Otsego Land Trust to receive state grant

May 7—A local land trust is among the organizations receiving a piece of more than $3 million in state funding.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced funding for 64 projects that will protect water quality, prevent farmland conversion, boost public access for outdoor recreation, and conserve open space. The funding awarded through the Conservation Partnership Program will support 44 not-for-profit land trusts across the state, according to a news release from Hochul's office.

Locally, the Otsego Land Trust will receive a stewardship and resource management grant of $100,000.

"The Conservation Partnership Program grants are a critical component to preserving our State's natural beauty and enhancing local communities," Hochul said. "With this increased funding, we are extending the reach and effectiveness of these projects to improve public health, increase tourism, foster sustainable economic development, and empower communities."

The grants are supported by the state's Environmental Protection Fund and will be used to leverage an additional $2.5 million in private and local funding, according to the release. In coordination with Department of Environmental Conservation, the Land Trust Alliance administers the Conservation Partnership Program. Since the Conservation Partnership Program's creation in 2002, 1,208 grants totaling more than $31 million have been awarded to 94 land trusts.

Department of Environmental Conservation Interim Commissioner Sean Mahar said, "The $3 million grants announced today are advancing locally led action to protect natural resources and habitats that are essential for mitigating climate change and preserving biodiversity. Governor Hochul's leadership in securing crucial funding in the recent State Budget and unwavering support promoting natural climate solutions continues to be crucial to achieving the State's climate goals and '30x30' land conservation efforts that benefit all New Yorkers."

Land Trust Alliance President and CEO Andrew Bowman said, "The people of New York need and deserve open spaces for the many health, recreation and economic benefits they provide. This new round of Conservation Partnership Program grants signals a strong commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of New Yorkers and the environment and will leverage the strengths of New York's land trust community to protect treasured local outdoor places and help provide important climate benefits."