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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rensselaer Land Trust Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Land Resources Conservation

Mission: The mission of the rensselaer land trust is to conserve the open spaces, watersheds and natural habitats of rensselaer county for the benifit of our communities and future generations.

Geographic areas served: Rensselaer County, New York

Programs: Easements: a large part of the organizations activities involves negotiations between governmental and private parties to establish easements within rensselaer county. These efforts result in land easements, providing public fishing access and preservation of water quality non-point pollution sources. The primary costs associated with these undertakings has been the time invested by our executive director and staff.

wetlands and forest protection: rlt works together with private landowners and municipalities on wetlands and forest protection initiatives. We also hold in fee nature preserves composed of forests and wetlands. One of our priorities is watershed protection. Our work in protecting drinking water quality and quantity focuses on protecting and conserving wetlands and forest areas that filter and buffer drinking water sources, insulate the larger landscape from flooding, provide public recreational opportunities, and protect wildlife habitats and wildlife diversity. Additionally, we work to protect forestland as working forests. Quality drinking water, wetlands and forest lands are vital to the health and welfare of rensselaer county.

land stewardship: maintained properties and easements on approximately 790 acres of conservation land in rensselaer county.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

This well established conservation organization has remained vibrant - growing and changing as it matures. Nationally accredited for its practices, RLT delivers its mission every day.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became a Board member in 2012 after being a donor for many years. I am very glad that I did! The organization is growing in a responsible manner and fulfilling its mission to preserve Rensselaer County open spaces and to entice the public to use and appreciate them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

RLT has embarked on a major project to establish and promote an urban preserve of 20 acres in South Troy. The project has become a collaborative effort including the donor family, LTA-EPF funding, the City of Troy, the local neighborhood, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, local nurseries and the Capital District Community Gardens. So far we estimate RLT has donated at least 450 hours of volunteer effort to make this preserve available to the community including removal of invasive species and trash, construction of a fence and kiosk and planting of 500 trees and shrubs.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a Board member for several years and have seen the organization go from strength to strength. RLT has articulated a clear mission and built the infrastructure to support it. It has protected over 1,000 acres in Rensselaer County. It has won reaccreditation from the Land Trust Alliance. It has established a core group of committed donors. It has made strategic use of social media. It has added an urban preserve in Troy and collaborated with the Capital District Community Gardens and the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. It has added popular programs on foraging to its rich array of outings. Although it has only one full-time and one part-time employee, both are extraordinarily talented and dedicated and do tremendous work.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Rensselaer Land Trust is a small organization with a big impact. With just two (great) part-time staff people, and a core of dedicated volunteers, it promotes the preservation of Rensselaer County's significant natural areas through education, outings, advocacy, and, most important of all, by partnering with landowners to conserve private land and create public preserves. It works to preserve open space for the benefit of city as well as countryside. It is an honor to be associated with this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Rensselaer Land Trust is working to protect the special places that I know and visit. Rensselaer County has a wealth of natural areas and outdoor recreation sites, but as development slowly increases their future is not guaranteed. RLT works with willing landowners to preserve the natural landscape for future generations. One of their Preserves, for example, is an outstanding wildflower spot and wildlife habitat (we found a turkey nest with eggs there one year), as well as the site of a cave. RLT also sponsors a fantastic schedule of hikes, talks, and other events. As either participant or leader, I've been able to visit natural areas that I wouldn't have know about or been able to visit otherwise. And RLT is now expanding its mission to serve city residents, with its acquisition of its first urban preserve in the City of Troy.

william.niemi

Board Member

Rating: 5

For 18 yrs the Rensselaer Land Trust protected hundreds of acres of watershed in Rensselaer County with 100% volunteers, all the money going to its mission of conserving land and protecting natural resources. In the past 7 yrs of its 25 yr history it has expanded its ability to its mission with 2 part time paid staff members. Some of the land protected is available for public use such as hiking, gardening, and fishing. It also does educational presentations at schools and holds workshops for landowners.