Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987

Recent News

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New Staff Member
Marcos Velazquez, Steward Coordinator

Marcos joined Rensselaer Land Trust on April 1, 2021 as our Stewardship Coordinator. This is a new position for us and reflects the need to comprehensively manage the maintenance of our growing number of nature preserves. Marcos will work part-time from April through September.

Marcos has previous land trust experience having served as Outreach Ambassador at the Clearwater Conservancy in State College, PA. After graduating from Penn State University in 2019, Marcos joined the Americorps VISTA Program in Troy. During his time with Americorps VISTA he participated as a community volunteer and discovered RLT through our events. Marcos also works at Seed Solar and Engineering, where he designs and installs residential and commercial solar energy systems.

In his free time Marcos enjoys being outside, playing basketball, and traveling.


 Expanding Parking at Featherweald Nature Preserve in Buskirk

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Featherweald Nature Preserve opened to the public in October 2020 and since then has become a very popular destination. So much so that we had to expand the parking there. In the past few weeks, our preserve stewards and neighbors Angelynn Cerridwen and Gary Sytsma, Marcos Velazquez, our new Stewardship Coordinator (see above), and RLT Board President Bob Crowley, added a new parking area next to the white cottage in the lower part of the preserve. They also added new signage. We thank them for their hard work on very short notice. We also thank Stewart's Shops for the grant they provided to help us buy the materials for the project. We ask that on your next visit to Featherweald you use the new lower lot if you find that the upper lot is full. And for your safety, and the safety of the community, we ask that you do not park along Route 59 or in the neighboring driveways.



A Reminder About Closed Trails at Featherweald

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Part of Featherweald Nature Preserve is closed during the Great Blue Heron's nesting season (Febraury 1 August 31). Dogs are prohibited at this preserve to ensure the herons continue to feel safe in their nesting territory and return next season. Thank you for helping us keeping this unique area protected!



New Bridge at Staalesen Nature Preserve in Troy

April Bridge work

Bob Crowley, RLT Board President and co-steward of John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve in South Troy and Marcos Velazquez, RLT's new Stewardship Coordinator took advantage of warm weather in the early spring to build a new bridge over one of the creeks at the preserve.

Thirty years ago a group of forward-thinking people came together to conserve the special places in Rensselaer County. Since then, thousands of people have contributed in so many ways to ensuring our lands and waters are protected for us, our children, and our grandchildren. As we celebrate 30 years of land conservation we’d like you to consider a special gift befitting the occasion – $30 per month for 30 months. Your tax-deductible commitment to the future will be used to protect land for people and the animals and plants we share it with and help make sure the water is clean. Thank you for caring for these thirty years and for supporting us as we begin our next 30 years together.

$30 for 30 Campaign

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

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