12May 2015

Make the Stella Niagara Preserve a Reality & RSVP for the Annual Meeting!

Show your support for the Stella Niagara Preserve today!
In the last few weeks, the Land Conservancy received a commitment of $10,000 from the M&T Charitable Foundation and a $25,000 stella 1commitment from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo toward the Stella Niagara Preserve. We are now only $105,000 away from meeting the $200,000 challenge gift from Pamela and Joe Priest of Lewiston. When this gift is matched, the project’s fundraising goal will have been met. We will be able to purchase the Stella Niagara Preserve and open it to the public later this year. The deadline to meet this goal is June 1 – in just three weeks!

The Land Conservancy is calling on all Western New Yorkers – businesses, foundations, and individuals – to help make the Stella Niagara Preserve a reality! To make a donation, or read more about Stella, visit the Stella webpage. If you have questions please feel free to contact Nancy Smith at the office (716) 687-1225 or nancyrs@wnylc.org.

 

RSVP today for the 2015 Annual Meeting!
The 2015 Annual Meeting and Reception will be held on Thursday, June 4th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at The Buffalo History Museum in Delaware Park in Buffalo. The Land Conservancy welcomes members and non-members to attend. The annual meeting is an opportunity for the Land Conservancy community to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and plan for the year ahead. The evening will include drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and Board member elections.

At this meeting our Board of Directors will also seek input on an important revision to our bylaws. Members of the Land Conservancy will have the opportunity to vote on a change […]

22Apr 2015

What’s springing up at the Land Conservancy?

Land Conservancy hires a new Community Engagement Director

Rachel_PhotoThe Land Conservancy welcomed Rachel Chrostowski as the newest member of their staff on April 6, 2015. As Community Engagement Director, Rachel will increase the public’s engagement with the Land Conservancy’s work.

Rachel has a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from SUNY Geneseo; however, her education in earth science started at a much earlier age. She credits her geologist mother with her deep love of the natural environment, appreciation for open space, and strong conservation values. Before coming to work for the Land Conservancy in April 2015, Rachel was a planner for over eight years in Erie and Livingston Counties where she worked to recertify and consolidate agricultural districts, organized training events for local government, supported regional planning initiatives, and more.

Rachel is excited to work closely with volunteers and the community to advance the Land Conservancy’s mission to permanently preserve natural spaces and to protect our region’s farmland for future generations.

May 2: Wildflower Hike at Niagara Escarpment Preserve

TrilliumTroutLilySpring is finally here and the Western New York Land Conservancy is hosting a wildflower hike at the Niagara Escarpment Preserve to celebrate its arrival. The hike will take place on Saturday, May 2 from 1pm to 3pm.

The Niagara Escarpment Preserve is a 36-acre property on Leete Road in Lockport, protected by the Land Conservancy in 2011. It is rich in flora and fauna because of its location on the Niagara Escarpment, a unique rock formation that extends 750 miles across Ontario and into Wisconsin.

The wildflower hike will be led by Ed Fuchs, Joanne Schlegel, and Erin Redding. Ed and Joanne are […]

25Mar 2015

A $200,000 Challenge Gift for the Stella Niagara Preserve, and More!

stella 3Challenge Gift for the Stella Niagara Preserve
On Thursday, February 26, the Land Conservancy and the Friends of the Stella Niagara Preserve hosted a fundraiser at the Castellani Art Museum on the Niagara University Campus. The event was meant to help us reach our goal of raising more than $3.2 million needed to create the Stella Niagara Preserve by June 1, 2015.

The event was incredibly successful. We had a great venue, a great mix of project supporters, great conversations, great food and drinks, and great presentations from donors. By the end of what was a very long day, we were still approximately $400,000 away from our fundraising goal. We were feeling good, but trying to think of what to do next. As people began to leave the museum, a couple approached us. They had an offer – to provide a $200,000 challenge gift that will match each new donation, dollar for dollar!

stella 1That couple was Pamela and Joe Priest. They told us: “We couldn’t have asked for a more personally fulfilling cause to support than the Stella Niagara Preserve project. Our family drives by its location on Lower River Road almost daily and enjoys the pastoral scenery it provides when boating on the Niagara River in the summer. The Stella Niagara Preserve is especially meaningful to us because our children both graduated from the adjacent Stella Niagara Education Park. Our daughter continues to be educated by the Sisters of St. Francis at the Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart. The Stella Niagara Preserve project continues the tradition of stewardship and protection of the environment that the Sisters […]

26Jan 2015

Protecting the Monkelbaan Farm in Amherst, and More!

The Monkelbaan Farm
Last week, the Land Conservancy and the Town of Amherst finalized a conservation easement on the 67-acre Monkelbaan Farm on Hopkins Road in Amherst, protecting that land for farming in perpetuity. The farm’s development rights were purchased with $357,120 from a NYS Ag and Markets Farmland Protection Implementation Grant and $75,507 from the Town of Amherst. The property owners contributed $35,953 through a bargain sale of the development rights.

The Monkelbaan Farm’s fertile soils are some of the most productive in Amherst and have supported agriculture for generations. The land was already being farmed when the Monkelbaans purchased the property in 1946. The Monkelbaans used it as a dairy farm and later transitioned to growing vegetables. Ever since the Monkelbaans retired from farming in the early 1990s, other local farmers have rented the property to grow corn and wheat. The property is also ecologically important, and includes a woodlot, a meadow, and a forested riparian area along Ransom Creek. These natural areas provide important habitat for wildlife and help maintain water quality in the creek. With the conservation easement in place, this land will provide wildlife habitat and be available for farming forever.

The Monkelbaan Farm conservation easement is part of a long range effort by the Town and the Land Conservancy to team up with private landowners to protect farmland in Amherst, and is the thirteenth conservation easement on farmland to be co-held by the Land Conservancy and the Town of Amherst. Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen!

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Now Hiring!
The Land Conservancy is expanding and is now seeking a new Community Engagement Director. The purpose of this new position is to […]

16Dec 2014

Good News from Stella Niagara, and More!

Stella Niagara Preserve Receives a $50,000 Grant
The Land Conservancy was recently awarded $50,000 from the Gallogly Family Foundation to help create the Stella Niagara Preserve along the Niagara River in Lewiston. The Land Conservancy has now received just over $2.7 million of the more than $3.2 million needed to create the Stella Niagara Preserve. Although the Gallogly Family Foundation is based in Houston, Texas, the foundation has local ties. The foundation’s Executive Director, Kasey DeLuke, lives in Buffalo, and her in-laws live in Lewiston near the Stella Niagara Preserve property. Kasey said, “Earlier this year we saw the Land Conservancy’s Stella Niagara Preserve brochure in a local coffee shop. The preserve property is so well-known for its gorgeous views of the Niagara River that we decided to contribute. What’s more, the proceeds from the sale of the property to the Land Conservancy will help the Sisters of St. Francis sustain their programs for youth and women.” Please click HERE to read the complete article about the grant.

Eagle Scout Project Enhances the Mill Road Scenic Overlook
Thanks to the efforts of Quinn Schwab and members of Boy Scout Troop # 238, the Mill Road Scenic Overlook has had a clean-up. For his Eagle Scout Service Project Quinn led the cleanup of debris that was the last remnant of a long-ago farm dump that had been hidden in a ravine on the property. The Eagle Scout Service Project is generally the last requirement the scout has to complete in order to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. The main purpose of the project is for the scout to show that he has learned leadership skills and then use these skills in carrying out the project. The […]

7Nov 2014

Check Out Our Fall 2014 Newsletter, and More!

Our Fall 2014 Newsletter is HereThe Resource Fall 2014_Page_1
Most of you have already received the fall 2014 newsletter, ‘The Resource’, in the mail this week. If you haven’t seen the newsletter, a digital version is available for download HERE. The fall newsletter includes great articles about our work to protect the most important forest, farms, and scenic vistas throughout the region. Did you know that award winning wine comes from grapes grown on one of our protected farms? Did you know that the Niagara Escarpment is home to rare plants, animals, and ecological communities? Did you know that the Mill Road Scenic Overlook in Aurora is now open to the public, or that we are still fundraising to create the Stella Niagara Preserve? Take a look through the newsletter to find out more!

Nature Hikes at Stella Niagara
This fall, we hosted several nature hikes at the future home of the Stella Niagara Preserve in Lewiston. Take a look at some photos by Land Conservancy supporter, Paula Sciuk, of one of those hikes, HERE.

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2014 New Member Drive
The 2014 New Member Drive began in early September and ended on Monday, November 3. With the help of many volunteers, 21 people joined the Land Conservancy as new members. We had a three-way tie for most successful new member recruiter: Lindsay Poole, Jean Hughes, and Mary McCutcheon. Each will win a $50 gift certificate to either Elm Street Bakery, Farmers and Artisans, or Ashkers Juice Bar and Bistro. Thank you everyone who helped recruit new members, and thank you to those new members who joined!

We are always looking […]

6Oct 2014

Ribbon-cutting at Mill Road, and More!

Mill Road Scenic Overlook Opens to Visitors
After a multi-year community effort that raised more than $650,000 to save one of the most iconic and cherished properties along the WNY Southtowns Scenic Byway, the Mill Road Scenic Overlook is now protected in perpetuity and a roadside pull-off is in place to allow for safe access to the property’s extraordinary views. On Tuesday, September 30, the project team, which includes the Town of Aurora, the Friends of Mill Road, and the Land Conservancy, was joined by more than 70 supporters, donors, representatives from local foundations, and numerous elected officials to celebrate this achievement at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This ceremony officially unveiled the overlook to the public and celebrated the hundreds of supporters who led the community effort. A full article about the event can be found HERE.

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Trail-building at Kenneglenn
On Saturday, September 27, we were joined by 15 volunteers as we improved the walking trail above Hunters Creek Gorge at Kenneglenn. We widened the trail by removing vegetation and built a few raised boardwalks over muddy areas. This was all part of an effort to improve access at Kenneglenn, especially its views from Mossy Point overlooking the gorge.

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Our 2014 New Member Drive Continues
The 2014 New Member Drive will continue until November 3. If you aren’t already a member, please consider becoming one by making a donation on our Online Giving Page, or by mailing a check to the Western New York Land Conservancy at P.O. Box 471, East Aurora, NY 14052. The minimum membership donation is $35. If you are already a member, please help us […]

8Sep 2014

2014 New Member Drive, and More!

Help Us With Our New Member Drive Kenneglenn
Members are the heart and soul of the Land Conservancy. Their time, energy, ideas, and financial resources guide our work. This week we begin our 2014 New Member Drive, our annual effort to find new members to join the Land Conservancy. To make the drive successful, we need your help!

If you aren’t already a member, please consider becoming one by making a donation on our Online Giving Page, or by mailing a check to the Western New York Land Conservancy at P.O. Box 471, East Aurora, NY 14052. The minimum membership donation is $35.

If you are already a member, please help us find new members. We are proud of what we have accomplished together – protecting more than 6,000 acres of irreplaceable places like the Kenneglenn Nature Preserve on Hunters Creek Gorge in Wales, the Mill Road Scenic Overlook in Aurora, the Niagara Escarpment Preserve in Lockport, and the many other protected preserves and farms throughout the region. If you are proud of this work as well, then ask your close friends, family, and colleagues to join the effort by becoming members too.

The 2014 New Member Drive will continue until November 3. The Land Conservancy will be offering prizes as an incentive to recruiters. The recruiter who finds the most new members and the recruiter whose new members donate the most money cumulatively will win a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant of their choice, like the Elm Street Bakery, Farmers and Artisans, or Ashkers. If you would like the Land Conservancy to send you membership brochures, mailing envelopes, and personalizable new member letters, please […]

14Aug 2014

Upcoming Birdwatching Hike and More!

Birdwatching at Kenneglenn on September 6

The Land Conservancy is hosting a birdwatching hike at the Kenneglenn Nature Preserve in the Town of Wales on Saturday, September 6, from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM. The hike will be led by Chuck Rosenburg and Jajean Rose-Burney. Chuck is a wetlands biologist at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and one of the region’s leading owl experts. Jajean is the Land Conservancy’s Development Director and has led numerous birding hikes.  Publication8-2014b

The hike should be an exciting one. Fall migration will be in full swing and Kenneglenn’s forests should be alive with birds, including numerous species of woodpeckers, flycatchers, and warblers, among others. Land Conservancy staff have recorded close to 100 species of birds at the preserve in the last two years, and many of these could be seen on the hike.

The hike is free and open to the public, but attendees must register in advance by calling the Land Conservancy at (716) 687-1225, or by emailing info@wnylc.org. Space is limited, so please confirm soon. The hike is appropriate for people of all ages. Please wear long pants and good hiking shoes as we may walk through some undergrowth and muddy patches along the trail. Bring binoculars if you have them. Parking is available at the Kenneglenn Nature Preserve in front of the Land Conservancy office. We will share directions with everyone that registers for the event.

The Mill Road Scenic Overlook is Now Open!009 by Kathy Lasher

Construction on the roadside pull-off at the Mill Road Scenic Overlook is complete, and the pull-off is now open to visitors. This comes […]

22Jul 2014

2014 President’s Appeal, and More!

Reminder: 2014 President’s Appeal

Publication2At the end of June, we sent all of the Land Conservancy’s members and recent donors the 2014 President’s Appeal. This is the most important mid-year fundraising appeal for the Land Conservancy, and donations to the appeal support our continued land conservation work. It is because of past donors that we now protect more than 6,000 acres of Western New York’s most important forests, farms, and scenic vistas, the equivalent of 4,500 football fields of irreplaceable land. If you have not already donated to this year’s Presidents Appeal, please consider responding to the appeal letter that you may have received in the mail or donating on our website by clicking HERE. A full copy of the President’s Appeal letter can be found HERE. Thank you!

Volunteer Cleanup Day at Kenneglenn

work dayOur office building and the gardens that surround it need some help! We are looking for volunteers on Wednesday, August 6, from 1 PM to 5 PM, to join the Land Conservancy in a summer cleanup day at the Kenneglenn Nature Preserve near East Aurora. Andrea Locke, the coordinator for the Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (WNY PRISM), will help start the afternoon off with a talk about invasive species in our region and what you can do to help.

At Kenneglenn, our gardens need some weeding, the hedges need some pruning, the screen doors on the porch need some mending, and a few cedar shingles on the walls need replacing. We need some tools to help with the work (square-edged shovels, loppers, […]