Rensselaer Land Trust is pleased to announce that it has received a NYS Conservation Partnership Program Grant this year for $15,000. The NYS Conservation Partnership Program is funded by the state's Environmental Protection Fund and administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Rensselaer Land Trust will allocate the grant towards renewal of national accreditation and the development of a strategic plan, both of which will strengthen the organization. National accreditation signifies that the Rensselaer Land Trust meets national quality standards, upholds the public trust and ensures the permanence of conservation efforts.

"The Conservation Partnership Program is unique in the nation," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "The State's investment in building local land trust capacity multiplies several times in benefits to local communities, improving both the local economy and environment."

Recent research underscores how New York's investment in land conservation and open space boost property values, supports local businesses, saves taxpayer dollars and protects public health. A 2011 study by the Trust for Public Land found that every dollar of investment from New York's Environmental Protection Fund generates $7 in total economic benefits from tourism, reduced government costs and public health. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in New York directly supports 305,000 jobs across the state, generating $15 billion in wages and tax revenue.