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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HRWA Press Release Toast to Tribs WaveMaker Awards 11 27 18 FINALOn December 4, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance awarded the Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) with their 2018 Watershed WaveMaker Awards. RLT was selected in the small organization category because of their 31 years in conserving the open spaces, watersheds and natural habitats of Rensselaer County, for the benefit of our communities and future generations. RLT’s recent successes which made them key award recipients include:

  • RLT completed a county-wide Natural Resource inventory and Conservation Plan, which puts climate resiliency and water quality front and center in the prioritization of future conservation efforts. This conservation plan will lead to the protection of county-wide water resources as its target of preserving 10,000 additional acres by 2030 is achieved.


  • RLT finalized a Hudson River Access Plan for Rensselaer County, the first county-wide plan to advance the Hudson River Estuary Program’s goal of “getting people to the river." People are motivated to protect places that they love and have access to. This plan provides the blueprint to increase the connection between people and the river in this region.IMG 8957


  • RLT implemented a citizen scientist water quality monitoring project in local streams and tributaries in Rensselaer County. Riverkeeper’s boat can’t go up Rensselaer County tributaries, but the Rensselaer Land Trust's many volunteers can! Partnering organizations involved on this project included Rensselaer County; the Cities of Troy and Rensselaer; Watershed Assessment Associates; United States Geological Survey; Riverkeeper; River Haggie, and Capital District Regional Planning Commission. In one case, the data collected led to citation and remediation of a sewage leak in the City of Rensselaer.


  • And, RLT had a successful partnership application to the NYS DEC Water Quality Improvement Program Source Water Land Protection Program (WQIP) for the Tomhannock reservoir watershed. This program will, through land acquisition, protect at least 650 additional acres in the Tomhannock watershed by 2021 and protect the quality of this drinking water source for 135,000 people. The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and the Agricultural Stewardship Association are partners in this program, a cornerstone of which will be direct landowner outreach and education.

The Hudson River Watershed Alliance's mission is to support, unite and empower the people and communities who are protecting Hudson River streams and tributaries. The Alliance provides the tools, information and resources that residents of the Hudson River Watershed need to better manage their water resources. The Watershed WaveMaker Awards were launched by the Alliance as a way to recognize the exemplary efforts of our watershed partners, who are working throughout the year on critical activities to protect Hudson River water resources.

John Winter, Executive Director of the Rensselaer Land Trust, commented that RLT is delighted to be selected for a 2018 Watershed WaveMaker Award. “We thank the Hudson River Watershed Alliance for honoring us and other award winners. Together, we can make a difference in the health of the Hudson River and the Communities that share it.”