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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Recent News

Kristina croppedRensselaer Land Trust is pleased to announce several new Officers and members of the Board of Directors.  Kristina Younger, Grafton, our previous Secretary, is stepping into the position of President in January 2016. 

Kristina has a Masters of City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and a BS in Plant Science from Cornell.  Prior to becoming involved with Rensselaer Land Trust, she was the Vice President of Business Development for the Capital District Transportation Authority.  



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Director Paul Schroeder, West Sand Lake, is Rensselaer Land Trust’s new Secretary beginning in January 2016.  Paul has a BS from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, he is the President in Aegis Consulting Inc., the managing member of Eastwood Associates, and the administrator of Wychwood Associates.  



Rensselaer Land Trust also welcomes David Gaskell, West Sand Lake, and Trix Niernberger, Petersburgh, to the Board of Directors.


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Trix comes to Rensselaer Land Trust with over 30 years of working with not-for-profits in a variety of positions including Executive Director.  Trix is currently Senior Health Policy Analyst with Computer Sciences Corporation on the NYS Health Exchange. 



Gaskell BWDavid Gaskell became involved with the Land Trust when he donated the original parcel that has expanded to become the 85-acre Kinderhook Preserve.  A lifelong lover of the land and Master Forester, David brings a world of practical experience to conservation in Rensselaer County.



Nick Conrad, Grafton, Rensselaer Land Trust President for the past six years, will continue to remain active and involved with our organization as a Director on our Board, Chair of the Acquisitions and Stewardship Committees, and Project Manager for the County-wide Conservation Plan.  

Staalesen Restoration

Community partners came together on October 25, 2015 to make the John B. Staalesen Vanderhyeden nature preserve a beautiful place for all to enjoy. Volunteers helped installing preserve signage, planting shrubs and trees, informational kiosk completion, and general landscaping, and sprucing up the preserve entrance. Thank you to all who took part in this community effort!

Read more: Community Pitches in on Habitat Restoration Project


On October 5, 2015 over 100 people attended the Rensselaer Land Trust's official opening of its Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve in East Nassau. The 73-acre preserve was created by donations of four properties from David and Lucy Gaskell, Bob and Jennifer Newton, the late Kenneth York, and the Edward W. Golden Foundation. David and Lucy, Bob and Jennifer, Ken York's three daughters, and Ted Guterman of the Golden Foundation opened the preserve not by cutting a ribbon, but by "cutting" a garland made with pine boughs. Remarks by the donors were highlighted by Wendy Brigg's touching remembrance of her father Ken York's love of nature. All the donating families share the same vision and love of their land and the desire to provide a natural place for both people and wildlife to enjoy forever. This new preserve is a good example of how land conservation by a private organization benefits the entire community.

Read more: Rensselaer Land Trust Opens Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve

seal green webRensselaer Land Trust has achieved renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

"Rensselaer Land Trust is proud to be awarded renewal of accreditation. Renewal is a testament to our continuing use of good business practices, transaction transparency, ethics, honesty, solid management, and quality of work. Land conservation and watershed protection work is forever. Accreditation and its renewal requirements are rigorous and prove to our members, volunteers, donors and funders that we are serious about our conservation work. We are a stable land trust that will be here for generations to come to steward our conservation easements and manage our nature preserve properties." Christine Young, Executive Director.

Read more: Rensselaer Land Trust Earns Continued National Recognition