LOWVILLE — Three northern land trusts have received a grant under the state’s Conservation Partnership Program.
The Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, Thousand Islands Land Trust and OBI Land Trust will receive a total of approximately $300,000 in grants from the program administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation and Land Trust Alliance.
Watertown-based Tug Hill Tomorrow has been approved the maximum grant amount possible under the scheme, $100,000, to be used to fund a new staff member hired for programs in the southern half of the Tug region Hill in Oneida County according to the land trust. Executive Director Linda A. Garrett.
“This is a three year grant to support a member of staff … who is doing land protection and education work in the southern part of our region because with all the travel time I thought we could do more if we had someone living in those communities,” Ms. Garrett said.
A $15,700 “transaction grant” was also awarded to Tug Hill Tomorrow to reimburse the land trust for its investment in conservation easements on 383 acres in Oneida County on two farms on adjacent properties.
The Clayton-based Thousand Islands Land Trust will receive a $98,050 grant to improve the Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail, including the addition of a wetland viewing tower, viewing platforms, benches, brochures and trail resurfacing.
According to Thousand Island Assistant Manager Spencer T. Busler, the trail is a seven-mile stretch of hiking and biking trail from Clayton to LaFargeville on the bed of the old New York Central Railroad tracks. It is a project that has lasted 25 years and continues to evolve.
A second grant, in the amount of $50,000, was awarded for interactive exhibits at the new Thousand Island Land Trust Discovery Center on the first floor of their office on John Street facing the River Walk.
Director of Development and Communications Terra L. Bach said the exhibits will include touch screens with videos and a water exhibit “on water quality to connect healthy land to healthy water.” . The cultural and historical links with the land reserves will also be presented in the centre.
“There’s nothing like it (the Discovery Center) in this community, so we’re thrilled to be able to communicate our mission in one place,” Ms. Bach said, “The idea behind it is to really inspire people. people – to have people come in and visit and be inspired to get back outside and experience the outdoors.”
The Discovery Center is expected to launch in 2023.
The 184-acre Downybrook Nature Reserve in the town of Brownville will benefit from a new parking area and accessible nature viewing deck thanks to the $35,782 grant from OBI Land Trust in Chaumont.
OBI Land Trust – which began as the Ontario Bays Initiative – has preserved about 800 acres of land, including a wildlife sanctuary and 1,700 feet of nearly extinct undeveloped shoreline at Henderson Harbour, according to the website. organization.
The North Country winners were among 51 statewide beneficiary land trusts that will receive a combined $3.375 million that was announced by Governor Kathleen C. Hochul at a press conference during the events of the state’s Earth Week.
Eighty grants have been funded by the program, which is part of the state Environmental Protection Fund. According to the DEC press release on the grants.