The beginnings of the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park (WWPP) date back to the 1980s. At that time, The Nature Conservancy (a not for profit conservation organization) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation were working in the towns of Wilton and Northumberland to identify and monitor populations of the endangered Karner blue butterfly.
Then, in 1996, a 1.1 acre parcel harboring the Karner blue butterfly was being auctioned off by Saratoga County. The Nature Conservancy approached the Town of Wilton and asked if the Town would take ownership of the property and transfer it to The Nature Conservancy.
Then town supervisor Roy McDonald said yes. In fact, he said, not only would the town take the step to protect that parcel, but that one parcel would be the beginning of a 3,000 acre preserve for the butterfly and a park for people.
That was the beginning of a partnership between the Town of Wilton, The Nature Conservancy, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. From the beginning, the focus has been conservation, education and recreation.
The group created an advisory board comprised of partner representatives and interested citizens. The group became incorporated in New York State in 1998 and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2001.
Saratoga County joined the partnership a few years later.
Today, there is an active Board of Directors made up dedicated area citizens. The mission statement guides the organization’s actions.