Land Trust awarded conservation grant

The $20,000 will be used to hire student intern for 10 months

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  • Volunteers at the 187-acre Jack and Louise Birnberg Preserve, located along the Heritage Trail in the towns of Chester and Blooming Grove, work to get the preserve ready to open this summer. Orange County Land Trust was recently awarded a $20,000 grant from the state Conservation Partnership Program for a Student Conservation Association (SCA) intern to help steward the Land TrustþÄôs protected lands and assist with volunteer programming to improve OCLTþÄôs nature preserves.



— Orange County Land Trust will receive a $20,000 grant from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program.

The grant is part of a program funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) as a joint effort with the national Land Trust Alliance; the program will be matched by nearly $1.1 million in private and local funding and will support projects across the state to protect farmland, enhance public access and recreational opportunities and protect open space.

“We are delighted to be awarded these funds and opportunities to expand our capacity to help steward our protected natural lands and working farmland,” Marlena Lange, president of the Orange County Board of Directors, said in the trusts press release announcing the grant. “I want to thank the Land Trust Alliance and our statewide elected officials, including Governor Cuomo,” she said. “Funding for the EPF is so important for New York State- for our farms, economy and tourism, as well as the future of our natural resources.”

Announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the grants will be awarded to 50 nonprofit land trusts across the state. In addition to its environmental impacts, these grants also help boost New York’s economy, creating jobs through tourism and increased recreational opportunities.

One of 62 projects across New York

Representatives of the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance unveiled the 50 grantees responsible for 62 funded projects across the state. Funding for these priority conservation projects and land trust initiatives will help communities protect water quality, wildlife habitat, community gardens, working forests and farmland.

The Conservation Partnership Program funding will also enhance public access to trails and other recreation areas while enabling land trusts to implement best practices, hire professional staff, and strengthen community partnerships.

Orange County Land Trust was awarded a Capacity & Excellence Grant for $20,000 to be used to hire a 10-month Student Conservation Association intern to help steward the Land Trust’s protected lands.

Trust's portfolio in Orange County

Orange County Land Trust holds 26 properties under conservation easement and has an agreement with the Town of Warwick to monitor the town’s nearly 3,000 acres of protected farmland and open space.

The trust also owns and stewards 11 nature preserves totaling more than 1,000 acres.

In addition to land management, the intern will assist with volunteer programming and improvements to the OCLT’s nature preserves.

Orange County Land Trust has helped preserve Orange County’s important natural resources, scenic landscapes and working farmland since 1993, resulting in the protection of about 5,000 acres of land, including twelve working farms.

Seven of the trust’s nature preserves are open to the public every day at no charge for outdoor recreation and nature study.

Two preserves are leased to farmers and are in active agricultural production, and one preserve is inaccessible, protected wildlife habitat.

The 187-acre Jack and Louise Birnberg Preserve will open this summer.

For more information about Orange County Land Trust, including upcoming events and membership, visit www.oclt.org or contact info@oclt.org or call 845-469-0951.

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