Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve - Finger Lakes Land Trust

NY 14850

Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve - Finger Lakes Land Trust

Significant HabitatNative Forests/PlantsWetlandsNatural Corridor/GreenwayPedestrian FriendlyBird and Wildlife Watching


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The Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve consists of about 510 acres of lakes, forests, meadows, brushland, gorges, streams and wetlands. 3 miles of trails.


The Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve consists of about 510 acres of lakes, forests, meadows, brushland, gorges, streams and wetlands. Thirty-six and a half acres were given to the Finger Lakes Land Trust by Tompkins County, while the remainder has been donated or purchased from private landowners.

The Preserve was named after Anne Marguerite Victoria Lindsay, from North Bay, Ontario; and Wilbur Fay Parsons, who was from Central New York. We are thankful for the generosity and sense of land stewardship of their daughter, Elizabeth Parsons Kirchner of State College, Pennsylvania. Ms. Kirchner donated $50,000 to the Land Trust in honor of her parents who instilled in her the lifelong love of nature.

In 1998, Edmond G. Blumner donated $40,000 for the project, in memory of his wife, Celia. Mr. Blumner graduated from Cornell University in 1931 and read about the project in the Cornell Magazine -- the same article that inspired Elizabeth Kirchner to help the project.
Natural History

The diverse habitats found in the preserve are home to an equally diverse variety of flora and fauna. Some rare species have been identified in the preserve although a thorough inventory has not yet been completed. The preserve provides an exceptional place for bird watching; for example, in May 1995, during a two-hour period, 76 species of birds were counted!

There are several trails at the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve, and the public is welcome to visit. Trails on the property lead to the forest, the lake and the beaver pond.

One of the Land Trust's and the Cornell Institute for Research in Chemical Ecology (CIRCE)'s goals for this preserve was to make it the world's first temperate-zone preserve for research in biodiversity and chemical ecology. With this aim in mind, the scientists and students at Cornell now use the preserve to study the chemical interactions of organisms there. In addition, the preserve may also be used by the public for hiking, skiing, birding, and nature walks. Due to the size and diversity of this preserve, it is ideal for use by area colleges and schools for different educational purposes. It also provides a place for quiet contemplation.

After many years of focused dedication, the Land Trust can claim stewardship of the world’s first temperate zone preserve for research in chemical ecology. News coverage of the Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve in West Danby has been widespread and rewarding. The Lindsay-Parson's Biodiversity Preserve has been featured in the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s "As It Happens," National Public Radio’s "Living on Earth,” the New York Times, the Albany Times Union and the Syracuse Herald.

Acreage: 510 acres

Trail Distance: 3 miles

The Lindsay-Parsons Biodiversity Preserve is located in West Danby, about 8 miles away from Ithaca. Take Rt. 13 south from Ithaca, then take Rt. 34/96 south to West Danby. Most of the preserve is located on the east side of the highway, across from Sylvan Drive and the West Danby Fire Station. Ample parking is available about 1/2 mile south of Sylvan Drive, on the east side of the road. Entrance to the parking lot is at the top of a hill, opposite a house and barn.

To know more about this preserve and support the Finger Lakes Land Trust visit


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