The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT), a 501-c3 non-profit charged with preserving and protecting open space, rail trails and farms were awarded a Capacity and Excellence grant totaling $35,000. The WVLT was one of 47 non-profits in New York State to receive funding through the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP).
NYSCPP was created in 2002 and is a public-private partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Land Trust Alliance, which manages the program.
The WVLT grant was one of 21 awards given to non-profits in the Mid-Hudson region, which totaled $521,380 and included recipients such as the Westchester Land Trust and the Woodstock Land Conservancy. Across the state, the total amount of grants awarded was $2.2 million.
NYSCPP awarded grants in five areas that include professional development, conservation catalyst, conservation transaction, stewardship and resource management, and conservation capacity and excellence.
The grant announcement took place at the Red Jacket River Front Park in downtown Buffalo, last week where land conservation organizations were joined by a number of special guests including, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Congressman Brian Higgins, Senator Tim Kennedy, Senator Chris Jacobs, Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and a representative from Senator Patrick Gallivan’s office.
WVLT Executive Director Christie DeBoer said, “This award comes at a time when the Wallkill Valley Land Trust is going through incredible changes. From the absorption of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association and the expansion of our board of directors to the organic growth of our community programming and extended stewardship efforts, 2019 is a transitional time for WVLT.”
This grant enables WVLT to develop a strategic outreach and communications initiative aimed to expand conservation efforts and public engagement as well as enhance the visitor experience in Ulster County.
“This grant will help us stay on mission, which is to protect and preserve open space, rail trails, and farmland through various stewardship models,” said Beth Bengtson, President of the WVLT Board of Directors. “This award is also a reflection of the Land Trust’s capabilities and professionalism as well as its dedication to the community at large.”
To learn more about the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, conservation easements, upcoming events and how to help, visit: WallkillvalleyLT.org/