Welcome to the Rensselaer Land Trust!
Rensselaer County is a great place to live, work, and have fun – and its open spaces, natural areas, and expansive scenic landscapes are a big reason for that. The Rensselaer Land Trust is dedicated to preserving the quality of life here in Rensselaer County through preserving the land. Underlying our mission is our love of the land, our sense of place. I invite you to come explore new areas of the County through our Outings program, join us at one of our events, or become involved by volunteering to be a property steward, photographer, or any of many other opportunities.
Our primary tool for preserving land is the conservation easement, a partnership between the land trust and a landowner whereby the landowner retains ownership but gives up development rights (but often becomes eligible for tax breaks); in return, RLT agrees to protect the natural resources, ecological and historical significance, and public benefit of the land for perpetuity (lawyer talk for “forever”).
We currently hold conservation easements on 11 properties, ranging from 2 acres in Brunswick to 150 acres in Nassau, for a total of almost 600 acres. Our partner landowners include individuals, non-profit organizations, and associations of landowners who collectively own a common piece of property. We also own four properties of our own, totaling 170 acres. Many of our protected properties serve to maintain clean water, wildlife and plant habitat, and the rural character of our communities.