The Rensselaer Land Trust mission is to conserve the open spaces, watersheds and natural habitats of Rensselaer County for the benefit of our communities and future generations.

We envision Rensselaer County having sufficient conserved land to maintain clean water, clean air, wildlife and plant habitats, local farms, working forests, and scenic beauty. We envision the people of Rensselaer County being connected to nature; having access to outdoor places; understanding the benefits of land conservation; and enjoying the quality of life created by a balanced mix of urban, suburban and rural communities.

Rensselaer Land Trust Projects

Hudson River Fish Advisory Project
Since the summer of 2014, the Rensselaer Land Trust has been the recipient of a NYS Department of Health grant to educate people on eating fish from the Hudson River and its tributaries.

Berkshire-Taconic Regional Conservation Partnership
The Berkshire-Taconic Regional Conservation Partnership is a collaborative of more than 15 partners. The partnership is made up of nonprofit and private conservation groups and public agencies who share the same vision. Conserving the important places in this region is vital for tourism, the economy, forestry, farming, and public health. The woods, farms, plants and wildlife need cross-border protection to continue to live and to thrive.

Invasive Species
Invasive species can be plants, bacteria, insects, or other animals – anything that does not come from the ecosystem it is residing in. Some species were brought by mistake by mistake, often hitching a ride on cargo or being dumped in ballast waters from ships, while others are from ornamental plants that grew out of control.

iMap Invasives Reporting
The Rensselaer Land Trust has joined the ranks of citizen scientists to increase knowledge and control of invasive species—a major threat to ecosystem health. As a reporting organization in iMap Invasives, a nationwide database inventory and mapping tool, we provide information about the location of known invasive species and track our control efforts at two specific locations—our Staalesen Preserve and the Hoosic River in Johnsonville.

Hoosic River Water Chestnuts
Owns and operates a public canoe and kayak boat launch about eight miles upstream from the Johnsonville Dam on the Hoosic River in Rensselaer County.

Staalesen Preserve Invasive Species Management
With funding from the Louis and Hortense Rubin Community Fellows Program, the Land Trust is partnering with Dan Capuano, Assistant Professor of Biology at Hudson Valley Community College, to develop a plan for managing the invasive species at our John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve.

Thompson Mill (Valley Falls)
The Village of Valley Falls, with the assistance of the Rensselaer Land Trust and the Hoosic Watershed Association, applied to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Program for a grant to test the old Thompson Mill property for hazardous substances and to conduct site planning for possible reuse of the property, including possible development into a park.

Forest Legacy
The Rensselaer Land Trust was an active partner with the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in achieving Forest Legacy status for the Rensselaer Plateau in 2010. With this designation comes the possibility of funding to purchase conservation easements from interested landowners.

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