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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Press Releases

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Kinderhook Creek Preserve Parking Updates
In early May 2020 Kinderhook Creek Preserve's parking lot was expanded to accomodate the needs of our community. With the new expanded parking lot we can accomodate approx 15 parking spaces. We remind you that parking along Martha Hicks Road is prohibited. We need to leave adequate room for emergency vehicles to pass by. If you cannot find a parking space, please come back another time – or visit another nature preserve nearby. Our Robert Ingalls Preserve is just 3 1/2 miles away on Garfield Nassau Road. See link below for more information.

Please adhering to the following guidelines while visiting our nature preserves:

  • Maintain a safe social distance during the pandemic.
  • Park only in the designated parking lot. 
  • Observe all no parking signs.
  • When the the parking lot is full, please do not park along the road.
  • If you cannot find a parking space, please come back another time – or visit another nature preserve nearby.
  • Check out other natural areas in the county (see list below)


Rensselaer Land Trust Preserves Open to the Public

Geiser Preserve, Sand Lake
Hoosic River Property Canoe and Kayak Launch, Hoosic
John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve, South Troy
Kinderhook Creek Preserve, East Nassau
Robert Ingalls Preserve, Stephentown
Featherweald Nature Preserve, Cambridge, NY

Other Trails to Explore in Rensselaer County

Mud Pond Preserve, Nassau
Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center, Grafton
Poestenkill Community Forest, Poestenkill
Albert Family Community Forest, East Nassau
Chestnut Hill Preserve, Averill Park
Grafton Forest, Grafton
Taconic Ridge State Forest and Taconic Crest Trail
Burden Pond Preserve, Troy
Troy Narrows
Rensselaer Tech Park
Stewart Preserve

Capital District Wildlife Management Area
Tibbetts State Forest
Schodack Island State Park
Papscanee Island Preserve
Peebles Island State Park


 Past COVID Communications to the Community

View of the Tomhannock Reservoir from the Rensselaer Plateau across the watershed sm

View of the Tomhannock Reservoir from the Rensselaer Plateau across the watershed.

The Rensselaer Land Trust, the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, and the Agricultural Stewardship Association are pleased to announce that New York State, through its Water Quality Improvement Source Water Protection Program has awarded a grant of $1.5 million for a partnership program. The program funded by the grant will protect important lands that provide water to the Tomhannock Reservoir, which is the drinking water source for over 135,000 people in the Capital Region. A match of $500,000 in private contributions will make this a $2 million program of land protection to benefit all users of drinking water from the Tomhannock Reservoir. The partnership will receive funds as reimbursement as the project proceeds.

The three accredited land trusts will partner on the project as part of the Regional Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding Application. Workshops will be held in the spring of 2018 with interested landowners in Rensselaer County. The program will be ongoing for three years, and may include both the acquisition of development rights (voluntary conservation easements) or land purchases where appropriate on lands significant for source water protection.

“We are very excited about having funding to implement meaningful source water protection,” says Rensselaer Land Trust Board President Kristina Younger. “Maintaining water quality starts with the land.” The Rensselaer Land Trust will administer the grant and be the lead partner.

"This is a win for the landowners, a win for the people who drink Troy’s water and a win for the people of the county in general. I am looking forward to working with the community to protect one of Rensselaer County’s greatest assets – the clean water from the Tomhannock Reservoir” says Rensselaer Plateau Alliance President Fred DeMay.

“Protecting this critical natural resource is important to ASA”, says Agricultural Stewardship Association Board Chair Katherine Roome. “We are proud to collaborate on this project to advance the mission of all three organizations.”

“Protecting our drinking water supplies is vital to the health and safety of our residents   I am proud to have supported this initiative and very gratified that the necessary funding has been awarded,” stated Rensselaer County Executive Kathy Jimino.

 “For over 100 years, the Tomhannock Reservoir has provided clean, reliable drinking water to Troy and our 135,000 customers from across the Capital Region,” said Troy Mayor Patrick Madden. “I am grateful for the continued work of the Rensselaer Land Trust, the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, and the Agricultural Stewardship Association and their leadership and support for this valuable environmental resource and am thrilled to see this essential funding awarded to support their conservation efforts.”


About Rensselaer Land Trust
Rensselaer Land Trust’s mission is to conserve the open spaces, watersheds and natural habitats of Rensselaer County, for the benefit of our communities and future generations. RLT Celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2017. For more information see: or call 518-659-LAND (5263).

About Rensselaer Plateau Alliance
The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance (RPA), established in 2006, is a diverse group of organizations and people who want to conserve the forested character of the Rensselaer Plateau and the many economic and environmental benefits it provides. A grassroots organization, the RPA is people living in the area who share a common interest in ensuring that future generations will experience and value the many benefits of the plateau.  Visit to learn more.

About Agricultural Stewardship Association
ASA was founded 27 years ago as a non-profit land trust focusing on farmland conservation in Washington and Rensselaer counties. Today, ASA has conserved nearly 18,000 acres on 114 farms. For more information visit

As we continue to adjust to the many challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, we also want to remind you of our commitment to the health and well-being of our staff and board, volunteers, members, visitors to our nature preserves, and our neighbors.

RLT recognizes that our preserves are popular places for recreation, exercise, and solace during the pandemic. We very much understand your need for fresh air and to spend time outdoors enjoying nature, especially as the weather begins to warm.

To keep everyone as safe as possible we strongly encourage you to follow the guidance suggested to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the State of New York, including “stay at home” restrictions and social distancing.

While RLT’s preserves remain open, we suggest you enjoy the outdoors near your home, and not travel far to get to our preserves. We especially request that you not visit our preserves if you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms including fever, headache, and shortness of breath, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 previously, since transmission rates and circumstances remain unclear.

If you choose to visit our preserves we ask that you please stay a minimum of 6 feet from other visitors, warn others of your presence prior to passing and step off the trail, as needed, to pass and maintain a six foot distance. Please avoid grouping in parking areas or near the information kiosks.

Should you arrive to a full parking lot at one of our preserves, please consider visiting a nearby preserve or returning when the lot is less crowded. Please do not park along the road. Click HERE for a list of RLT preserves.

We also ask that you respect the privacy and safety of our neighbors by staying on our trails and not parking on private property.

Your assistance will be critical in our ability to keep our preserves open. Please “carry-in/carry-out” any items you bring with you and do not leave any trash behind. In addition, please leash your pet and clean up after them. Please note too that our staff and volunteers will not be out regularly clearing fallen trees or addressing other trail needs, so you may find the trails in rougher shape than you remember. Please let us know of any significant maintenance or safety issues you discover by emailing John Winter:

For now, RLT hopes to keep our preserves open as we believe that visitors can maintain social distancing. However if we learn that crowds are forming and it is impossible to maintain good distance on our preserves, we may need to close them for everyone’s health and safety.

Our preserve policies will be updated, as necessary, based on emerging public health information. Please visit our website at for current information.

We thank you for your cooperation and extend our best wishes to you and your family for good health and peace of mind during this difficult time.

John Winter, Executive Director

Bob Crowley, President


Dear Friends and Supporters of Rensselaer Land Trust,

We are sending our best wishes for health and safety to you during these difficult and unprecedented times. As we continue to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis, we’d like to share an update on how your land trust is responding.

As you know, Rensselaer Land Trust is dedicated to connecting people to nature and providing access to outdoor places. We do this by hosting hikes and educational outings and inviting visitors to our preserves to safely enjoy the natural world.

In order to be true to that mission, and to protect you, we are canceling the following events:

  • Amphibian Walk at Poestenkill Community Forest led by Jeff Briggs and co-sponsored with Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, originally scheduled for April 11
  • 13th Annual Tomhannock Reservoir Shoreline Clean-Up, originally scheduled for April 18
  • Bird Walk led by Jim de Waal Malefyt, and co-sponsored with Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, originally scheduled for May 2
  • Conservation Partnership Reception at Sand Lake Center for the Arts, originally scheduled for May 7. We hope to reschedule this event to sometime in the summer – as the COVID-19 situation allows. We’ll be in touch with further details in the next few months.

We will be cancelling the rest of our spring outings schedule as well. As for our summer outings, we will monitor news on COVID-19 from the CDC and WHO and follow the guidance on public gatherings from federal, state, and local government leaders. We will inform you of our plans in future E-communcations and on our Facebook page and website

Read more: COVID-19 Response