Scenic Hudson Receives National Land Trust Excellence Award
Steve Rosenberg (R), senior vice president; executive director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc., receives the National Land Trust Excellence award on behalf of Scenic Hudson at Rally in Milwaukee, Oct. 14, 2011.
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Excellence in Collaboration
For Impacting Whole Landscapes
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Scenic Hudson has been presented with a national conservation award for its pioneering work in the land trust field in developing and implementing collaborative conservation management plans for important natural landscapes.
Scenic Hudson was selected by the Land Trust Alliance of Washington, D.C., from more than 1,700 land trusts across the country, to receive its National Land Trust Excellence Award, which was presented at Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 14, 2011.
Scenic Hudson is an impactful environmental organization and land trust working in New York’s Hudson River Valley to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape. A crusader for the valley since 1963, Scenic Hudson is credited with saving the beautiful Storm King Mountain from a destructive industrial project and helping to launch the modern environmental movement.
“Scenic Hudson was born of the passion of people who loved the place and said ‘no’ to destruction of an icon and of a sacred mountain,” said Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance. “We presented this award because of Scenic Hudson’s breadth of vision and their accomplishment. They have embraced the concept of large landscapes, have been a model partner in engaging with diverse communities, people of color and other nonprofits. They have put their money and efforts in doing their work where people live for healthy communities.”
Having conserved almost 28,000 acres of lands that contribute to the scenic fabric, ecological integrity and agricultural viability of the Hudson River Valley, Scenic Hudson has a long and distinguished track record of collaborative conservation -- designing a model for conservation easements and establishing a collaborative process. The tangible outcomes resulting from this process helped spur several municipalities to create their own farmland protection programs and funding streams. Scenic Hudson has collaborated with several of these communities to conserve farms that are shared priorities.
Scenic Hudson has contributed to a spirit of collaboration and information-sharing between the land trusts of the Hudson Valley. This has occurred at an especially critical time because of the economic downturn and the stress that many nonprofit land trusts are feeling. In 2007, Scenic Hudson carried out a strategic land conservation plan, using geographic information systems technology, to identify the most critical scenic, ecological and agricultural resources in the Hudson River corridor. The result of this analysis was the identification of 65,000 acres of land of the utmost conservation priority. Scenic Hudson then launched a collaborative land conservation campaign, which it calls Saving the Land That Matters Most, to increase the pace and impact of their work.
It engaged in this campaign with 15 partner land trusts and conservation organizations, including county and local land trusts, regional and national conservation organizations. The groups meet several times a year to update each other on progress in meeting shared goals, and to identify ways to collaborate further. Today, Scenic Hudson is further partnering with state conservation agencies on the pursuit of shared conservation goals for the region.
“I look at Scenic Hudson and I think: What would I aspire for any of us in land conservation to do? Working in cities, working with diverse populations, working with great partners, bringing farm-to-table, connecting the agriculture communities with the urban communities; Scenic Hudson is doing all of that,” said Wentworth.
When presented with the award, Steve Rosenberg, senior vice president; executive director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc. said: Our mission will always outstrip our means …so to be mission driven and outcome oriented, there’s no room for thinking we can do this without a strategic framework and without the support of others.” Rosenberg added, “We are fortunate to have so many committed partners working with us. As we continue our work, we are beginning to see the puzzle pieces come together to reveal a picture of regional, landscape-scale conservation, and the public increasingly understands and supports our work.”
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance is a national conservation organization that works in three ways to save the places people love. First, we increase the pace of conservation, so more land and natural resources get protected. Second, we enhance the quality of conservation, so the most important lands get protected using the best practices in the business. And third, we ensure the permanence of conservation by creating the laws and resources needed to defend protected land over time. The Land Trust Alliance is based in Washington, D.C., and has several regional offices.