The grants, funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will leverage an additional $1.5 million in private and local funding to support projects that will protect farmland, wildlife habitat, and water quality, enhance public access for outdoor recreation, and conserve priority open space areas critical for community health, tourism and regional economic development.

“Through partnerships with local land trusts, the Environmental Protection Fund provides critical support for open space programs across the state,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “These grants help local land trusts support our work to protect New York’s peerless waters, lands, and habitats and preserve our state’s natural resources, while leveraging even more resources communities can put to good use protecting these irreplaceable assets.”

The grant will enable Saratoga PLAN to hire its first full-time Conservation Director. As demand for conservation services continues to grow throughout Saratoga County, the new position will provide needed support for landowner recruitment, farmland protection efforts, including planning and implementation of state-funded purchase of development rights (PDR) projects, completion of other priority land and conservation easement acquisitions, and oversight of PLAN’s stewardship program.