Conserving Endangered Species

Grassland Bird Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit land trust conserving critical habitat for New York’s endangered, threatened and rapidly declining grassland birds.  We’ve conserved over 200 acres of critical habitat in the heart of the Washington County Grasslands Important Bird Area (IBA).  This area supports 10 of 11 of New York’s most imperiled grassland bird species. It is critical to the survival of Short-eared Owls in New York State!

Grassland Bird Trust (GBT) is the only nonprofit dedicated to acquiring and permanently protecting critical habitat across  New York State for endangered and at-risk grassland birds.  We currently own and manage 78 acres within the viewshed of our Alfred Z. Solomon (AZS) Grassland Bird Viewing Area in Fort Edward.

We are a proud member of the Land Trust Alliance.

GBT’s annual Winter Raptor Fest event educates youth and adults about native raptors and at-risk birds and generates support for our work to conserve critical habitat for our rapidly vanishing grassland birds.

Owl Watches, Guided Walks and Field Trips offer residents and visitors the chance to see and explore the grasslands with us and perhaps encounter some of these amazing birds for themselves!

GBT’s Vision

Laurie LaFond founded Grassland Bird Trust in 2010 with a vision of restoring populations of endangered and threatened grassland birds across New York State.  She was determined to restore breeding populations of state endangered Short-eared owls to their historic breeding grounds across the state.

Our dedicated Board Members, Staff and volunteers embraced that vision.  Together, we’ve achieved significant conservation gains for New York’s grassland birds.

We envision a resilient landscape of conserved grasslands across New York State teeming with healthy populations of native grassland birds. People of all ages and abilities will visit these protected grasslands to experience the wonder of nature:

“a flock of Short-eared owls flying low, over uncut fields lit by sunset’s glow…
a Northern harrier gliding by… an Eastern meadowlark’s flute-like cry.”

Laurie LaFond 2015

 There’s more to do – we invite you to join us!


Grassland Bird Trust, Inc. (formerly Friends of the IBA) received nonprofit status from the IRS in 2011.

Bird Watching & Wildlife Viewing

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Your support will help make a lasting difference.

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Winter Raptor Fest 2020

See Owls, Hawks and Falcons in flight! May 16th & 17th, 2020

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