Photo: FLLT

Land Gift Produces Funds for Nature Education and Conservation

The Land Trust protected 200 wildlife-rich acres in northern Steuben County, while also generating funds for the organization’s education and outreach efforts.

The land is located in the rolling hills of Prattsburgh. It was donated anonymously to the Land Trust in 2015 with the understanding that the property would be sold subject to a conservation easement that prohibits subdivision and limits development to a single home site. The donor further requested that some of the funds generated by the sale of the land be used to support a new effort to connect inner-city Rochester youth with nature.

The property was recently sold to a couple who intend to use it as a seasonal retreat. Once a potato farm, the site features extensive conifer plantings as well as areas that have returned to a natural state—with hardwood forest, brush lands, and wet meadows that border 8,500 feet of creek frontage. Six acres of streamside wetlands add to the site’s value for fish and wildlife.

The conservation easement includes special protections for the portion of the property bordering the creek, which provides habitat for native brook trout. Traditional agricultural and forestry uses will continue to be allowed on the property.

Some of the costs associated with the conservation easement were covered by a Chesapeake Bay Watershed grant from the NYSDEC Division of Water. The Land Trust recently received this award to support voluntary land and water conservation efforts throughout the watershed of the Upper Susquehanna River, an area encompassing approximately 45 percent of the organization’s service area.

Funds generated from the sale of the property will now be used to support the Land Trust’s educational and outreach programs. A portion of the funds will be used to expand popular existing efforts such as its Story Walk program, which connects children with nature by reading in the woods. The Land Trust is also reaching out to partner organizations in the Rochester area to identify the best opportunities to invest in efforts to connect underserved inner-city youth with nature.