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Major Grant Award for Stella Niagara, and More!

Announcing a $300,000 Grant for the Stella Niagara Preserve

Publication2We are pleased to announce that we have been awarded $300,000 to help create the Stella Niagara Preserve on the Niagara River in Lewiston! The grant is from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the Joint Venture Habitat Protection and Restoration Program. It was one of five grants given in the Midwest and Northeast Region for a total of $960,000 all aimed at protecting, restoring, and enhancing 908 acres of wetlands and wildlife habitat. It was the only project selected in the Northeast Region. Click HERE for the full press release.

The Stella Niagara Preserve property is one of Western New York’s most scenic, ecologically important, and historically significant places. At 29-acres and over a quarter mile of shoreline, it is the largest remaining, undeveloped, privately-owned property along the Niagara River. Once the property is acquired, we will open it to public access with walking trails, fishing access, and a place to put a kayak in the river.

The Stella Niagara Preserve is now very close to fruition. We have already received more than $2.6 million of the $3.2 million needed to create the preserve. The Land Conservancy is seeking the remainder of the funding from local businesses, foundations, private donors and other funding sources. If you are interested in donating to the Stella Niagara Preserve, please contact the Land Conservancy by calling Executive Director Nancy Smith at (716) 687-1225 or emailing her at nancyrs@wnylc.org.

Click HERE for more information about the Stella Niagara Preserve.

 

Construction Begins on the Roadside Pull-off at Mill Road

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Private Tour of Stella Niagara Preserve, and More!

Explore the Future Stella Niagara Preserve

Publication2Help support the Land Conservancy by joining us on a private tour of the future home of the Stella Niagara Preserve. The tour will take place on Sunday, July 13, from 1-3 PM, across from the Stella Niagara Education Park on Lower River Road in Lewiston.

During the tour, you will be able to learn about the property’s War of 1812 history, see its historic chapel and ‘sgraffito’ artwork, experience the natural beauty of the ‘five-mile meadow’ and the ‘Stella landing’, and meet the Sisters of St. Francis who have been its stewards since 1907. Several experts will be joining us and guiding the tour.

You support of the Land Conservancy can make the Stella Niagara Preserve a reality! Help us build an Olmsted-inspired lake-to-lake system of parks and preserves while expanding public access to our waterfront AND preserving a site with cultural, historic and ecological importance that is an irreplaceable part of our heritage.
The cost to join us on the tour is $100 per person. Please RSVP by July 4 by paying in advance. You can pay by using the “Donate” option on our website (www.wnylc.org) or by sending a check to P.O. Box 471, East Aurora, NY 14052, made payable to Western New York Land Conservancy. For more information or to donate to the Stella Niagara Preserve, contact the Land Conservancy at (716) 687-1225 or info@wnylc.org.

Niagara Escarpment Legacy Project report available on our website

Publication1On May 28, the Land Conservancy presented important findings from the Niagara Escarpment Legacy Project at the Pekin Fire Hall in Sanborn. More than 70 people attended the event. […]

Awards, Stella Niagara Bird Tour, and More!

Land Conservancy Projects Receive Awards

We are thrilled to announce that two Land Conservancy initiatives have won awards. One is a planning award from the American Planning Association, and the second is a landscape preservation award from Preservation Buffalo Niagara.

CAM00386The Clarence Greenprint Program was chosen for the Western New York Section of the American Planning Association (APA) 2014 Award for Outstanding Planning in the Implementation Category. The award was presented at the APA’s annual dinner on May 15. The Clarence Greenprint is an open space preservation program funded by a $12.5 million bond authorization, voted in by the town in 2002. In 2003, the Clarence Town Board approved a resolution appointing the Land Conservancy as the agent in planning and implementing the Greenprint. Through 2013, $6.8 million dollars had been used to protect more than 1,200 acres of meadows, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic views, and working farms.

The Mill Road Scenic Overlook was chosen for the 2014 Preservation Buffalo Niagara award for landscape preservation. After several years of effort by the entire community, the Town of Aurora now owns the 60-acre Mill Road Scenic Overlook property, and the Land Conservancy holds a conservation easement on it, protecting it in perpetuity. Preservation Buffalo Niagara’s 6th Annual Preservation Awards Ceremony & Luncheon, honoring the Mill Road Scenic Overlook and other winners, will be held at noon on Friday, May 30, 2014 at Kleinhans Music Hall. We welcome you to join the Land Conservancy at the event. For more details, go to the Preservation Buffalo Niagara Website.

June 7 Bird Tour at Stella Niagara

Publication1The Western New York Land Conservancy is hosting a birdwatching hike at […]

Annual Meeting, Birds, and the Escarpment

Reminder: RSVP by May 5 for the Annual Meeting

We are hosting our 2014 Annual Meeting and Reception from 6:00-9:00 PM on Friday, May 16 at the Buffalo Yacht Club on Lake Erie in Buffalo. The evening will include conversations, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, an awards ceremony, Board member elections, a silent auction, and a presentation by Congressman Brian Higgins. Go to our website to view some of our extraordinary Silent Auction items. To attend the annual meeting, please RSVP by Monday, May 5 by sending a check to P.O Box 471, East Aurora, NY 14052, made out to the “Western New York Land Conservancy” ($35 members/ $45 non-members). If you cannot attend the event but would like to bid on an auction item now, please call us at (716) 687-1225, or email us at info@wnylc.org. You can also contact us if you’d like to RSVP to attend the event but cannot send a check by May 5.

May 10 Spanish Language Bird Tour at Forest Lawn Cemetery

warblerOn Saturday, May 10, from 9-11 am, the Buffalo Audubon Society and the Western New York Land Conservancy will host their first ever bilingual birdwalk – in Spanish – at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. The walk is free and open to the public. Participants should meet just inside the main entrance of the cemetery at Delaware and Delavan at 9am. Forest Lawn Cemetery is one of Buffalo’s best places to see interesting birds, especially in early spring. Well over 100 species are recorded each year in the cemetery during the month of May.

El sábado 10 de mayo de 9 a 11 de la mañana, el Buffalo […]

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day, a day when people worldwide show their support for environmental protection. Let’s celebrate what you have accomplished over the last 23 years through your support of the Land Conservancy. Take a look at stories of our shared accomplishments in past Newsletters, think of ways you can make our Ongoing Projects successful, and join us at one of our Nature Hikes.

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Buffalo Yacht ClubRSVP by May 5 for the Annual Meeting

We are hosting the 2014 Annual Meeting and Reception from 6:00-9:00 PM on Friday, May 16 at the Buffalo Yacht Club on Lake Erie in Buffalo. The evening will include conversations, drinks, hors d’oeuvres, an awards ceremony, Board member elections, and a presentation by Congressman Brian Higgins.

Silent Auction: This year’s silent auction will be extraordinary! Here is a sampling of our offerings:  

  • Lunch with Congressman Brian Higgins in D.C. with a tour of the Capitol and a $300 voucher for airfare.
  • A round of golf and lunch for four with former Buffalo Bills star Steve Tasker.
  • Cocktails and dinner for six at the Niagara Falls Country Club or the Buffalo Yacht Club.
  • Fantastic paintings brought to you by Meibohm Fine Arts in East Aurora
  • A two-hour-long train ride seated alongside the train’s engineer in the cab.
  • An owl prowl tour led by Chuck Rosenburg, one of our region’s preeminent biologists.
  • Plant identification walks with expert botanists.
  • A stay at a cabin on one of our preserves.
  • Food shares at local CSAs.
  • Award-winning, locally-made wine.

Let us know if you would like to bid on silent auction items in advance, and we […]

Rare Oak Savannah Protected, the Annual Meeting, and the Garlic Mustard Challenge

Rare Oak Savannah Protected in Clarence

NucherenoOutcrop2_AdjThe Town of Clarence recently purchased a 27-acre property located in the Harris Hill area, and will turn it into a publicly accessible nature preserve. This property contains one of the last remnants of one of the rarest natural communities in New York State, an oak savannah. In fact, the property is one of only four oak savannahs in the entire state. The Land Conservancy identified this property as a priority for protection many years ago and strongly advocated for its preservation. We have visited the property numerous times – twice with members of the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society who helped us understand the unique attributes of the land. This is yet another major accomplishment made possible by the Clarence Greenprint program. Kudos to the Recreation Advisory Committee, the Town Board, and the residents of Clarence. Oak savannahs, also called oak openings, are found where dry soil limits the growth of many trees except for a scattering of a few thriving oak trees. The scarcity of trees means lots of sunlight for the grasses and flowers that grow well on the same dry soil. The diversity of plants in oak openings support abundant wildlife. The warm season grasses and flowers support many kinds of pollinators including the endangered Karner blue butterfly. Turkeys love to bring their young to oak openings where they can gorge on the insects and acorns. Acquiring this property will help preserve what’s left of this special piece of New York State’s natural heritage. With some habitat enhancement and improved access, Western New Yorkers will be able to experience the beauty of an uncommon natural community.

Silent Auction Items […]

Winter Birds on the Niagara River, and More!

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Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from everyone at the Western New York Land Conservancy. We thank you all for supporting us and making our important work possible.

Now that 2014 is just around the corner, let’s take a look back at some of the fun we had in 2013. Check out the photos below and take a look at a fantastic new video from the WGRZ-TV “2 The Outdoors” series about creating the Stella Niagara Preserve by clicking HERE.

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Project Updates, Invasive Species Regulations, and More!

The Newly Protected Rick Woods Property in Clarence

This fall, the Town of Clarence protected the 66-acre Rick Woods property, a property that includes wetlands, a mature forest, a stream that flows into Beeman Creek, and 24 acres of farmland. The property is especially important because it is adjacent to two previously protected parcels and creates forest connectivity that provides fabulous benefits for wildlife. The Rick Woods property was protected with funds from an innovative program called the ‘Greenprint’. In 2002, Clarence voters overwhelmingly approved the Greenprint, a $12.5 million dollar bond resolution to provide funding for the purchase and preservation of open space and farmland in the Town. Over the last eleven years, more than $6.8 million dollars has been used to protect 1,302 acres of meadows, forests, wildlife habitat, scenic views and working farms. The Land Conservancy helps the Town identify priority properties for preservation and we will work to protect additional properties in 2014.
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Update on the Stella Niagara Preserve

In 2013, we made great progress towards creating the Stella Niagara Preserve on the Niagara River in Lewiston, but we are not done yet. A wonderful article in last Sunday’s Buffalo News viewpoints section about the Niagara River Greenway touted the future Stella Niagara Preserve as stunning success story. The printed version of the article says that we have already purchased the Stella Niagara property. However, we are still fundraising to create the Stella Niagara Preserve, and have not yet purchased the property. This year we received more than $2.3 million for the project, by far the most money we have ever raised for a land conservation project, but we still need the […]