Local land preservation groups honored
The Westchester Land Trust, the Hudson Highlands Land Trust and the Eastern New York Chapter of The Nature Conservancy are among the 13 local, regional and national land conservation groups being honored Saturday by Scenic Hudson. To read more about all the honorees, go here. After the break, I’m highlighting the three local honorees.
Scenic Hudson’s thoughts on –
Hudson Highlands Land Trust
Working to protect the natural resources, rural character and scenic beauty of the iconic Hudson Highlands, this group was founded in 1989. It has directly protected over 1,300 acres in Philipstown and Putnam Valley through conservation-easement donations. Additionally the Hudson Highlands Land Trust can claim a lead role in protecting several thousand more acres through partnerships with other regional land-conservation organizationsâ€”including Scenic Hudsonâ€”and New York State.
While land conservation continues to be the central tenet of the group’s mission, it is extremely proud of the great strides made in the areas of public policy, outreach and education. Partnerships with local municipalities, schools, community groups and other conservation organizations have proven to be of enormous benefit. By 2011 these conservationists are seeking to protect over 2,000 acres.
The Nature Conservancy, Eastern New York Chapter
Founded in 1953 as the first chapter of the The Nature Conservancy, the Eastern New York Chapter is dedicated to preserving the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth. It owns and manages 43 nature preserves encompassing over 15,000 acres throughout the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. The Nature Conservancy has protected more than 500,000 acres statewide.
The chapter is spearheading Rising Waters, a collaborative planning effort that is helping Hudson River estuary communities adapt to climate change. With a diverse group of partners, Rising Waters is building coalitions and opening new sources of state and federal funding to enable more effective conservation in the Hudson Valley. The goal is to have the estuary’s tidal wetlands, shorelines, flowing waters, tributaries and migratory fish seamlessly integrated into an interconnected landscape that is robust against climate change and other threats, benefits people as well as natural systems, and can address challenges originating within and far beyond the watershed.
Westchester Land Trust
Founded in 1988, Westchester Land Trust partners with private property owners to conserve land, helps communities create new parks and preserves, and fosters sound land-use planning. It has protected over 5,700 acres, including almost 3,800 acres on 163 conservation easements, 547 acres on 27 preserves it owns and 1,385 acres on 12 preserves and farms for which it helped negotiate preservation agreements. Overall it has safeguarded land in 25 of Westchester’s 42 municipalities.
In an effort to halt sprawling development in the county, the land trust has set a goal of protecting a total of 10,000 acres by 2012.