Friends of the Washington County Grasslands IBA had an exciting announcement to coincide with the public launch of a fundraising campaign to purchase a 64-acre parcel of land in Washington County. The purchase will preserve critical habitat for New York’s endangered and threatened grassland birds.
“Thanks to a generous grant of $50,000 from the Open Space Institute we’re more than half way to our goal,” Friends of the IBA president Mark DiIanni and director Laurie LaFond told enthusiastic crowds at Winter Raptor Fest on May 13 & 14.
They said the 501(c)(3) nonprofit land trust only needs to raise $50,000 more to apply for a matching grant of $110,000 from the state. Total project cost is $220,000.
“This site provides vital habitat for state endangered Short-eared owls,” LaFond explained. “It also supports dozens of other bird and animal species, including grassland species such as Northern harriers, American kestrels, Eastern meadowlarks, Bobolinks and Savannah sparrows. Last year we had a rare pair of Upland sandpipers nesting there.”
Friends of the IBA is seeking contributions from the public to ensure that this land – and the life it supports – is permanently protected. Contributions are tax deductible as allowed by law.