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Pouch Camp Conservation Easement

Greater New York Boy Scouts of America Conservation Easement Lands

This pocket of the Staten Island Greenbelt is an amazing treasure that overwhelms every visitor with its beauty and natural values. In 2012, DEC worked with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to acquire a 43-acre Conservation Easement on BSA's William H. Pouch Camp. In late 2013, DEC and the BSA closed on an adjoining 52-acre Conservation Easement. This camp, along with Lake Ohrbach as its centerpiece, is an integral part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.

This is the first of a multistage project to preserve the undeveloped character of the camp and to provide the public with certain recreation rights. (Restrictions are listed below.) Pouch Camp is central to the west side of the Greenbelt and gives quick access to other sites such as Todt Hill Woods, St. Francis Woodlands and the old parkways. The easement has preserved wildlife habitats, water quality, forests and recreational opportunities.

The land was formerly owned by William H. Pouch and he maintained a home in the woods. You might find the ruins of his home while hiking along the orange trail! He constructed an earthen dam and impounded water to form Ohrbach Lake. Since the late 1940's the property has been operated as a summer, day and weekend camp for the local Boy Scouts.

With numerous trails through the woods, passing ponds and amazing topography, the hiker is guaranteed a memorable and breathtaking experience. Trails traverse the Greenbelt from the old Clove Ponds all the way down to High Rock and into Willowbrook. While enjoying the Camp you will find trees in excess of hundred years old, much wildlife including deer, geese and hawks, picturesque scenery and a respite from the busy city life all around us.

The Pouch Camp parking lot is located off Exit 12 of the Staten Island Expressway (I-278) at 1465 Manor Rd, Staten Island, NY.

  • Please carry out any litter.
  • No new trail building or cutting of any trees or shrubs is allowed.
  • Fishing on Ohrbach Lake is allowed with a NYS License and a Boy Scout Permit.
  • Camping is only allowed with a permit from the Boy Scouts.
  • Keep all pets under control and dogs on a leash.
  • No un-authorized vehicles of any type are allowed on the CE or State lands. This includes, cars, trucks, ATVs, and motorcycles.


DEC Forestry office:
Monday through Friday, 8am - 4pm, (718) 482-4942
Forest Ranger Dispatch 24 hours, (718) 482-3103

Greater New York Council Boy Scouts of America
(718) 351-1905
A link to the the Pouch Camp website is in the right column.

When Can the Public Visit?

The public is welcome to visit this property year-round except for the following:

  1. January - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Saturday through Monday.
  2. February - Weekend days prior to and following the Saturday before President's Day through Sunday of the following weekend.
  3. March/April - The Saturday before Easter through the Sunday of the following weekend.
  4. May - Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday through Monday.
  5. June - The day after the last day of school through June 30.
  6. July - Entire month.
  7. August - Entire month.
  8. September - Labor Day weekend, Saturday through Monday.
  9. October - Columbus Day weekend, Saturday through Monday.
  10. November - Veterans Day and the prior weekend days; Thanksgiving recess, Thursday through Sunday.
  11. December - December 25 through January 1, and weekend days prior to and following both holidays.