the progress it marks in opening the picturesque nature preserve to the public.

The Sims-Jennings Preserve, initially acquired in 2021, spans 224 acres and features wooded bluffs along 4,000 feet of the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, directly opposite Taughannock Falls State Park. Conservation efforts for this property aim to secure scenic vistas, protect bird habitats, offer new recreational opportunities, and maintain water quality in Cayuga Lake by restricting development on its steep slopes. The trust is also developing a pollinator garden at the preserve’s entrance, along with several miles of trails offering lake views.


The Finger Lakes Land Trust has been instrumental in conserving over 30,000 acres of undeveloped lakeshore, forests, and scenic farmland in the region, managing over 45 nature preserves and holding conservation easements on 179 properties. The organization, supported by individual donations and grants, including from Tompkins County’s Natural Infrastructure Capital Grant Program, continues to work on conserving critical habitats and educating local communities about conservation and natural resources in the region. For more details on the Sims-Jennings Preserve, interested individuals can visit fllt.org/cayugacliffs.