In 1992 The Oblong Land Conservancy was formed by a group of Pawling area residents concerned about the negative effects of encroaching development. The future was clear: open space was rapidly disappearing along with 300 years of rural heritage and natural spaces. Once destroyed they will be gone forever.
The Oblong Land Conservancy's focus of interest is Pawling and its environs located in the southeast corner of Dutchess county, New York, at the the borders of Putnam County and the state of Connecticut. It is an area rich in beautiful landscapes, clean water, large rural open spaces, extensive forests, working farms, and abundant plant and animal habitats. Our name "Oblong" is derived from the historic Oblong, a narrow 2 x 60 mile long tract of formerly disputed territory on the New York/Connecticut border. Pawling is recognized for its history, its unique ecological environments and for its natural beauty.
Quakers were among the first to settle the area in the 1700's and in 1767, the first effective action against slavery in The New World, was taken by the Quakers in the Oblong Meeting House, erected in 1764. Pawling played a role in the revolutionary war; General George Washington and his Continental Army encamped here in the winter of 1767.
Pawling is nestled amid the Hudson Highlands. The Taconic Ridge on the eastern border with Connecticut is recognized in New York State's Open Space Plan, as well as The Great Swamp, one of New York's largest wetlands, which bisects the valley floor. The western highlands, known as Pawling Mountain, Depot Hill and West Mountain are also listed in the State's Open Space Plan. The Great Swamp and Little Whaley Lake (on Pawling Mountain) are listed as top priorities for protection. Both are also officially recognized as "Important Bird Areas" by the State.
Our region is known for its recreational opportunities- with access to the Great Swamp, lakes and trail networks, notably the world class Appalachian Trail, which winds across Pawling, and other trails located in the Pawling Nature Preserve, and connections to The Oblong Trail Association equestrian and pedestrian trails.
The O.L.C. is a member of the Land Trust Alliance, and we have adopted their recommended Standards and Practices for Land Trusts. In addition, OLC actively networks and partners with other conservation organizations.
We have established good relationships with the Town of Pawling, the Village of Pawling, and the Town of Dover.