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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

Deborah L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Deaf Middle School Science classes had the opportunity to go to the Bayou Land Conservancy fora filed trip recently. We had just begun our unit on Biomes and local habitats. On their return students continued to talk, ask questions, look at their pictures and generally insist I stay on the unit. They were so excited. They felt a part of the environment by helping with the planting. here at school they are now much more engaged in our vegetable garden and ponds. The staff was extremely accomodating to the special needs students we have in our classes. We will be back! Thank you Bayou Land Conservancy.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i took my media academy students to this place (BayouLand Conservancy) and they really enjoyed it. They allowed us to bring our equipment to produce a documentary as well as take photos. They divided us into two teams and students really got into walking into the lake bed taking samples, examining bones and trees. I think the best part was the hiking through the park and exploring the various areas. Great place. it needs more publicity.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took my students to Little Cypress Creek last November and I was greatly impressed and grateful that we were given opportunity to experience real science for my students.We did pond investigation, animal / plant identification and adaptation as we walked the trail. Each station, there was a volunteer who is like a teacher because of the ways the science lesson was presented. The volunteers engaged the students first by showing the actual specimen, then asking guided questions that made the students excited about learning more .Who would not be excited if you see the real water snake in the pond.I strongly commend Ms. Cynthia Salvaggio for her leadership and expertise to provide a TEKS aligned,high quality, real science life experience for students. Thank you so much and more power to Legacy Land Trust ( now Bayou Land Conservancy)and hope you continue to assist teachers like me provide the best kind of educational experience to our students.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our environmental not-for-profit has worked with Bayou Land Conservancy in the past and have ad great experiences. We bring high school youth to their preserves/nature areas and they always set us up with great projects. They are always willing to help us set up a project and run some great environmental education as well.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our experience here Bayou Land Conservancy was very rewarding. Our students were able to complete a lot of hands on activities. I was very express with the pre and post test. Each volunteer were well trained and informed with the knowledge to answer questions that were asked. I liked the idea of breakng into smaller groups. This allowed more one on one as well as peer tutoring. The staff reviewed vocabulary that was used with the unit as well as introduced new ones. I was very expressed how well the ELL students used the vocabulary. Thank you very much for allowing our students to experience this great opprunity.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that is not only doing great things to protect our natural areas, but also to educate the public about these precious habitats.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My experience with the Bayou Land Conservancy (formally known as the Legacy Land Trust) was fantastic. The knowledge staff and hands-on learning experiences helped my students connect science material that we were learning in the classroom, such as food webs and adaptations, to real things in nature. I work in school where 90% of our students are English as Second Language Learners, so this sort of visual and tactile experience was incredibly impactful for them.

The entire trip, from planning to execution, was incredibly well organized and thoughtful. Not only I was impressed, but so were my studetns! Theyreally enjoyed all of the hands on activities, in particular the pond sampling. On the bus ride back to school, students were trying to point out red maple trees that they had seen and learned about during their visit!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I coordinate a service-learning program at a juvenile probation alternative school for at-risk students. When Teri MacArthur spoke to our kids about the work of Legacy Land Trust Houston, they were excited about the prospect of learning new skills and interacting with nature. Once they got out on the nature trails and realized the importance of the work they were doing, they felt connected and significant to the environment in ways they had never felt before. During their reflection discussions, students pointed out that they now think of the world in more eco friendly ways, that our

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined Legacy Land Trust three years ago because I am committed to preserving Houston area wetlands so that all of the wildife and vegetation that depend upon them can continue to thrive. Everyone at Legacy Land Trust works diligently to maintain and grow our protected areas so that the we and future generations can enjoy the outdoors free from the blight of urban over-development. The

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

I worked with other volunteers to provide hiking acess to a Nature Preseve managed by Legacy Land Trust. It was a dedicated group of people promoting the outdoors and a family oriented recreational experience. I also worked the Legacy Land Trust Earth Day education booth, speaking with individuals about conservation and water quality.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I only joined the Legacy Land Trust board a year ago, and I am committed to the organization’s mission of land preservation within the Houston vicinity. Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S.A, and this diversity is echoed in the landscape. Our region’s fauna and flora is influenced by the convergence of costal prairies, wetlands, and piney wood forests that share our space. Recognizing the influence of uncontrolled urban sprawl on our precious resources, LLT provides an opportunity for us to conserve some of these special places for future generations. The “No Child Left Inside” program demonstrates the commitment to environmental education, and provides the tools for future stewards to protect this limited resource. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul” - John Muir.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was an eye opener for both the kids and the parents. Most of the parents were not aware that there were land preserves open to the public. For the kids, it learning experience, such as simply walking down a trail and noticing all the plants, trees, insects, etc along the trail. Legacy Land Trust made this possible.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Students learned about water ecology in one of three areas that were emphasised. The other areas were soil and trees.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recently I was with my 7th grade students to a field trip in Sheldon Lake, (Houston, TX) where we have a great learning hands on experience. I took 140 kids in two trips to the park, staff, volunteers and park personnel were absolutely fantastic. Initiatives like this definetly help in educating and growing young scientists. Juan-Carlos Correa

11

Board Member

Rating: 5

LLT's primary goals are the preservation of Houston area watersheds and the education of area youth as to why preserving those green spaces is important to the long term health of the larger community. They activity engage in fostering environmental awareness in young people, emphasizing an understanding and respect for the natural world.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about Legacy Land Trust and became a member in 2005, the same year I become alarmed by the numbers of dead woodland animals on the roads and railroad tracks in my neighborhood, animals killed as they fled heavily wooded tracts being clear-cut for development. It soon became clear-cut to me that the natural lands in my area were disappearing, and I found that Legacy Land Trust's mission of preserving ecologically valuable land by creating conservation easements jelled with my own notions about land use. Currently I serve as secretary on the board of directors. My "Legacy" ensures that over 8,000 acres in the Houston region will remain undeveloped for generations to come. As a natural outgrowth of its mission, Legacy now provides ecological education for children, an invaluable resource for area school districts which are under pressure to increase science education but have been denied the funding to do so. Because I believe in the need and urgency of Legacy Land Trust's missions and am aware that funding is scarce, I gladly donate my time and my money.