CONSERVATION GRANTS AWARDED TO LANDS TRUSTS STATEWIDE
06/15/2012 - Farm Catskills to Leverage State and Matching Funds for a Pilot Project for Accepting Land or Easement for Affordable Farmland
Farm Catskills, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Delaware County's working landscape and promoting a sustainable food system, today announced that it has been awarded a Conservation Partnership Program grant.
Conservation Partnership Program grants totaling $1.4 million were awarded to 53 nonprofit land trusts across the state, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance announced in Rochester yesterday. The grants, funded through New York State's Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will be matched by a total of $1.2 million in private and local funding.
The purpose of the grants is to increase the pace, improve the quality and ensure the permanence of voluntary conservation of private lands. This will result in significant environmental and economic benefits for communities throughout New York.
Farm Catskills will utilize the grant to study the steps involved in accepting land or easements on land in order to make the land available for farming. "We're excited about this grant because it will help us fulfill Farm Catskills' mission of Building Sustainable Communities in a Working Landscape," said Jean Parenteau, Farm Catskills' vice president. "We also plan to hold a meeting for farmers and other landholders to explain the benefits of keeping land in farming. The meeting will feature a consultant specializing in land transfers and estate planning who will discuss the steps involved and the benefits of planning ahead for such transactions."
The NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) provides a large portion of the money for the Conservation Partnership Program grants. "We're pleased that the EPF is being fully funded," said Parenteau. "We're also grateful to Farm Catskills members. They provided the match for this grant. As the saying goes, 'We couldn't do it without them'."
Farm Catskills is a not-for-profit community organization conceived by Catskill farmers to protect and promote agriculture and the farming way of life in the Catskill Mountains of New York State. Its mission is to protect farmland and provide tangible support to the farmers of today and tomorrow. Farm Catskills partners with residents, schools, businesses and other organizations to conserve and nurture the rural heritage of the region. For more information, visit www.FarmCatskills.org.