Hello! We are Friends of Buttonhook Forest.
A group of passionate neighbors, nature lovers, parents, and activists working tirelessly to save a 20-acre forest called Buttonhook from destruction in Westchester County, New York.
Not only is this forest home to thousands of creatures like bobcats, foxes, coyotes, flying squirrels, box turtles, many species of amphibians, hawks, owls, and migratory birds- but it also contains a sacred Native American site.
Right now, this land is for sale by the Chappaqua Central School District, and we’re hoping to raise enough money to buy it and ensure it’s forever protected and safe from destruction.
⏰ We are well on our way to 1.5 Million dollars, but
we need your help to achieve this!
It all started when…
A small group of people discovered that a forest in our suburban town of Chappaqua, NY, was slated for development. With the climate emergency upon us and habitat loss pushing local species towards extinction, we knew this forest must be saved.
At the same time, a neighbor to Buttonhook noticed piles of stones throughout her land and similar stones over the fence in the Buttonhook Forest. After much research, several archeologists and Indigenous leaders visited and confirmed that the stone features were not random or a result of colonial farmers, but prayer stone piles, turtle effigies, and underground water markers created by the first peoples of that land.
At this point, everyone who was concerned joined forces and created Friends of Buttonhook Forest, a non-profit to protect this precious land forever.
This was when we realized we needed help from our community and beyond.
We can’t do this alone, and failure would be devastating.
If we don’t raise the money, this land will go to a developer, this forest will be clearcut, the stones demolished, and in their place, upwards of six McMansions with swimming pools will be built.
WHY SAVE THIS FOREST?
1) Our suburban county has lost most, if not all, cultural sites from indigenous tribes. Miraculously, this ceremonial site has been spared- so far. It’s time we stand in allyship with our native American friends and neighbors and offer more than just acknowledgments. We must say “no more cultural erasure!”
2) The nearly one thousand trees in this forest currently hold 1 ton of carbon EACH. Without this carbon sink taking CO2 out of our atmosphere, we’d be contributing even more to the climate crisis. The whole world should be working to save every carbon-capturing tree possible.
3) This forest encompasses the watershed that feeds the Croton Reservoir, an important water supply to the more than 8 million people in New York City. With droughts becoming increasingly common, we must protect every single water source. Changing the water flow would damage the ecosystem and amphibian habitat and pollute people's water supply.
4) Habitat and biodiversity loss is a grave threat in suburbia. Wild animals are forced closer to our homes and roads, with each acre lost, increasing human interactions and car accidents. And what about the animals that can’t move? The Eastern Box turtle, a NY state species of special concern, rarely moves more than 2 miles in their lives and has been sighted in Buttonhook Forest.
What is my donation going towards?
All funds collected go towards the land purchase and long-term stewardship, lawyer fees, and all other expenses associated with land acquisition.
In the very unfortunate event that we are unsuccessful and the land goes to a developer, the funds raised will go towards hiring experts to demonstrate the importance of preserving this land - environmental consultants, Native American experts, and cultural and archeology studies to prevent the development of the sacred site.
What happens if Friends of Buttonhook Forest wins the bid and gets this land?
We’re exploring several options for permanent protection. Still, all will include returning rights and access of Indigenous tribes to this sacred site. We'll update you on the plan when we have a clear path forward.
Thank you so much for your support!
We want to acknowledge all our endorsers!
Briarcliff-Ossining Ministerial Association, Citizens’ Climate Lobby - Westchester, Climate Mama, Climate Listening Project, Climate Reality - Westchester, DIG Farm
Dominican Sisters of Hope, Federated Conservationists of Westchester County,
Green Amendments for the Generations, GreenFaith, Healthy Yards, Irthlingz, L’Orage, Productions, Lynn Trotta Mentoring, Massachusetts Ethical Archeology Society,
New Castle Coyote Facts, New Castle Healthy Yards, New Castle Pollinator Pathways, Oso:ah Foundation, The Green Divas, The Many Shades of Green Podcast,
The WE Campaign, WesPac Foundation, Westchester Community for Ethical Culture, Women’s Wolf Pack
➡️ To find out more and get involved in the effort visit our website