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In December, 2014, Rensselaer Land Trust protected 121 more acres. Bob and Jennifer Newton of East Nassau donated 17.2 acres of their land to our Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve, increasing the size of the preserve by one-third. We also partnered with Jack Alexander and Lyn Howard to place our 14th conservation easement on their 104.57 acres at the Sluyter Preserve in Poestenkill.

Donation from Newtons Expands Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve
Bob and Jennifer Newton moved to East Nassau over 35 years ago and fell in love with the natural beauty of the area. When they found out about the land donated to Rensselaer Land Trust by David and Lucy Gaskell and by Kenneth York to create the Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve, they were inspired to donate some of their land for the Preserve as well. The Newtons donated 17.2 acres, bordering the Tsatsawassa Creek and adding over 1,281 feet of shoreline along the Kinderhook Creek, a renowned trout stream.

The Kinderhook Creek Preserve contains several distinct ecosystems including a cliff habitat, hemlock-hardwood swamp, riverside sand and gravel bar, and six forest types. The preserve is open to the public for hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, and nature viewing. We installed a parking lot on Martha Hicks Road and a sign will be up in the spring.

The Land Trust thanks Bob and Jennifer Newton for this generous addition to our Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve. The property is beautiful and it complements and expands on the previous land donations by David and Lucy Gaskell and Kenneth York. The support from the Village and Town has been wonderful and we are pleased to offer this preserve to the public for everyone's enjoyment.

Sluyter Preserve Easement Fulfills Couple's Vision
When you own land that you love, you look out for it and take care of it. But what happens when you are no longer around? Will future owners steward and treasure your land as you do? How can you make sure your land is protected for future generations? Jack Alexander and Lyn Howard's love for their land inspired them to partner with Rensselaer Land Trust to protect their 104.57 acres in Poestenkill, New York.

This land conservation project didn't start with Jack and Lyn. The vision for protecting this beautiful property began ten years ago with Eva and Hugh Gemmil, the previous owners of the property, and the completion of this conservation easement celebrates their love of the land also.

Jack and Lyn donated a conservation easement on their land to Rensselaer Land Trust. When a conservation easement is placed on a property, the owners retain ownership, but agree to give up their rights ever to develop the land. All future landowners are also bound by the easement. Rensselaer Land Trust accepts the responsibility to visit the property annually to ensure that the current landowner is abiding by the terms of the easement.

The Sluyter Preserve Conservation Easement fits with the Land Trust's mission. The land is a mix of undeveloped woods, extensive wetlands, and streams. Newfoundland Creek, a native trout-spawning stream, and associated wetlands are protected by this easement, thereby helping to maintain water quality in the Poesten Kill watershed. The woods are full and tall, with a diversity of trees. The property has varied topography with hills and hollows and a network of trails maintained for horse and carriage driving. This easement permanently protects the woods, wetlands and streams from development while supporting sustainable forestry, wildlife habitat and corridors, and the property's scenic values. The Sluyter Preserve Easement is located on the escarpment of the Rensselaer Plateau, an area of extensive forests and wildlife habitat that has been designated a federal Forest Legacy area and a regional priority in the New York State Open Space Plan.

The Land Trust thanks Jack and Lyn for their generous donation of this conservation easement, and for the opportunity to help them realize their vision for the land they love.

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