New York State Conservation Partnership Program Background
In 2001, the Land Trust Alliance, in partnership with the State of New York, developed an initiative to secure annual appropriations from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to strengthen the New York land trust community and dramatically accelerate the pace and quality of private land conservation across the state. This initiative blossomed into an innovative public-private initiative known as the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP). Through this program, land trusts operating in New York State are eligible to receive competitive matching investments in four categories: Capacity & Excellence Grants, Conservation Catalyst Grants, Transaction Grants, and Professional Development Grants.
Since its inception, the New York State Conservation Partnership Program has received more than $6 million in EPF appropriations. First funded at $250,000 in 2002, state funding for the program was increased to $1 million in 2007-08 budget and then to $1.575 million in the 2008-09 budget. The Alliance administers this program, in coordination with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
The overarching goals of the Conservation Partnership Program grants are 1) to dramatically increase the pace of land conservation in New York State and 2) to guide land trusts towards implementation of the Land Trust Standards and Practices, the accepted ethical, legal, and operational standards for land trust excellence.
Since 2003, the New York Conservation Partnership Program has invested more than $8 million for technical assistance and funding for over 500 competitive grants to 83 different land trusts serving rural, suburban, and urban communities in more than 30 counties across the state. To date, the land trust grants have also leveraged over $10 million in private funds, helping to permanently protect 18,000 acres of habitat, wilderness, working farms, forests, and community gardens including areas identified as priorities in the New York State Open Space Plan.
These investments have also enabled substantial enhancements in professional capacity at land trusts around the state, from New York City’s community garden land trusts to the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, Agricultural Stewardship Association, Genesee Land Trust, and Thousand Islands Land Trust. This pioneering program is a unique public-private partnership and a national model for creating a sustainable, dynamic, and effective community of land trusts in New York.
According to data collected by the Land Trust Alliance, New York ranks 5th in the country with 90 land trusts. Local and regional land trusts in New York have conserved more than 624,000 acres across the state.
Browse past press releases, project summaries and other information on the Conservation Partnership Program.
Project Summaries and Grant Recipients
Brief summary of projects funded by year, organized by grant category (Capacity & Excellence, Catalyst, Professional Development, Transaction)
NYSCPP Visualized: Maps and Storyboards
Maps show the distribution of NYSCPP grant funds across New York State. Maps are available for the following years:
Storyboards feature a land trust and a grant funded project by grant category. Storyboards are available for the following years:
Conservation Partnership Program in the News
Rochester's El Camino Trail project gets $15,000 boost: Ribbon cutting planned for June 2 (Democrat and Chronicle, April 23, 2012)
"Funds Would Preserve Wyoming County Farmland." The Daily News Online. 10/12/09. (Coverage of Grants Awarded to Genesee Valley Conservancy) [PDF]
April 23, 2012: "$1.4 MILLION IN CONSERVATION GRANTS AWARDED TO LANDS TRUSTS STATEWIDE: Grants Leverage an Additional $1.2 Million in Private Money Public-Private Partnerships to Boost Local Land Conservation"