Greenburgh Nature Center Q&A
Who owns the Greenburgh Nature Center?
The 33-acre property that is now the Greenburgh Nature Center ("GNC") was purchased by the Town in 1973 with matching support from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. Under the agreement between the Town and the Federal government, the Town is required to use the property for nature education and maintain its wilderness state.
Where is the GNC located, and who has access?
The park sits squarely within the borders of the proposed Village of Edgemont. Anyone can access the GNC regardless of residency. Both Town of Greenburgh unicard holders and Westchester County park pass holders are entitled to half-price admission.
Who operates the GNC?
Nunataks, Ltd--a 501(c)3 entity doing business as the Greenburgh Nature Center--manages and administers the GNC on behalf of the Town. Greenburgh first contracted with Nunataks in 1977; the current contract expires on December 31, 2026.
Nunataks (not the Town of Greenburgh) employs and pays the GNC's staff.
How is the GNC funded?
According to the GNC's most recently published annual report, its 2016 operating income of $1,334,768 derives from:
- The Town of Greenburgh: $353,100* (from the unincorporated area "B" budget);
- Tuitions: $269,454;
- Contributions: $202,404;
- Admissions: $103,328;
- Government grants: $95,830;
- Foundations and corporate contributions: $72,785; and
- Other: $237,867.
The Town issued two notable bonds for the GNC capital improvements payable from the unincorporated area "B" budget as follows:
- Manor House Roof Repair, 2016, $250,000, annual debt service of approximately $28,000.
- Various Improvements, 2017, $250,000, annual debt service of approximately $22,000.
*The Town's 2018 budget indicated a total of $408,192 of support for GNC, including building maintenance.
What are the Town's obligations under its agreement with Nunataks?
Key provisions of the agreement are as follows:
- In consideration for the services provided by Nunataks, the Town shall pay no less than any payment made by the Town in prior years;
- Nunataks may request that the Town authorize additional expenditures from time-to-time;
- All buildings and lands constituting the GNC are included on the Town's inventory of fixed assets and are insured by the Town for property damage and liability; and
- The Town shall perform necessary repairs on the real property and buildings constituting the GNC.
Will Edgemont's incorporation affect the GNC's ownership and operation, or the Town's obligations to Nunataks?
No. If Edgemont becomes a village, the GNC remains a Town of Greenburgh park and the contract between the Town and Nunataks remains in effect. All the above-enumerated obligations of the Town, financial and otherwise, are enforceable through contract expiration at year-end 2026.
Incorporation does not cause Edgemont to become a party to the Town-Nunataks contract nor would the Village formally assume any Town obligations to the GNC.
Then how might Edgemont's incorporation affect the GNC?
Edgemont's incorporation will have no direct effect on the GNC since the Town retains ownership of the property, Nunataks retains responsibility for management and administration, and the contract between those two parties (including the Town's funding obligations) remains in place.
However, it may have indirect effects should the Town make different budgetary choices as a result of Edgemont's incorporation. In that instance, the GNC is not legally precluded from seeking financial support from the new Village and the Village's governing may consider appropriating operating and/or capital funds to support GNC programs and facilities, should it deem such an action to be in the best interest Village residents.
Recognizing this possibility, and to demonstrate Edgemont Village's budgetary capacity to do so, the EIC feasibility study included approximately $100,000 of supplemental funds for the GNC.
What happens to GNC-related Town of Greenburgh bond debt?
The already-issued GNC bonds will remain Town general obligations secured by the taxpayers of the entire Town of Greenburgh. The bonds are currently serviced by the unincorporated "B" budget.
The EIC financial feasibility study assumes that Edgemont will service a pro rata portion of the existing bonds. In no instance would GNC-related Town bonds become a direct obligation of the Nunataks organization.