The “Capacity & Excellence Grant” From the NYS Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP)
Land Trust Alliance (LTA) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded Grassland Bird Trust (GBT) a $50,000 “Capacity & Excellence Grant” in December 2020. The program is funded through NY’s Environmental Protection Fund.
“The grants announced today support – activities that are essential to help address climate change and preserve the ecosystems we depend on,” said (DEC) Commissioner Seggos. “We commend the Land Trust Alliance for administering this important program.”
The New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) is a public-private partnership between DEC and the Land Trust Alliance that invests in New York land trusts. It is managed by the LTA, a non-profit land conservation organization, in coordination with DEC.
“We appreciate the high level of support we receive from LTA and DEC and look forward to using this NYSCPP grant to expand GBT’s mission to conserve critical habitat for grassland birds,” said GBT Executive Director Laurie LaFond.
LTA and DEC created the NYSCPP grants program in 2002. It has helped local communities permanently conserve more than 36,000 acres of farmland, wildlife habitat, recreation areas, and urban open space since its inception. The program has awarded 997 grants totaling $21.7 million to 91 different land trusts, leveraging an additional $23.8 million in funding from local and private sources.
This year’s grant will aid with strategic planning and work to increase funding for GBT’s conservation programs.
The Hudson River Valley Greenway Grant
The Hudson River Valley Greenway awarded GBT $68,750 to create a birding trail on lands it owns in Fort Edward and Argyle.
“The Greenway is pleased to partner with Grassland Bird Trust to develop this 1.5-mile loop trail in the Alfred Z Solomon Grasslands Birding Area. I look forward to visiting the trail when it is completed,” said Scott Keller, Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway.
“We are excited about this new partnership and appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Empire Trail network and the great work HRVG is doing in New York,” said GBT Executive Director Laurie LaFond.
This grant requires a 1:1 match, which can be met through a combination of cash or in-kind donations of goods and services. Construction is planned for 2022.
The approximately 1.5 mile trail will start at the viewing blind on Grassland Bird Trust’s AZS Viewing Area off County Route 42 in Fort Edward. It will connect our 14-acre Loftus parcel with the 64-acre Seale parcel acquired by GBT in 2019.
These parcels support over 100 species of birds and animals, including at least eight of the grassland bird species listed by NYSDEC as “species of greatest conservation need” (Short-eared owl, Northern harrier, Upland sandpiper, Horned lark, Eastern meadowlark, American kestrel, Bobolink and Grasshopper sparrow.
The Greenway Conservancy Trail Grant Program is an annual competitive grant funding opportunity. Emphasis is placed on trail projects that seek to promote and preserve the Hudson Valley’s recreational, scenic, natural, cultural, historic and agricultural resources, with priority given for trails that link to the Empire State Trail.
Visit the Greenway Trail Program.