Land Conservancy Awarded $49,700 from Conservation Partnership Program Grants

On Thursday, April 24, Governor Cuomo announced $1.4 million
in Conservation Partnership Program grants for 50 nonprofit land trusts across
the state. Representatives of the Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC) and the Land Trust Alliance unveiled the grantees at an event at Indian
Ladder Farms in Albany County as part of a weeklong celebration of Earth Day.
The grants, funded through the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will be
matched by nearly $1.1 million in private and local funding and will support
projects to enhance public access and recreational opportunities, protect
farmland, and conserve open space.


“Land trusts continue to make a
difference in local communities, maximizing public and private dollars to
protect and preserve our state’s natural resources for generations to come,”
said Governor Cuomo. “Through partnerships like these, New York is utilizing
the Environmental Protection Fund to provide critical support for many
environmental and open space programs, generating revenue, creating jobs, and ensuring
a cleaner and healthier New York.”

The Western New York Land
Conservancy was awarded $49,700 – one of the largest awards to any land trust
in the state – in two separate grants. The first grant will help reimburse the
Land Conservancy for costs related to protecting the Mill Road Scenic Overlook,
a 60-acre property in Aurora with spectacular views and important wildlife
habitat. The second grant will help the Land Conservancy “catalyze” land
protection work along the Niagara River and Niagara Escarpment, two of our
region’s most iconic natural areas.  

Executive Director of the Western New York Land Conservancy, Nancy Smith, said,
“Past awards from this program have helped the Land Conservancy build its
capacity. Completing the $650,000 Mill Road Scenic Overlook project and
embarking on the ambitious $3.2 million Stella Niagara Preserve project in
Lewiston would not have been possible without previous funding. These current
grants will strengthen our conservation efforts for the Niagara River, Niagara
Escarpment, and the rest of the region.”



Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26), said, “Western New York
is home to some of the world’s most important natural assets, including two
Great Lakes and Niagara Falls. The Land Conservancy is to be commended for its
determined leadership and commitment to helping protect these resources and
enhancing connections to our waterfront and other conservation areas so vital
to our future prosperity.”


Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27), said, “Our region’s rural
areas, open spaces, and farmland are an important part of our heritage, and our
economy. The Land Conservancy, with funding from the Conservation Partnership
Program, will help us preserve the character of our communities and create
economic opportunities for generations to come.”


Senator Mark Grisanti, chair of the Senate Environmental
Conservation Committee, said, “I am pleased that we were able to secure an
additional $9 million for the EPF this year because we need that money to
support the work of environmental stewards like the Land Trust Alliance. These
Conservation Partnership Program grants will go a long way in protecting farm
land from development and providing New Yorkers with more recreational