In Memoriam

Samuel F. Pryor III

The Trustees and Staff of the Westchester Land Trust mourn the passing of our dear friend and leader, Samuel F. Pryor III.  Sam passed away on Friday, October 17th at the age of 86 surrounded by his family.

Sam was a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist throughout his life, serving as a trustee or board member at numerous organizations.  As a life-long conservationist, Sam was committed to the preservation of open space locally and nationally. Sam was a member of WLT’s Board of Directors for more than twenty years, and Chairman for twelve of those years, until 2007.  His leadership was inspirational to everyone involved with the organization, and he was instrumental in the protection of more than 7,500 acres of environmentally sensitive lands in Westchester and Putnam Counties.

In addition to his dedication to WLT, Sam was a Director and President of the Appalachian Mountain Club; Commissioner of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, serving as its President from 2005-2011; Chairman of the Town of Bedford Open Space Acquisition Committee; and a Director of the National Forest Foundation, the Land Trust Alliance, Scenic Hudson, New York Audubon, the National Forest Foundation, and the League of Conservation Voters nationally and in New York State.

In 2001 Sam Pryor received the prestigious New York Governor’s Award for Parks and Preservation. The Land Trust Alliance presented him with its President’s Award in 2010, and the Open Space Institute awarded their Conservation Award to Mr. Pryor in 2013.  For his efforts in protecting the critically important Sterling Forest in New Jersey and New York, the Shawangunk Gateway Campground is named for him.  The Greenleaf Hut in the White Mountains of New Hampshire was also dedicated by the Appalachian Mountain Club in his honor.  WLT honored Sam as well, in 2004, with our Preservation Angel Award. 

Sam’s leadership in the conservation world was impactful, inspirational and far reaching.  He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on in the lands he helped to preserve for future generations.  We send our deepest sympathy to his wife Sally, and the entire family.

Funeral services will be held at St Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bedford, New York, on Saturday November 1st at 11am.