Public-private grants boost local land conservation

A capacity grant received by the GSC will enable the all-volunteer land trust to upgrade its communication materials to increase its visibility in the community. A second grant will support an organizational assessment of the growing organization. Director of GSC Michael J. Patane said "These funds will allow our organization to grow, expand in new areas and professionalize". More information on the GSC can be found at www.gscincny.org.

The Southern Madison Heritage Trust, an all-volunteer organization based in Hamilton, received a grant to conduct a guided organizational assessment based on national land trust standards. They also received money to expand their signature trail system on the Leland Reserve and expand educational programming on the Reserve for Hamilton elementary students.

Recent research underscores how investments in land conservation and open space boost property values, support local businesses, save taxpayer dollars and protect public health. A report last year from the Trust for Public Land found that parks and open space on Long Island generate $2.74 billion in direct economic benefit from tourism, reduced government costs and public health.

"Protection and restoration of forests, working farms and natural open space is crucial for maintaining the character of our rural communities and protecting irreplaceable natural resources," Gianforte said. "The three Conservation Partnership Program grants received by the Madison County organizations will help us continue our efforts toward that goal."

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