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 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!

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On December 18, 2012, the Rensselaer Land Trust (RLT) received 54 acres of significant wetlands in the Town of Nassau from the National Audubon Society. Part of Pine Swamp, an extensive marsh and swamp complex adjacent to Smith Pond, the property contains wildlife habitat and supports unusual plant species for Rensselaer County. Located off of Lyons Lake Road, the property will remain a nature preserve, with public access for environmental studies and natural history outings.

"After a full evaluation, RLT's Board of Directors determined that this untouched property fell within our mission of watershed protection and conservation of ecologically important natural areas," said RLT Executive Director Christine Young.


Pine Swamp is a mosaic of diverse wetland types, primarily deep emergent marsh and red maple-hardwood swamp, in relatively undisturbed condition. Red-headed woodpecker, a rare bird in New York, and Virginia rail, rare in Rensselaer County, have been reported from Pine Swamp. Among the plants found there are poison sumac and greater duckweed, both uncommon in Rensselaer County.

Closing the Rensselaer Land Trust's 25th anniversary year, the acquisition of Pine Swamp increased the organization's permanently protected properties to 846 acres in Rensselaer County. Pine Swamp is their seventh preserve.