Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
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Poesten Kill Bends
RLT partnered with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance to purchase this 76-acre property in Troy and Brunswick. The parcel features woodlands, wetlands, beautiful stream views and furthers RLT’s strategy for improving climate change resiliency in Rensselaer County by absorbing rain, holding stream banks in place, and storing carbon dioxide. The property will be managed and maintained by a committee of volunteers and representatives from both land trusts who are working on establishing permanent access to the property.

Drinking Water Protection at the Tomhannock Reservoir
RLT and the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance are reaching out to landholders in the Tomhannock watershed to purchase conservation easements and fee-simple title to properties that will help keep the water in the reservoir clean. We are also developing water quality management educational materials for landowners. The program, a first for Rensselaer County, is supported by NYSDEC and runs until 2022.

Neighborhood Nature Preserves – Startng in Troy
We are especially excited about our new neighborhood nature preserve initiative. Our goal is to provide places for people to spend time in nature within a few minutes of their homes, especially in more uban areas. The pandemic has shown us that people need to get out in nature both for recreation and to spend some time away from therir phones, computers, and TVs. We made a start on this program in 2019 by purchasing an undeveloped seven-acre parcel in Troy. We are adding amenities to turn it into a local green space.

Putting RLT’s Conservation Plan to Work in the Town of Poestenkill
A key goal of RLT’s 2018-2030 county-wide land conservation plan is to assist municipalities in better understanding their land conservation opportunities. In 2019 RLT worked with a volunteer citizen committee in the Town of Poestenkill to prepare a Natural Resource Inventory to help the town in land use planning. The NRI included extensive mapping, and descriptions of the forests, wetlands, surface and ground waters, farmland, and cultural resources of the town. The project was supported by NYSDEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program.

Engaging the Next Generation of Conservationists – Troy After-School Nature Program
Janie Sullivan, our 2019 VISTA fellow, led an after-school environmental education for young people in Troy in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. Activities include nature journaling, leaf rubbing, making recycled paper, and creating bird seed ornaments, among others. Bringing nature to young people may inspire them to protect it and one day become the next generation of conservationists.

Hudson River Fish Advisory Project –“Fish for Fun, Not for Food”
Our collaboration with River Haggie Outdoors, a capital region environmental education provider, continues. The program educates fisherfolk about the consumption of fish caught in the Hudson River and its tributaries. While water quality in the Hudson River has generally improved in recent years, fish caught from the river remain unsafe to eat, especially for women of child-bearing age and children under 15 years of age. Others may eat only certain species and in very limited quantities. Outreach activities include tabling and educational events at the New York State Museum; schools districts; after-school programs; summer enrichment programs; libraries; and community events.

Sponsoring Naturalist Outing Series
Through our partnership with Rensselaer Plateau Alliance we offered a collection of hikes and walks, including the Rensselaer Naturalist Series. Our goal is to bring families and especially young people back outdoors – and away from their bluescreens for a few hours. Visit our website (www.renstrust,org) and the RLT Facebook page for news and schedules about upcoming hikes and events. We hope to see you out on the trail!

Planning for Our Future: New Strategic Plan
The Board of Directors and Staff prepared a strategic plan to guide our intentions and actions during the five years from 2020 to 2025. The plan includes 24 activities under three priorities:
1) Protecting Key Conservation and Recreation Lands,
2) Stewarding Land and Water for Conservation and Public Enjoyment and Engaging People with Nature, and
3) Building RLT for the Future.
It also includes a set of performance indicators, implementation schedules, and a set of organizational values to guide our work.

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