Bolton Landing, NY – The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) is pleased to announce that it received a grant of $23,300 from the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s Conservation Partnership Program, administered by the Land Trust Alliance. The grant will allow the public to access the LGLC’s 12-acre, ecologically-important East Brook Preserve in Lake George.
On December 11, 2020, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced more than $2.2 million in Conservation Partnership Program grants for 50 not-for-profit land trusts across the state. A total of 69 grants funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund will leverage an additional $2.6 million in private and local funding to support projects that protect water quality and farmland, boost public access for outdoor recreation, and conserve open space to benefit community health, tourism, and economic development. The Land Trust Alliance administers the Conservation Partnership Program in coordination with DEC.
“Over the last year, New Yorkers young and old have been exploring the outdoors in record numbers,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Land trusts across the state help to preserve and manage some of the special, natural places that the public has come to love. The grants announced today support forest management, conservation agriculture, coastal and wetlands restoration, and other activities that are essential to help address climate change and preserve the ecosystems we depend on. We commend the Land Trust Alliance for administering this important program.”
The East Brook Preserve, purchased by the LGLC in 2017 thanks to a generous bargain-sale from its owner, is an ideal example of both a healthy upland softwood forest, including many large hemlocks, and a large section of stream corridor and wetlands along East Brook. Vistors will be able to experience both natural systems, and see first-hand the process of the land filtering and cleaning water as it makes its way down the mountains and into Lake George.
Several houses, along with septic systems, driveways and impervious surfaces could have been built on this land. Instead, thanks to the partnership with the previous owner, LGLC’s generous supporters, and the grant from the Conservation Partnership Program, the preserve will be protected forever, filtering water, providing a haven for people to visit and learn about the importance of the land and water interaction, and protecting important forests that sequester carbon and allow the LGLC to keep an eye out for invasives like hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA).
“This grant funding will allow the LGLC to create a low-cost, low-impact experience,” said LGLC Executive Director Jamie Brown, “so that we can responsibly invite the public to enjoy this special place and learn first-hand why the land is so important to water. It’s a really special place. When you get out there and see the amazing trees, the clean water, and think about what might have happened here in terms of development if the landowner had not decided to protect it, you can clearly see why protecting the land that protects the lake is important.”
The LGLC and Town of Lake George are working together to connect the East Brook Preserve with future trails and an outdoor classroom on the Town’s McPhillips’ Preserve, located on adjoining French Mountain. The combined lands and trails will create hundreds of acres of protected land for people to enjoy for both recreation and education, and to better understand why the protection of land is so important for the Lake George watershed.