Gerald E. and Shirley W. Dunn have donated an agricultural easement on their farmland, the Shadbush Hill, in Schodack to the Rensselaer Land Trust. The 30 acre property on Sagendorf Road in the Town of Schodack, Rensselaer County has historically been a farm with fields, an apple orchard, woodlands, a pond and a wetland area. The agricultural easement protects the property from development by keeping it agriculturally viable and productive, fosters landscape-scale conservation by reducing land fragmentation and it preserves its natural ecosystems, wildlife habitats and the water quality and quantity of the Balekill Stream, which is part of the Muitzeskill Creek watershed, that flows into the Hudson River.
When signing the easement, the Dunns observed that: "Successful protection of farmland is critical to the future of Rensselaer County. We appreciate the opportunity to preserve this land whose scenic beauty and passive recreational use we have enjoyed for more than 45 years. Now is the time to protect these important resources. Farms are being converted to other uses to accommodate the county's rise in population at the expense of food production, wildlife habitats and open space. We have chosen to make Rensselaer County our home for 53 years."