|John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve|
The family of the late John B. Staalesen has donated 23.6 acres in Troy for preservation by the Rensselaer Land Trust. The transfer took place on Friday, December 23, 2011. The property will be named in honor of builder John B. Staalesen, who died August 1, 2010, at the age of 65.
Located in the south part of Troy in the Vanderheyden neighborhood, the property includes fields, woods and wetlands, and is bordered on one side by the Wynantskill Creek. It is one of the last remaining undeveloped tracts of natural area, wildlife habitat and open space in Troy.
"We are thrilled to own this new preserve and will be preparing it for the public next year," said Nick Conrad, President of the non-profit Rensselaer Land Trust.
"It is our hope that this property will be enjoyed for many generations to come, with its natural beauty along the Wynantskill Creek, abundant wildlife, beautiful walking trails and historical significance," said Jim Staalesen, son and spokesperson for the family.
John B. Staalesen built homes in upstate New York for more than 40 years. A native of Norway, he immigrated to the United States in 1955 as a boy with his family and formed his home-building company in 1968 at the age of 22. Over the next 40 years, his company built over 3,000 residential homes and apartments across upstate New York, employing many members of the Staalesen family and multiple generations of other local families.
"My dad was well known as a skilled businessman and builder, but was most respected for his honesty, compassion and fairness with his employees, customers and associates," said Jim.
John Staalesen built homes and developments across all price ranges but he was most proud of his work building new homes for young families and first-time home buyers, which the Vanderheyden Estates neighborhood was designed to provide. Both of John's daughters purchased their first homes in Vanderheyden.
"In keeping with my dad's desire to create neighborhoods for families to grow and for children to run, play and explore, we are proud and excited to donate this land to the Rensselaer Land Trust," added Jim.