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 www.rensselaerplateau.org 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!



Anne Burton
Anthony Belsito
Carl Cipperly
Bob Crowley, President
Joseph Durkin
Shirley Greagan,Secretary
Sally Lawrence
Michelle LeClairTreasurer
Larry Poitras

Thomas Phillips, Vice President

 

 

AnneBurton Anne Burton, Rensselaer

Anne, a native to New York, has a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in Medical Technology and graduate work at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, the College of St. Rose, and Albany Medical College, Albany, NY.

For over 50 years, Anne had a career as a Medical Technologist/Laboratory Director, which included being a Laboratory Instructor at Albany College of Pharmacy and the College of St. Rose, Medical Technology program.

Anne is now retired from New York Oncology-Hematology and is an active volunteer in the community with the Capital Reperatory Theater; a former volunteer with Capital District Humane (a dog rescue group); stream sampling for River Haggie and the Rensselaer Land Trust; and serving on Rensselaer Land Trust's development committee. She is also the advocacy chair of the Friends of the East Greenbush Community Library and have been a licensed Real Estate agent with the former Realty USA.

Anne joined the League of Women Voters in 1969 in Columbus, Ohio. League affiliations have included: Past board member and Vice-President of the League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County, and past board member of LWVNYS. She is currently a member and co-chair of the LWVNYS health care committee.

Other League activities at the state level include being the representative of the League to the Water Management Advisory Council (WMAC) of the Dept. of Environmental Conservation, and she is a volunteer coordinator for the state convention for a total of three conventions held in Albany.

 

Anthony Belsito, Schodack LandingTonyBelsito
Anthony grew up in Central Massachusetts but has lived in several parts of New York State since 2000. Anthony has been a resident of the Capital Region since 2006. He is currently employed at the New York Department of Public Service working on energy and land use issues. Previously, Anthony has worked as a New York City Urban Park Ranger, an arborist, a high school biology teacher, and served on the Board of Directors of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.

Anthony enjoys gardening, hiking, birdwatching, snowboarding, and spending time with his family. 

 

 

 

 

Carl Cipperly Carl Cipperly, Hoosick Falls

Carl, a former dairy farmer, owns a diversified 710 acre farm (650 owned, 60 rented) in Hoosick Falls raising for sale, hay, corn, oats, beef, dairy replacements, pigs, turkeys, maple syrup, timber, and firewood. Fruits and vegetables are grown for family usage. He does his own butchering and meat processing for his family.

Carl is a 35 year active member of the West Hoosick Fire Department, currently serving as a truck lieutenant and Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also serves on the Town Hoosick’s Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board and is the President of the Tri-co Holstein Club.

He represents the Rensselaer Land Trust on Rensselaer County’s Agriculture & Farmland Protection Board, and the Environmental Management Council.

His hobbies include attending farm auctions, fairs and farm shows, and sporting events.

 

 

bob Crowley Bob Crowley, Poestenkill

Bob Crowley’s involvement with Rensselaer Land Trust began in 2010 when he volunteered for the Tomhannock Reservoir clean up. After joining the Board, Bob served as the RLT Treasurer for six years, served at one time or another on just about every RLT committee and in 2020 took on the job of Board President.  Over those years, he has participated in several projects especially at the Staalesen Preserve in Troy and Featherweald Preserve in Buskirk and is learning a lot about the world of land conservation. Bob grew up in Hoosick Falls, graduated from Union College, spent time in the Peace Corps in West Africa and graduated from the SUNYA Graduate School of Public Affairs. While retired from New York State, where he worked in the Budget Division and Department of Transportation, he stays busy with nurturing his old house in Poestenkill and trying to convince himself to restore the 1939 Plymouth truck in his garage. 

 

 

 

 

Joe Durkin2 Joe Durkin, Eagle Mills

Joe had a long rewarding career at the NYS Dormitory Authority, first as a lawyer in the Counsel’s office and then as Director of Real Property Services. This experience taught him the importance of organizations, government and private, working together on projects for the common good.

Now retired, Joe continues to work for the common good as a member of RLT’s Board since 2011. Joe applies his project oriented professional experience as a member of the Executive, Acquisitions and Governance committees and Co-Chair of the Stewardship Committee. Joe also likes to do the physical work needed to manage RLT’s public preserves. He has participated in many of RLT’s preserve improvement projects since joining RLT. As co-steward of the Staalesen Preserve, Joe has undertaken multiple projects that have made Staalesen an open, welcoming neighborhood nature preserve in Troy. Joe also monitors several easements each year for compliance. One day it’s writing reports and contracts, the next day it’s building steps and making trails.

Joe’s appreciation for access to open space was shaped by growing up on Long Island and the need to travel far to the outdoors. Eventually Joe moved upstate and to Rensselaer County because of the blend of small scale urban living and access to the countryside. Joe believes all neighborhoods should have access to a neighborhood nature preserve for a daily walk.

 

Larry joined The Rensselaer Land Trust Board in January 2023, recruited by an existing Board member familiar with his notable skills in accounting and advisement of non-profit organizations.  He quickly found a home on the Finance Committee and is looking forward to becoming more involved in the organization as a whole and gaining an understanding of its nuances.

Larry holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting, Summa Cum Laude from The Sage Colleges of Albany. He has been the CFO & Director of Operations of Welfare Research, Inc. (WRI Solutions) for more than 10 years.  His commitment to non-profit organizations in the area spans over 30 years, from providing fiscal expertise to several non-profits to serving on several non-profit Boards.

Larry is a long-time Johnstown resident and lives there with his wife, son, dog and cat, and enjoys many outdoor pursuits such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking and kayaking.

Shirley GreaganShirley Greagan, Selkirk

Shirley has spent most of her life in Upstate New York. She graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 1985 and Duke Law School in 1988. Shirley started her career as Assistant DA in Schoharie County, and in 1990 joined the law firm of Carter, Conboy. In 1998 she became a long-term stay-at-home Mom.  

Since 1998, Shirley has served on numerous church committees as well as the Board of Directors of Community Living and Advocacy Supports; facilitated the establishment of a conservation easement on 116 acres of Pennsylvania farmland; and supports a variety of conservation and environmental preservation organizations.

Shirley enjoys hiking in the Adirondacks with her family, gardening, walking their two dogs, and recently became a volunteer with the American Red Cross as a blood transportation specialist.

 

 

 

Sally Lawrence Sally Lawrence, Averill Park

Sally grew up in a horse family on Long Island and loves animals and nature. Her childhood household always had several cats and multiple dogs running around, and of course, a horse or two. She has been a teacher all her life. As a teenager she taught Red Cross swimming and scuba­diving to young kids, as well as doing a lot of babysitting.

Her entire career has been in higher education, as a teacher in high school and then as a professor in several different colleges. She served as a dean and a vice president of academic affairs for 25 years at Sage before retiring in June 2010. Prior to Sage, she served in teaching and administrative positions at SUNY Albany, Union College, and Schenectady Community College. She supports numerous animal protection and conservation organizations and does a lot of hiking, camping, canoeing, and gardening. She lives with her husband in Averill Park and enjoys working with the Rensselaer Land Trust, where she serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors.

 

 

 

Michelle LeClairMichelle LeClair, Averill Park

Michelle’s first involvement with Rensselaer Land Trust began a few years ago when she joined the RLT/RPA volunteer trail crew. The trail crew helps develop and maintain trails on the various nature preserves in Rensselaer County. After a few weeks of bushwhacking, trail marking, and trimming with her fellow tree huggers, she was hooked and never looked back. Michelle joined RLT’s Board of Directors in July 2022 and she serves on RLT’s finance committee.

Michelle studied at George Washington University where she earned her MBA in Finance and Investments. She has retired from a professional career spent managing investments and coordinating financial, tax and estate planning for high net worth clients.

Michelle is happiest in the woods and firmly believes that we all have a responsibility to protect and preserve our natural surroundings for future generations. A large part of that is ensuring that nature is accessible so everyone can appreciate the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting it. Being on the Land Trust Board enables her to play a small but important part in that endeavor.

In her spare time, Michelle also volunteers for the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and serves as a trail steward for Barbersville Falls Preserve in Poestenkill. And she takes every opportunity to enjoy hiking, biking, swimming, snowshoeing, skiing and just being outdoors whenever possible.

 

Tom Phillips PineSwamp 2 16 2014 3  Tom Phillips, Schodack

When I was a young boy I accompanied my grandfather, an avid botanist, on numerous field trips and developed a strong interest in Natural History. I inherited his love of plants, particularly those of unique natural habitats such as peat bogs and other wetlands. I currently am an avid student of mosses (Bryology) and Lichens (Lichenology) and have helped with several professional ecologic surveys involving those two groups and have published an article on a state rare Sphagnum species new to Rensselaer County. I have lived in the county for over thirty years and have been a member of the Rensselaer Land Trust for many of those years. As a director, I am interested in promoting the mission of the Land Trust and in identifying and conserving important natural areas in our local communities. During the day I am a veterinarian at Nassau Veterinary Clinic where I am a Fellow in the Veterinary Dental Academy and perform advanced dental procedures for patients from Eastern New York and the adjacent states. I enjoy outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, triathlons, and any outing to explore our area.

 

 

 

 Larry Poitras, Johnstown

 Larry joined The Rensselaer Land Trust Board in January 2023, recruited by an existing Board member familiar       with his notable skills in accounting and advisement of non-profit organizations.  He quickly found a home on the       Finance Committee and is looking forward to becoming more involved in the organization as a whole and gaining     an understanding of its nuances.

 Larry holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting, Summa Cum Laude from The Sage Colleges of Albany. He has     been the CFO & Director of Operations of Welfare Research, Inc. (WRI Solutions) for more than 10 years.  His         commitment to non-profit organizations in the area spans over 30 years, from providing fiscal expertise to several     non-profits to serving on several non-profit Boards.

Larry is a long-time Johnstown resident and lives there with his wife, son, dog and cat, and enjoys many outdoor pursuits such as running, cycling, swimming, hiking and kayaking.