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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bayou Land Conservancy

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Forest Conservation, Land Resources Conservation, Water, Water Resources, Wetlands Conservation & Management

Mission:

Bayou Land Conservancy is a community-sponsored land preservation organization working with willing landowners to permanently protect land in the greater Houston region. We preserve river and bayou corridors, other properties with significant wildlife habitat value and places where family recreation can occur in harmony with nature. Our "No Child Left Inside" education program connects tomorrow's conservation leaders with nature today. Bayou Land Conservancy is proud to have conserved over 8,600 acres in the greater Houston region.

Results: This year over 2000 students and teachers have done hands-on, TEKS-aligned, science based activities at our Little Cypress Creek Preserve in northwest Houston. We permanently protect lands in and around Houston. To date, we preserve 39 properties with a total of 8,600 acres.

Target demographics: Children from diverse backgrounds from around Houston between the ages 10 and 18. Landowners who want to permanently protect their land for years to come.

Geographic areas served: Greater Houston area

Programs:

Conservation Programs:

1. Protect ecologically important lands. These lands currently include:
a. The Spring Creek Greenway Corridor, the green liquid boundary that separates Harris and Montgomery counties. This critical open area is home to numerous mammals and supplies habitat for bird species which need the resting grounds on their migratory flights. Spring Creek is a "navigable" water body of at least 30 feet wide throughout most of its winding corridor all the way to the San Jacinto River - another focus area for LLT. This area is also important as it provides an opportunity for low-impact use in the form of canoeing, kayaking, and hiking trails - a nature area so close to downtown Houston but what feels like miles away.

b. Washington County. This county, despite its still mostly rural nature, is a highly fragmented county due to much of the land being previously subdivided for cotton and cattle uses. But the rolling hill beauty of this area is facing rapidly expanding "mini-ranchetting", even further subdividing the tracts.

c. Cypress Creek corridor in NW Harris County.

d. All large, contiguous tracts in the Houston region where we can work with adjacent landowners to provide true wildlife habitat and flood buffer corridors for downstream residents.

2. Raise money for operations, the purchase of development rights, and restoration and enhancement of our preserves.

3. Increase support by the local population with naturalist educational events including our “No Child Left Inside” educational program.

4. Continue to be recognized land conservation experts in the Houston area.

Community Stories

56 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently participated in the earth day event Bayou Land Concervancy hosted. It was wonderful to see how young people engaged with nature as well as the grin on some adults faces, who had just used a canoe for the first time in their life. A great organization that anyone would be proud to be asscocaiated with.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Bayou Land Conservancy has a great staff of talented and knowledgable biologists and nature interpreters. They are welcoming and serve a great cause!

Donor

Rating: 5

BioBlitz was wonderful.. thank you so much for offering such a great event. my kids loved netting the macro-invertebrates and seeing the coral snake. These opportunities really make a difference by helping build and grow our appreciation for nature that we and our future generations need to continue to have.

Coleman T.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved in Bayou Land Conservancy when I learned about the wonderful work it does to protect our vital natural resource around or waterways. It is truly a fantastic group that does great work for the public good.

Advisor

Rating: 5

In short, BLC is a fantastic organization. The group not only preserves important watershed land, but then uses that protected land to educate the community. In particularly, BLC brings school children to these preserves and get them outside. It's one thing to protect land and the environment - it's equally as important to educate people why they should care. BLC does them both - and well - and with a superb staff.

Sergio G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Bayou Land Conservancy when I learned of their committment to preserving the environment. As a green builder who strives to educate people in being good stewards to the economy becoming part of BLC just made sense. Their track record speaks for itself. The respect they hold in the community is top notch and the organization itself is run by very qualified and talented people. I look forward to a long history with BLC and plan to continue to give of my time and resources to help insure its success.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Through my short two years with Bayou Land Conservancy, I've learned more about Houston's great outdoors and our need for conservation programs than my 35 plus years as a Houstonian. Bayou Land Conservancy's hard work provides benefit to the entire city...that's a population of 4 million strong and growing. I've enjoyed working with Bayou Land Conservancy these past two years and I look forward to many more.

Teresa9

Board Member

Rating: 5

BLC is a wonderful organization with tremendous upside. If you are looking for a way to give back to our community, learn ways to help our earth, and create a better environment for all, consider becoming a member. The group is made up of hard working, dedicated folks with great ideas and a strong commitment to make our community a better place to live.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I am an 8th grade teacher and recently brought about 40 students to the Bayou Land Conservancy. Cynthia Salvaggio, the Environmental Educator, and her volunteers did an outstanding job facilitating outdoor learning for the students. The students learned about invasive species, how to gauge the health of an ecosystem, and the importance of wetland preservation. The experiential learning included a hiking scavenger hunt for native and invasive species and removal of invasive plants. Most memorable for the students was putting on rubber boots, grabbing a net, wading through a pond, and skimming insects and other organisms from the top of the water to explore the type of creatures living in the water. Students learned that various organisms can signal either really clean or toxic water.

In addition to the breadth of experiences provided, I was impressed by Cynthia and her volunteers' professionalism, passion, and dedication to education. I highly recommend visits to other school groups as well as the general public.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Bayou Land Conservancy as an intern for Spring 2011. When I first started, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the organization was responsible for preserving the natural beauty of a beautiful piece of property right in my own neighborhood! It has been truly inspiring to work beside staff that are so passionate about what they do. I have especially enjoyed going out into the field, getting to see for myself the land that will protected by easements for generations to come. As a volunteer, I also had the opportunity to lead at-risk Houston youth on nature walks and in an invasive species removal project. The "No Child Left Inside" education program is a fantastic way to get kids outside and thinking about water conservation and environmental stewardship.

Stephanie G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I brought my environmental science class to explore watersheds with the Bayou Land Conservancy. The program called, "No Child Left Inside" was an absolute breath of fresh air quite literally! My students were apprehensive before we left but were ready to go back the very next day in class. They were wading through water and hurrying back to have specimens identified, had a friendly invasive species removal competition, and along the way learned the names of all the trees and shrubs we take for granted.

My class thoroughly enjoyed all activities. They got to actually take time examining what was in front of them without any pressure and thus, truly be able to appreciate it. They learned everything first hand taught in the book about watersheds and invasive species, and they had fun doing it. Even my students that I didn’t expect to respond came out of their shell and surprised me with what they were able to share and contribute, things that I taught them in class, but never heard them express.

I liked the program offered by Bayou Land Conservancy because there was an environmental educator who tailored the day after what we were learning in class and had everything I needed to show my administration this is an educational field trip. They had a pre-test, informative watershed booklet, and post test along with scavenger hunt to show off their knowledge.

The fieldtrip was absolutely wonderful for all involved, students, administration, myself, and the legacy gained some conservation supporters.

If you want to see your children or students shine, I highly recommend taking your students to explore watersheds with Bayou Land Conservancy!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became a legal intern with BLC in the beginning of 2011. At first, I admit, I was a bit worried about sitting behind a desk all day reviewing contracts with minimal input from the staff.

Thankfully, I was dead wrong. The staff are some of the most fun, knowledgeable, and hardworking people I've ever had the privilege of working with. Instead of a desk job, I found myself out in the field multiple times, actually exploring the land that we were protecting. Of course, soon after, I found myself back reviewing easements, but knowing what the property looked like made it all the more interesting.

After coming in worried that I was going to be stuck protecting myself from paper cuts, I was so pleasantly surprised that I ended up protecting land that I've had physical contact with.

I can't speak highly enough of my time with BLC.

Board Member

Rating: 4

As a long time volunteer and board member I have seen the BLC grow as an effective tool in preserving habitat and act a respected advocate for policy change that improves the environment. The conservancy's No Child Left Inside environmental education effort is a great way to get young people thinking about issues that effect the long term health of our area and it understand our place as stewards of the larger world.

All in all they do an amazing amount of good adn are always looking for ways to expand their efforts.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bayou Land is a fantastic organization in Texas. They are involved with the important work of managing conservation easements on over 10,000 acres of land for volunteer land owners. They lobby for water quality and wetland preservation throughout the state. And, not in the least, they provide valuable education for the next generation of conscientious consumers and nature enthusiasts.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Bayou Land Conservancy is an amazing and knowledgeable group of people that have a passion for educating young people about the natural resources of the outdoors, and how they can be a resource themselves. The Woods Project brings 30-40 kids on to their lands every fall and spring to do service projects - but these projects are more than service-oriented. BLC provides educational components to connecting the students with the work and activities they are partaking in. We have worked with BLC for many years, and look forward to continue a strong relationship with them.

Kathryn W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience volunteering with the Bayou Land Conservancy. I helped lead middle school children in an invasive species removal project. The Bayou Land Conservancy is very enthusiastic about getting kids outdoors and learn about the environment and how to conserve it. I had a lot of fun!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Bayou Land Conservancy (formerly The Legacy Land Trust) is a great organization that has brought together a very diverse set of constituents to preserve and protect land along both sides of Spring Creek.

They bring a passion and creativity to uniting and educating private land owners, local governments, outdoor enthusiast, and school children alike.

One day they may be planting trees and conducting science experiments with high school students, the next they are negotiating conservation easements with private land owners and the next meeting with local officials to protect natural landscapes and open up additional recreational access to the community.

Their passion and dedication has directly resulted in the protection of thousands of acres for generations to come

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to Bayou Land Conservancy as a legal intern. My main assignment was to compile data that would persuade Texas legislators to implement what the majority of other states had already put into practice--sand and gravel regulation. I did not have prior experience in ecology or biology or their legal aspects as they converged with state and city governments. The organization's executive director and conservation biologist taught me the uniqueness of Houston's ecosystem and the effectiveness of conservation easements for its preservation. I've been fortunate to hear Mayor Annise Parker voice her concern for the natural resources that Bayou Land Conservancy works to protect. I've also been out in the fields during the workday, in the preserves that the organization's easements will protect in perpetuity. Most important, I've met very kind people who are fiercely loyal to their commitment in making Houston better.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cynthia Salvaggio and her crew at Bayouland Conservancy helped fund my students to their only field trip this year. Bayouland Conservancy taught my students and myself about science topics that brought us into the outdoors. It was wonderful because my students got to experience many things at the conservancy such as view a decomposing deer, digging up nonnative plants, scavenger hunt, and learning about certain types of plants and trees. the experience was awesome and my kids really enjoyed being able to go outside the city limits to see what nature has to offer them!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering as an intern at the Bayou Land Conservancy 3 months ago, hoping to learn more about local conservation groups and the work they do in the Houston region. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Bayou Land Conservancy is not only actively preserving our diverse ecosystems, but educating students and the general public on the importance of environmental stewardship. During my short time here, I have been able to help with their “No Child Left Inside” outdoor science education program and visit a number of the beautiful tracts that the organization holds. I have had such an awarding experience helping this organization and look forward to supporting their programs in the future, even after my internship has ended.