The 22-acre Brookwood property, on the western shore of Otsego Lake, is the site of the former Cook Estate and includes a main house, gardens, wetlands, flood plains and more than a quarter-mile of lake frontage.
The Cook Foundation, which had managed the property until its merger with the Otsego Land Trust a year ago, was created in 1985 by Bob Cook to oversee his family's estate.
At the time of the merger, Cook Foundation President Robert Poulson said the financial burden of maintaining the Brookwood property "exceed(ed) the Foundation's resources." In March, a plot of land in the village of Cooperstown was donated to the Land Trust by Jim and Eileen Dean with the goal that the organization could sell the land to support its maintenance of Brookwood. At that time, Land Trust executive director Peter Hujik said that long-term ownership of Brookwood could place an undue financial burden on the Land Trust.
Committee co-chairmen Francis Nolan and Martha Frey said in a media release that they were enthusiastic about the grant news.
"We felt we had a good chance to receive the grant because the project had come so far in terms of planning and overall support," Frey said in the release, which also reported that more than $100,000 has been raised by Otsego Land Trust to support Brookwood Point. "None of this would be possible without the Cook Foundation's collaboration in merging with Otsego Land Trust," Nolan said.
Brookwood Point receives grant for improvement of public access
The historic Brookwood Point property in Cooperstown is one of three projects in New York state to receive a Scenic Byway Grant. The project, which is being overseen by the Otsego Land Trust and Brookwood Citizens' Committee, was awarded $188,000 to improve public access to the site as part of the U.S. Route 20 Scenic Byway Corridor, according to a media release from the Land Trust on Monday.