Tuesday, 5/16 Comida y tierra

¿Hablas español?
Join us for our second “Comida y tierra” conversation!

May 16th 6pm – 7pm at Just for You
375 Broadway in Kingston, NY

As a gesture of our appreciation, we are providing free meals to the native Spanish speakers who help us facilitate the conversation. Support us in this effort by contributing here!

6pm-7pm: Facilitated conversation in Spanish over a meal (not included). COMPLETE IMMERSION: Use of English (translation, phones or dictionaries) is strongly discouraged. 

7pm-8pm:  An unstructured chat in whichever language each table of participants chooses, as they enjoy their food.

All levels are welcome and activities will be level-appropriate. The support of a diverse group of native speakers will be on hand who can help to keep the conversation rolling. 

Comida y tierra is a facilitated conversation series in Spanish hosted by the Kingston Land Trust in collaboration with the Kingston YMCA Farm Project, at Latin restaurants along Broadway. This immersive experience brings together native Spanish speakers and those who are learning and want to practice Spanish over a meal (not included) to build community and awareness about the issues that affect our city.

For more information and to RSVP,  contact Kingston Land Trust Executive Director Julia Farr at julia@kingstonlandtrust.org or call 845-877-5263.

VIEW our event on Facebook.

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¿Hablas español?

Entonces únete a nosotros para nuestra segunda conversación “Comida y tierra”

Martes, 16 de Mayo, 6pm-7pm en Just for You

375 Broadway in Kingston, NY

Como un gesto de nuestro agradecimiento, estamos ofreciendo comidas gratuitas a los hablantes nativos de español que nos ayudan a facilitar la conversación. Apóyanos en este esfuerzo: ¡contribuye aquí!

6pm-7pm: Conversación facilitada en español durante una comida (no incluida). INMERSIÓN COMPLETA: ¡Imagina que estás viajando en América Latina! El uso del inglés (traducción, teléfonos o diccionarios) es fuertemente desalentado.

7pm-8pm: Charla no estructurada en cualquier idioma que cada mesa elija mientras disfrutamos de nuestra comida. 

Todos los niveles son bienvenidos, y las actividades van a ser apropiadas para todo nivel. El apoyo de un grupo diverso de hablantes nativos estará a la mano para ayudar a mantener la conversación en marcha.

Comida y tierra es una serie de conversación facilitada en español organizada por el Kingston Land Trust en colaboración con el Kingston YMCA Farm Project, en restaurantes latinos a lo largo de Broadway. Esta experiencia inmersiva reune a hablantes nativos de español y aquellos que están aprendiendo y quieren practicar español durante una comida (no incluida) para crear comunidad y conciencia sobre los asuntos que afectan nuestra ciudad.

Para más información y para RSVP, comunícate con la directora ejecutiva de Kingston Land Trust, Julia Farr, en julia@kingstonlandtrust.org o llame al 845-877-5263.

4/30 Work Day at South Pine Street Farm

Come on out for a workday at the farm, the Kingston Land Trust’s first land matching project. Farmers Trish and Joel will welcome volunteers to help prep the farm for the season. Check back for more details.

Sunday, April 30th 2-5pm
27 S Pine St, Kingston, NY 12401

4/19: Premiere of “Comida y tierra”, a Spanish Conversation Series on Food and Land

 

The Kingston Land Trust is pleased to announce its “Comida y tierra” program, an exciting collaboration with the Kingston YMCA Farm Project.  Our organizations will be hosting facilitated conversations in Spanish around land and food issues. Each session will take place once a month at one of the seven Latin restaurants along the Broadway corridor. This immersive experience will bring together native Spanish speakers and those who are learning and want to practice Spanish over a meal (not included). Our goal is to build community and awareness about the issues that affect our city in order for us all to be included and more active in developing Kingston in an environmentally responsible and socially equitable way.

Our first conversation will be held on Wednesday, April 19th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Pupusería Mi Ranchito located at 614 Broadway in Kingston, NY.  Our next conversation will take place on Tuesday, May 16th at Just For You, from 6-7pm.  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Kingston Land Trust Executive Director Julia Farr at julia@kingstonlandtrust.org or call 845-877-5263

VIEW our event on Facebook.

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Jessica Carolina, Waitress at Pupusería Mi Ranchito

El Kingston Land Trust (Fideicomiso de Tierras de Kingston) se complace en anunciar su programa “Comida y tierra”, una emocionante colaboración con el Kingston YMCA Farm Project. Nuestras organizaciones estarán organizando conversaciones facilitadas en español sobre temas de comida y tierra. Cada sesión se realizará una vez al mes en uno de los siete restaurantes latinos a lo largo del corredor de Broadway. Esta experiencia de inmersión en español reunirá a hablantes nativos de español y aquellos que están aprendiendo o quieren practicar su español durante una comida (no incluída). La meta es crear comunidad y conciencia sobre los temas que nos afectan para que todos seamos incluidos y más activos en desarrollar Kingston en una manera que es socialmente y ecológicamente responsable y equitativa.

Nuestra primera conversación se llevará a cabo el miércoles, 19 de abril de 6pm a 7pm en Pupusería Mi Ranchito, ubicado en 614 Broadway en Kingston, NY. Se añadirán fechas y ubicaciones adicionales. Para más información y para RSVP, por favor contacte a la directora ejecutiva del Kingston Land Trust, Julia Farr, en julia@kingstonlandtrust.org o llame al 845-877-5263

The Kingston Land Trust Announces New Executive Director and “Gather” Event on March 27.

Kingston Land Trust’s new Executive Director Julia Farr at the Rondout Creek promenade, a segment of the flagship project, the Kingston Greenline, that is being developed in partnership with the City of Kingston.

KINGSTON, NY  – The board of directors of the Kingston Land Trust (KLT) announces the appointment of an executive director, Julia Farr. With a background in urban design, landscape architecture and environmental planning, Julia’s skills and vision will bolster the ability of the organization to carry out its goals and serve the Kingston community. Her appointment furthers the non-profit organization’s commitment to protecting, connecting and activating open space, and will enhance the KLT’s ability to engage community support from the residents of Kingston and surrounding areas.

“Julia has already developed strong relationships with community leaders,” says Andi Turco-Levin, Chairperson of the KLT Board of Directors, “and we look forward to building fruitful partnerships around the land that we own and manage.”

Julia is committed to involving Kingston residents in the process of managing, programming and acquiring land for public use. She plans to build upon the network of open spaces that the Land Trust currently manages, as well as establish new spaces that can serve as a welcoming commons for Kingston’s diverse community. She is setting out especially to engage residents who don’t own or have access to private land. One approach will be to support repurposing vacant properties for community use in marginalized neighborhoods. Another will be to build upon the model of the KLT’s land matching project, the South Pine Street City Farm, to connect private landowners with land stewards.

Click on image to view the “Gather” Facebook event.

“From my previous position at the Local Economies Project, as well as my participation in the efforts of organizations like Live Well Kingston, the Kingston YMCA Farm Project and the Center for Creative Education, I have garnered a deep sense of the needs of our community,” says Julia. “I see great potential in our collaborative efforts to create a healthier and more inclusive city. I’m immensely proud to lead the Kingston Land Trust and excited to work with our board to move forward our initiatives in land and community stewardship.”

On March 27th, the Kingston Land Trust will be hosting a Gather event from 6 pm to 8 pm at Tony’s Pizzeria, to introduce the new Executive Director and offer an opportunity to meet the board, including those who have been recently appointed as officers: Chairperson, Andi Turco-Levin, Vice Chairperson Sarah Brainard, Treasurer Ian Keir and Secretary Debra Bresnan. Community members are invited to attend this public event to find out how to get involved, whether it’s through taking a bike ride on the Kingston Greenline, or through donating, volunteering, interning, partnering or serving on the board of directors.

For more information, contact Julia Farr, Executive Director at 845/877-LAND (5263) or write julia@kingstonlandtrust.org

To learn more about the Kingston Land Trust, please visit www.KingstonLandTrust.org.

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About the Kingston Land Trust (KLT):

The Kingston Land Trust is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is committed to protecting, connecting and activating open spaces for environmental and community benefit in and around the City of Kingston. The KLT’s flagship project, the Kingston Greenline, that is being developed in partnership with the City of Kingston, is a pathway of urban trails, complete streets and linear parks that will offer residents and visitors an alternative walking and bike route to access cultural, commercial and natural destinations.

About Julia Farr:

Julia has a background in urban open space design, having worked with Greenstreets, a program of the Department of Parks and Recreation in New York City, and at the São Paulo Housing Authority’s urban design office. She studied environmental planning and management at the University of Chile, is certified in permaculture design and attended Binghamton University for her BA in environmental studies, with a focus on sustainable development. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the City College of New York. Julia resides in Kingston.

2/23 Broadway Streetscape Public Meeting

Join Kingston Mayor Steve Noble as he unveils the preliminary designs for the Broadway Streetscape Project. This project will reconstruct Broadway from St. James St. to Grand St. It will improve safety and traffic flow for motorists, pedestrians, transit users and bicyclists and aims to revitalize the corridor.

WHO: City of Kingston and Mayor Steve Noble
WHAT: Broadway Streetscape Public Meeting
WHEN: Thurs, 2/23/1710am-12pm or 6pm-8pm
The sessions will contain the same presentations

WHERE: Kingston City Hall:
420 Broadway

WHY: Gain insight and ask questions about the Broadway Streetscape Project!

Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to review the preliminary designs and address any questions or concerns directly to the project representatives. Click here for more info!

The Broadway Streetscape Project is a segment of the Kingston Greenline, a special project of The Kingston Land Trust in partnership with the City of Kingston.

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Ashokan Rail Trail Meeting Recap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ashokan Rail Trail, first proposed in 2012 by Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, getting closer and closer to construction. When completed in 2018, it will provide 11.5 miles of a world-class public recreational trail bordering the northern edge of the Ashokan Reservoir. While motorized vehicles will not be permitted, the trail will offer access for hikers, bikers, walkers and runners, nature enthusiasts, skiers, and snowshoe devotees. It will also provide outdoor opportunities for persons with limited mobility or other disabilities.

Ulster County executive Mike Hein. Photo courtesy of the Ulster County Executive’s Office.

To share current developments with community residents, the Ulster County Planning Department held a public information meeting on December 1, 2016 at Onteora High School in Boiceville. Chris White, deputy director commissioner of the department shared a timetable for the project:

  • Preliminary engineering design and environmental review began in June, 2016.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2017.
  • Grand opening anticipated in 2018.

Those who attended the meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of the project for many reasons. It will provide a variety of healthy outdoor activities close to home. In turn, the community at large will be healthier. It will enable everyone to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. And it will be a boost to the local economy, since it’s expected to attract an additional 140,000 visitors to the area each year.

Ulster & Delaware railroad tracks looking toward the Ashokan Reservoir from the Route 28A overpass at Boiceville, NY. Photo by Tony Adamis

The Ashokan Reservoir supplies drinking water to New York City and is strictly controlled by its Department of Environmental Protection. However, the trail will follow the former Ulster & Delaware railroad corridor that runs around the northern perimeter of the reservoir.

A packed house! About 344 people attended the Public Information Meeting on the Ashokan Rail Trail project on 12/1/16. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail.

Some attendees at the Onteora meeting were concerned about dismantling the railroad bed, but it has not been used for train service in forty years. White explained that the trail is being developed with the understanding that it could also be returned to a railroad bed if the need arose in the future.

The project is budgeted at $8.5 million dollars, funded from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the state DEC, and money from FEMA. It covers surfacing the trail with crushed stone, improving drainage and regarding the former rail bed. There will be signage, fencing, and other amenities as well as three new trailheads along the route. Boiceville trestle and Butternut Creek culvert will also be replaced.

Proponents of this project have worked tirelessly since Mike Hein first proposed it. With county residents behind it and the funding in place, it’s been five years in the planning.

And it’s almost here! We’ll keep you updated on future progress, but to get the info straight from the source, visit catskillmountainrailtrail.org, or follow @FriendsOfTheCatskillMountainRailTrail on Facebook.

#friendraisers

Having a great time at our final 2016 Gather at The Beverly!

MARCH – IT’S TIME TO GATHER!

This year, we’re holding four Gathers – March, May, August and November – and they’re always a great time! Date, time and place are still being firmed up for our first KLT Gather of 2017 so we’ll follow up with details soon. We hope you’ll come on out and have some fun with us!

Gathers are held at local restaurants/bars and are open to the public. They’re a great way to find out more about what we do. We’re grateful for any donations that come to us at these social gatherings… We call them friend-raisers because you’ll meet some really great new people, reconnect with friends, and get to know Kingston’s community leaders.

If you own a venue, and you’d like to host a Gather, we’d love to hear from you. We attract a really nice crowd of people of all ages. People order from your regular menu and Gathers are a wonderful way to expand your clientele in exchange for the generosity of offering your space and a contribution (normally 10% of your bar register).

Kingston Mayor Steve Noble with Andi Turco-Levin (KLT Board Chair) and Kevin McEvoy (KLT Board member)

Tim Weidemann (KLT advisor) and Kristen Wilson (KLT Board member)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE APPRECIATE OUR DONORS

In December, we held our annual Donor Appreciation event at the beautiful Shadow Lawn in High Falls, and it was, once again, a very special way to celebrate the end of another year. These festive social occasions allow us to deepen our relationships with people who are already supportive of our work and to thank them for their generosity. Over the past couple of years, these events have attracted three new Board members and numerous volunteers who have joined our committees. At our invitation-only event this year, a new KLT supporter contributed an in-kind donation of office space and conference room facilities for a year.

David Cavallero has been a Board member for two years and is active on the KLT Events Committee. He and his partner, Dan Giessinger, own Shadow Lawn, which is normally reserved for weddings and special occasions – so they know how to throw a great party! “It’s a really fun evening, and especially enjoyable to share it with so many people with shared values,” says Cavallero. “This year, we made a decision to forego having a formal presentation like we did in 2015 and instead, set up tables around the room with materials about the work of the Kingston Land Trust so people could browse at their leisure. It was much more social and festive – and the food was awesome. We also held it at an earlier time so everyone could accept invitations to other holiday parties that evening.”

Volunteers helping to keep the trail clean and beautiful.

Clean Sweep… A great group of volunteers getting the job done.

CONTRIBUTIONS ACCEPTED, ANYTIME

As a small non-profit organization, we especially appreciate contributions for general operating support. Nearly all of our grants are dedicated to restricted uses, and we also need to raise matching funds for some funding sources, so please keep us in mind when you’re making your decisions about organizations to support.

2017 is already shaping up to be a very exciting, fast-moving year for us. This time of year, we’re planning and strategizing but it will be spring before long and that means trail clean up and tilling the soil at South Pine Street Farm. We anticipate another banner year of delicious crops, and hope to host a summer event there so you can have a taste and take a look.

We hope you’ll become a friend of the Kingston Land Trust and make a donation today. It’s easy and you can send a one-time contribution or commit to a recurring monthly donation.

You can be a Protector ($25), a Connector ($50), an Activator ($100), a Sustainer ($250) or contribute any other amount. And, if you are interested in becoming a Corporate Sponsor, we’d be happy to discuss the how you can contribute to our work in exchange for publicity as one of our corporate supporters.

Thank you for all you do to support the Kingston Land Trust. We look forward to seeing you in March at our first Gather of 2017!

Debra Bresnan joined the KLT Board of Directors in April 2014, and is active on the Fundraising Committee. She’s a self-employed writer and editor who loves listening to live music, taking photographs, walking along the Rondout Promenade, gardening and traveling when she’s not fascinated by her computer screen.

Walking on Sunshine: A Walkable Neighborhood

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you enjoy living where you do? Is it because of the nearby amenities and conveniences? Perhaps you prefer to be out in the country because you love the outdoors and live an active lifestyle. The reasons can be as unique the individual but the fact is real estate values increase when there are trails nearby. Trails add so much to the community if you think about it. They are important on many levels which include recreation, transportation routes, and scenic beauty, not to mention the healthy lifestyle benefits. One of the best examples of how a trail can impact the transition of a neighborhood is New York City’s High Line on the far west side of Manhattan. The conversion of an old abandoned railroad bed turned into a pedestrian path transformed an entire neighborhood from a desolate and far removed area into a thriving enclave with new apartment buildings, restaurants, and pocket parks with trees, green space, and a connection to the Hudson River. Real estate prices have skyrocketed since the High Line’s completion and the reason for that is simple. People want convenience and an active lifestyle is a common thread from Baby-Boomers to Millennials. Having this amenity nearby is something that adds value.

The High Line, an aerial greenway, at 20th Street looking downtown; the vegetation was chosen to pay homage to the wild plants that had colonized the abandoned railway before it was repurposed

Right here in our own backyard we are seeing momentum grow as we build the Kingston Greenline. Re-purposing old industrial railroad lines that have been defunct for 40 years or more into bike and pedestrian friendly paths that will connect our neighborhoods, schools, parks, and waterfront will be a very good reason that new families and businesses will want to come here. What will follow will most certainly have an effect on real estate values. The National Association of Realtors recognizes the importance of “Walkable Communities” and how they play a vital role in economic development overall. Their most recent issue of On Common Ground is devoted to urban trails and the impacts they have. This magazine is all about “Smart Growth” and overall community planning. Of course realtors are on the front line and they recognize the impact these trails have.

The Kingston Greenline rail trail at Kingston Point / Hudson River

People travel from around the globe for the opportunity to stand over the Hudson River for world class views from the Walkway Over The Hudson, or to ride through stunning scenery along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. Soon, for the first time in over 100 years, private lands will be available to the public on the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail that will run through the Ashokan Reservoir lands with views that have inspired many artists over the centuries.  Wouldn’t you like to have all this right out your back door?

Make sure to check out the amazing Kingston Greenline Project Status Map.

Click here to read our recent interview with Andi Turco-Levin.

Kingston On The Move

The seeds were sown for the Kingston Greenline in 2013 when the Kingston Land Trust commissioned the Kingston Point Rail Trail Feasibility Study with support of the City of Kingston and the Hudson River Valley Greenway. This study described the options for a trail from Jansen Avenue to Kingston Point Park. Not long after in 2014, the KLT commissioned another plan, the Kingston Greenline Conceptual Plan again with support of the City of Kingston and the Land Trust Alliance. This plan outlines the concept of a rail trail hub for the county and the region in the City of Kingston. The idea of the Kingston Greenline has captured the hearts and the minds of many Kingstonians and people in the region, and the City of Kingston and Ulster County have secured funding to make pieces of it a reality. Just recently at the State of the State Address, we learned that parts of the Kingston Greenline will be part of the Governor’s Empire State Trail Plan.

But how do all the sections of the Greenline fit together and what will happen when? Folks who have been involved since the beginning are patiently (or impatiently) awaiting the construction of the first section. How can project managers clearly communicate the progress of the construction projects and what the public can expect when?

Enter the new City of Kingston’s “Kingston On The Move” webpage where you can find a great new project map and status updates for each of the sections of the Kingston Greenline. Getting a project from concept to funding to construction is no easy task. Several of the projects have multiple funders, each with their own administrative requirements and timelines. And some of the projects still need more funding, so while managing existing funds project managers continue to seek new funders and partners. In my first year as the grants manager at the City, I have discovered that managing these projects is like being at a contra dance where you change hands with new partners and often come back to your original partners too. And somehow someone has to keep the end goal in mind, a symphony of movement forward to create something beautiful and to also enjoy ourselves along the way. To communicate about all the interactions that happen along the way would be impossible, but our new website aims to communicate the essence of how and when we are moving these projects forward. It also aims to bring a new level of transparency about project status to the public.

Kingston’s Mayor Steve Noble delivering his State of the City speech on January 10, 2017

Kingston On The Move is this administration’s new vision for transportation that Mayor Steve Noble unveiled at the State of the City Address on January 10th, 2017. In the past the City has not had a comprehensive vision and action plan for improving transportation to guide the maintenance, development, and build out of our transportation system. We’ve had lots of great new and current projects such as the Safe Routes to School project, the Greenkill Bridge, the Uptown Parking Lots, and all the Kingston Greenline projects, but how do these fit into a long-term vision for a better transportation system in Kingston? City staff are working with a strategic transportation planning sub-committee of the Complete Streets Advisory Council, to create this vision and a three-year prioritized action plan to guide our system’s development.  On the City webpage, within the next quarter, you’ll find an inventory of all the transportation-related plans and the City’s action plan. This group and the City will continually be looking at how we can make transportation stress-free, safe, and seamless from walking and biking to a bus to your motor vehicle. The Kingston Greenline is a significant piece of this puzzle, the spine for the future non-motorized sections of our transportation system.

So check out our new Kingston Greenline Project Status Map and the City’s Kingston On The Move website. Dig in and learn how we are moving forward. If you have a question about one of the projects or feel the project status updates are missing information, contact me at 845-334-3962 or kwilson@kingston-ny.gov or the project managers listed on the website. And remember, there are so many ways you can get involved in transportation planning. Maybe join the Kingston Land Trust Kingston Greenline Committee, the Complete Streets Advisory Council, or one of our other partners such as Bike Friendly Kingston. Or attend public meetings that will be held by the City about one of the specific projects. Together we can create a great system that works for all and have some fun dancing along the way.

For more information on the progress of the Kingston Greenline, be sure to check out the Kingston On The Move site.

Interview with Kevin Smith

CIC Opening Bike Ride w Joe Martens

Community ride with then-DEC Commissioner Joe Martens celebrating the Catskill Interpretive Center Grand Opening – Summer of 2015

No, this is not an interview with the creator of Silent Bob… Instead, this Kevin Smith is the chairman behind the Woodstock Land Conservancy, the non-profit organization committed to the protection and preservation of open lands, forests, wetlands and historic sites in and around the most famous town in our county… Woodstock, NY. Even with his full plate, Kevin made time to chat with us about all things he’s conserving in Woodstock!

How did you get involved initially with the Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC)?
One of my besties, Elizabeth Lesser, used to be on WLC’s board. She knew I was interested in protecting our environment, and around 2000 she told me about WLC. She said it was a community land conservation organization doing great work and invited me to a Board meeting as a guest. Noted Woodstock artist Jean Ludins had recently gifted WLC with a beautiful small meadow on Chestnut Hill, and the Board decided to hold the meeting there to celebrate the occasion. I showed up a bit late and everyone was sitting cross-legged in the hay field. I remember thinking, “It can’t get much more local or Woodstock than this . . . ”

What are your main duties as the WLC Board Chair?
In a small hard-working land trust like WLC (or KLT) it’s very much “all hands on deck” for all our Directors. No job is too big or too small for anyone – we all do whatever needs doing to help fulfill mission, complete projects, and support the organization. That said, as Board Chair I also work closely with my fellow Directors and especially Maxanne Resnick and Patty Goodwin (WLC Executive Director and Board President respectively) – to  provide direction and leadership. My other main formal responsibility is to be a spokesperson for WLC in the community and with partner organizations, agencies and stakeholders on conservation issues and strategic initiatives, things like the Comeau Conservation Easement granted by the Town of Woodstock to the Conservancy in 2009, WLC’s response to the Niagara Bottling Proposal in 2014, and our advocacy in support of the Ulster County Rail Trail Projects (Ashokan Rail Trail and Kingston Midtown Linear Park), the Kingston Greenline and County-Wide Rail Trail Network.

Muir Woods, Marin County CA

Muir Woods, Marin County CA

What would you like to accomplish during your tenure as the Board Chair?
I’d like to see the Ashokan Rail Trail, Kingston Linear Park, and other key Kingston Greenline and UC rail trail network connectors all move to construction. On the WLC front, I’m really excited about the public opening of our newest and largest public preserve in 2017, the 123-acre Israel Wittman Nature Sanctuary. It’s located at the “corner” of the Towns of Woodstock, Saugerties, and Ulster. I’d like to see the Town of Woodstock’s recently initiated comprehensive planning process create a blueprint that builds on the many assets Woodstock has, while addressing some real issues that have emerged in recent years as more and more people have rediscovered the Mid-Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

What is the difference between a Land Trust and a Land Conservancy?
OMG – trick questions! I use them interchangeably, And I think many organizations do these days.

How is it going with your national accreditation application with the Land Trust Alliance?
Thanks for asking! We’re not quite there but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s now in the Accreditation Commission’s hands to review. When (WLC Executive Director) Maxanne announced at our last Board meeting that she’d just received confirmation from the Accreditation Commission that the voluminous application materials we submitted in late September are complete, I literally ran around our Board meeting and high-fived all our board and staff.

Accreditation is the culmination of nearly a decade of incremental work and planning – to adopt, integrate and begin to uphold best standards and practices (S&Ps) as defined by the Land Trust Alliance into all areas of WLC’s activities and work. Accreditation isn’t the sexiest part of our work but it’s a critically important ‘milestone’ for us as a professional land trust – especially for the part of our mission that involves accepting and holding conservation lands in the public trust and in compliance with all IRS regulations. So while we haven’t reached the finish line, I’m incredibly proud of the work our staff and board members have done over many years to get us to this point.

Continue reading Interview with Kevin Smith