Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
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New Land Acquisitions

April 2021: New Conservation Easement on Papscanee Island Nature Preserve, East Greenbush
This 156-acre parcel along the east bank of the Hudson River, located on route 9J, features walking trails, wetlands, and woodlands. Rensselaer Land Trust, the Open Space Institute, and Rensselaer County joined together with the Stockbridge-Munsee Community to return this culturally important property on the Hudson River to indigenous ownership – and perpetual protection. In April, the Open Space Institute conveyed ownership of the 156-acre Papscanee Island Nature Preserve to the Stockbridge-Munsee Community, while the Tribe simultaneously granted a conservation easement to Rensselaer Land Trust. Learn more HERE.

July 2021: Young's Bog Preserve Expansion, Sand Lake
E. W. Birch Builders and Construction donated two parcels of land totaling 41 acres. Three acres will expand Young's Bog Preserve and a 38.5-acre parcel located across the street will eventually become a second nature preserve there. We expect to add hiking trails and parking in 2022.

October 2021: Moon Hill, Petersburgh
The 191-acre Moon Hill property straddles the Taconic Mountains on its east side and the Taconic-Hoosic Valley on the west; and contains a key part of the summit of the hill as well as forest corridors that link the Northern Taconic Forest with the Rensselaer Plateau Forest. Hill Hollow Brook, a remote tributary of the Little River also runs through the property. There is a high degree of biodiversity here, including several rare plants. The acquisition was supported by the Nature Conservancy's Climate Resiliency Grant Program. We expect to add hiking trails and parking in 2022.

October 2021: Tamarac Road Land, Pittstown
In October we closed on the 82-acre Tamarac Road Property in Pittstown. This land was protected through NYDEC's Water Quality Improvement Program – a grant-based initiative to conserve land in the Tomhannock Reservoir watershed and to protect the 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 is landowner outreach and education.

The Tamarac Road Property features 53+ acres of open space and 29+ acres of wetlands. This property is forested and includes former agriculture land. The Sunkauissia Creek runs through the property.


Stewardship Activities

  • In April we welcomed Marcos Velazquez as our new Stewardship Coordinator.
  • Expanded parking at Featherweald Nature Preserve.
  • Invasive species removal at Staalesen Preserve with corporate partners Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.
  • Added a memorial bench called "Sally's Rest" at Robert Ingalls Preserve. The bench overlooks the Black Creek and is named in memory of Bob Ingalls' mother.
  • All the kiosks have been updated with new weatherproof informational panels.
  • All public preserve trails have been clearly marked and measured so we could develop new trail maps.
  • Donation receptacles have been added at several of our public preserves.
  • Created a new maintenance plan for RLT's 6.5 mile stretch of the Albany Hudson Electric Trail. The maintenance coordinator is Tom Phillips, an RLT board member. 

Water, Water, Everywhere – Strong storms over the summer resulted in significant flooding at your Staalesen and Kinderhook Creek Preserves. At Staalesen, the Wynants Kill, typically a calm, slow-moving stream, turned into a torrent and tore two recently installed wooden bridges off their moorings, sending them downstream. Luckily the bridges remained intact and after some ingenious winching and rope work by board members, staff, and volunteers the bridges were put back into place. Watch a short photo documentary at our YouTube Channel.

At Kinderhook Creek, fast-flowing water eroded portions of the stream bank and sent some shoreline trees and plants into the raging river. Hard-working volunteers, board members, and staff have been addressing the damage. We are grateful for their dedicated service to this special place.

We are pleased to report that despite the flooding, both Staalesen and Kinderhook Creek – as well as our other public preserves – remained open for your enjoyment. We recognize that spending time outdoors in nature has become a vital part of our lives during the pandemic.



April 2021: 13th Annual Tomhannock Reservoir Shoreline Clean-up
On April 24, we held our 13th Annual Tomhannock Reservoir Shoreline Clean-up in honor of Earth Day on a beautiful Saturday. A big thank you to the 30+ volunteers, including Troy’s Mayor Patrick Madden and the group from the Hoosic River Watershed Association. The reservoir is the source of water for more than half of Rensselaer County.

May 2021, Open House at Albany Hudson Electric Trail, Schodack
On May 22, we welcomed trail visitors to an open house at Nassau Lake trailhead on the new Albany-Hudson Electric Trail, a 35-mile multi-use trail that runs from the City of Rensselaer to the Columbia County line. The trail is part of the new 750-mile Empire State Trail that runs from New York City to near the Canadian border and from Albany to Buffalo. RLT has a multi-year agreement with the Hudson Valley Greenway to maintain a 6.5-mile portion of the trail in Schodack. RLT's trail head and parking area in Schodack. The new trail is a popular new destination for bikers, walkers, and families in the Capital Region. Learn more HERE

June 2021: John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve's 10th Anniversary
On June 26, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Staalesen Preserve with the local community and RLT members. Special remarks by Bob Crowley, RLT's president and Troy's Mayor Patrick Madden were followed by a preserve tour with Staalesen's volunteer preserve stewards Bob Crowley and Joe Durkin. If you missed it live, you can catch the day's highlights at our YouTube Channel.

July 2021: Palmer Road Preserve Re-Opening, Schodack
This 57-acre neighborhood Nature Preserve features a mile-long walking trail through woodlands with a branch of the Moordener Kill running through the property. Palmer Road Preserve was transferred to Rensselaer Land Trust late 2020 upon the voluntary dissolution of the Schodack Area Land Trust. During this past spring and early summer our stewardship crew worked to clean-up and mark trails for the re-opening ceremony on July 31. Learn more HERE.

September 2021: Erica’s Overlook Trail Opening Ceremony
On September 25, we opened a new memorial trail at Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve in the higher elevation woodlands of the preserve. The new trail, marked with green blazes, is called Erica’s Overlook Trail and is named for Erica Phillips, the daughter of one of your board members. Erica passed away in 2017 after a brief illness complicated by cystic fibrosis. Erica’s Overlook Trail is the second memorial trail at Kinderhook Creek Preserve. The SAY Trail, which runs along the shoreline of the preserve, is dedicated to the memory of Steven A. York, the son of one of the preserve’s land donors, who also died at a young age. Watch a short video of the breif ceremony and see pictures of the trail at our YouTube Channel.

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