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Skidmore College

Greenspace gift

April 17, 2017
margaret and mike roohan
The Roohans enjoy upstate nature.

Michael and Margaret Roohan, owners of Granite & Marble Works in nearby Wilton, N.Y., donated to Skidmore a land tract of 200 acres in 2010 and nearly 120 neighboring acres in 2014. Now last December they gave 189 adjoining acres. All the parcels are undeveloped woodland in Greenfield, N.Y., near the college’s North Woods tract that lies behind its Van Lennep Riding Center. The college’s total forested property is now over 1,000 acres, including its North Woods tract immediately adjacent to the campus. 

Few northeastern colleges have woodlands as large and close by as Skidmore’s, notes President Philip A. Glotzbach, adding that the gifts are highly valued by the college “and will be of great interest to our faculty and students.” Skidmore woodlands have been used for research and classroom learning in disciplines ranging from environmental studies and sciences to anthropology to American studies.

Mike Roohan says, “I love my hometown, and supporting my neighbors includes supporting the college. Its people and programs add so much to the quality of life in Saratoga.” The couple considered donating the land to other recipients including New York State, but they felt the most flexible arrangement was to entrust Skidmore with its stewardship. In making their earlier gift they had explained, “Skidmore’s creative, multidisciplinary approach to using this land for teaching, research, and recreation assures the most valuable use for the greatest number of participants, and most importantly assures the education of future generations in the care of our natural surroundings.”

The college is currently working on a sustainable stewardship plan for all of its undeveloped land.

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