Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

As of January 1, 2024, the Rensselaer Land Trust has merged with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. For all questions regarding donations, events, land, or other matters, please visit or call 518-712-9211. For questions about the merger, use extension 101 to speak with Jim Bonesteel. You can expect a new name and logo for our merged organization by Spring / Summer 2024 and a new website by the end of the year!

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AHET December 2020 Opening Update 1On December 30, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail (AHET), a 36-mile bicycling and hiking route from the City of Rensselaer in Rensselaer County to the Town of Greenport in Columbia County, is complete and open to the public. The Hudson River Valley Greenway constructed the project, which is part of the statewide Empire State Trail. Most of the AHET Trail is an off-road “rail trail” built on an historic electric trolley corridor, now owned by National Grid which donated authorization to NYS to construct the trail. The remainder of the AHET route is designated along public roadways.

NYS has created a comprehensive Empire State Trail website which provides detailed AHET trail segment descriptions: The website includes an online map allowing visitors to zoom in to see the precise trail route, including asphalt and stonedust trail sections, on-road connections, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions.

Read more: Albany-Hudson Electric Trail Opens to the Public!

The Rensselaer Land Trust is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Palmer Road Preserve in Schodack, New York from the Schodack Area Land Trust. The 57-acre property was transferred to Rensselaer Land Trust upon the voluntary dissolution of the Schodack Area Land Trust.

Located in a residential community near Miller Road in Schodack, the property features an extensive walking trail system that the Schodack Area Land Trust maintained over many years. The wooded parcel is one of the sources of the Mordener Kill and is home to a diverse collection of plants and animals.

The Palmer Road Preserve will add to RLT’s growing network of neighborhood nature preserves in Rensselaer County. RLT’s goal is to create a diverse collection of publicly accessible properties within a ten-minute drive of everyone in a municipality. These properties will complement existing parks and protected areas and provide places for local residents and visitors to enjoy nature and hopefully inspire them to protect it.

Read more: Rensselaer Land Trust Acquires Palmer Road Preserve from Schodack Area Land Trust

Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) Awarded Re-Accreditation Renewal

YOUR LAND TRUST has been awarded re-accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission! With the support of our members, RLT has been able to continue to meet the highest national standards for excellence. In 2008 RLT participated in the Land Trust National Accreditation pilot program and was one of the first thirty-eight land trusts out of over 1,700 in the nation to receive National Accreditation status. This year marks our our third accreditation renewal period – an accomplishment you can be proud of during these challenging times –– Thank you for being our partner in land protection!

The accreditation seal represents RLT's commitment to our community and the land by maintaining fiscal accountability, ethical business practices, strong organizational leadership, and lasting stewardship of the lands we have conserved.

With 33 years of land conservation in Rensselaer County –– we are committed to continuing stewardship of our conservation easements, managing our nature preserves, and safeguarding the natural resources and beauty of Rensselaer County for you and future generations.

The Village of Valley Falls took a significant step toward its vision of turning an abandoned and burned-out factory site into a riverside public park. At its April board meeting, the Village awarded a contract to the environmental engineering firm Weston & Sampson to determine the presence of any hazardous materials that may have been left behind from operations of the old Thompson textile mill, which sits on the Hoosic River near the Route 67 bridge.

“Cleaning up the burned-out mill and turning it into a riverside park for our residents to enjoy is a priority for the Village,” said Mayor Richard Andrew. “We are excited to get the project started!”

The project is entirely funded by a Brownfield Assessment grant awarded to the Village by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “This contract award is the culmination of a months-long competitive solicitation of Qualified Engineering Professionals that generated quite a lot of interest,” noted Kristina Younger, the Village’s project manager. “The assessment will include a geophysical survey, excavation of test pits and soil borings, and groundwater monitoring wells.  Clean-up plans will be based on what contamination, if any, is found. The project also includes the development of plans for a riverside park, and strategies for seeking additional funding to perform the clean-up and construct the park.”

Read more: Valley Falls Thompson Mill Site Project Moves Forward