Harckham Announces State Grants Awarded to Land Trusts in District

State Sen. Pete Harckham

Peekskill, NY – New York State Senator Pete Harckham announced today that four major state grants from the Conservation Partnership Program have been awarded to land trusts based in the 40th Senate District. Recipients include Friends of the Great Swamp in Pawling, NY; Pound Ridge Land Conservancy; Westchester Land Trust; and Dutchess Land Conservancy.

“Land trusts around the state help preserve, protect and manage some of the most beautiful natural areas open to the public, and they deserve wholehearted support to fulfill their missions,” said Harckham. “The four trusts in our area that are receiving this new grant funding do great work—and their trails, vistas and farmlands are much-loved by residents. These state investments benefit us all in so many ways, and I am grateful they are being made.”

The grants include:

$100,000 Stewardship and Resource Management Grant to the Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS), which will enable volunteers to work with a contractor to restore an acre of bog turtle habitat by removing phragmites (an invasive plant) and treating the land to prevent further spread;
$30,000 Capacity Grant and $18,800 Transaction Grant for the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy;
$38,000 Stewardship and Resource Management Grant for the Westchester Land Trust, which operates 9 of its 13 preserves within the 40th Senate District;
$100,000 grant to the Dutchess Land Conservancy to hire a full-time Community Outreach and Engagement Manager, whose work will include protected lands and conservation easements in Beekman and Pawling.

The announced funding for the 40th Senate District was among the $2.2 million in Conservation Partnership Program grants for 50 not-for-profit land trusts across the state. (The Land Trust Alliance administers the Conservation Partnership Program in coordination with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.) A total of 69 grants funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund will leverage an additional $2.6 million in private and local funding to support projects that protect water quality and farmland, boost public access for outdoor recreation, and conserve open space to benefit community health, tourism, and economic development.

The Land Trust Alliance administers the Conservation Partnership Program in coordination with the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

In awarding the grants, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos noted that record numbers of New Yorkers have been have been exploring the outdoors in recent years; and that the new funding will support forest management, conservation agriculture, coastal and wetlands restoration, and other activities that are essential to help address climate change and preserve the ecosystems residents depend on.