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New York State Conservation Partnership Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Land Trust Alliance (the Alliance) (leaves DEC website), a non-profit land conservation organization, are pleased to announce an thirteenth round of competitive grants for local land trusts through the New York State Conservation Partnership Program.

Approximately $1.8 million will be awarded in early 2016 to New York land trusts, enabling local organizations to strengthen urban, rural and suburban, land conservation and public outreach programs, build community partnerships and implement best business practices. The Conservation Partnership Program is nationally recognized as a model for leveraging public and private funding for communities in their efforts to advance open space, farmland preservation, and resource conservation goals as part of the 2009 New York State Open Space Plan.

Program Summary

Created in 2002, the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) is a public-private partnership between DEC and the Alliance that invests in New York land trusts. Grants are funded through the NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) annually. The NYSCPP is managed by the Land Trust Alliance in coordination with DEC.

Since the program's inception in 2002, the Conservation Partnership Program has awarded more than $11 million in grants for 647 projects benefiting 86 different land trust organizations across the state. This investment has leveraged more than $13 million in additional funding. The funds have helped create employment and advancement opportunities in the conservation field and helped local communities permanently conserve more than 23,000 acres of farmland, wildlife habitat, recreation areas and urban open space.

Program Funding

$1.8 million is available for 2015-16 NYSCPP grants from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 EPF. Grants will be awarded in four categories: Professional Development, Conservation Catalyst, Conservation Transaction, and Conservation Capacity & Excellence.

Match Requirement

Conservation Catalyst Grants, Conservation Transaction Grants, and Professional Development Grants require 25% (or 1:3) matching funds requirement of non-state funds.

Each Capacity & Excellence Grant has a different match requirement. Capacity Grants, 25% (or 1:3) matching funds requirement of non-state funds; Assessment Grants, costs co-payment of $500; and Stewardship Grants have no match requirement.

Conservation Partnership Program Grants require that the applicant land trust match the grant with non-State funds. Matching funds must be verifiable at the time of application (full-proposal stage for Professional Development Grants). Documentation of matching funds is required before funding for awarded projects can be disbursed.

In-kind match contributions must be documented and may include: donation of professional services (legal, facilitation, etc. as well as the donation of travel costs from that individual), donation of goods (meeting rooms, equipment, printing costs, food or refreshments), and the donation of unskilled/ general labor from volunteers (trail work, easement stewardship and monitoring, administrative work). Volunteer services must be quantifiable and the land trust needs to have a way of tracking volunteer hours. The rate per hour must adhere to the national standard for New York which can be found at the link in the right column of this page.

Program Eligibility Requirements/Restrictions

Conservation Catalyst Grants, Capacity & Excellence Grants, and the Conservation Transaction Grants:

  • Applicant is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Applicant is a qualified conservation organization under Section 170 (h) of the Internal Revenue Code and has a stated land conservation mission.
  • Applicant has formally adopted Land Trust Standards and Practices.
  • Applicant's service area is located within the State of New York. Transaction project and all grant funded project costs must be based in New York State.
  • Applicant is in good standing and has submitted all required Interim and Final Grant Performance reports due for previously awarded NYSCPP projects, unless an extension has been formally requested and granted in writing by the Land Trust Alliance.
  • Applicant meets matching requirements and matching funds are verifiable at the time of application. For more information on matching funds, see below.

Membership in the Land Trust Alliance is not an eligibility requirement.

Professional Development Grants:

All of the same requirements as above plus:

  • Applicant has fewer than seven (7) full time equivalent (FTE) staff.
  • Organizations with more than seven (7) FTE may be considered on a case by case basis and should specifically focus their staff capacity expansion toward delivery of enhanced services to communities and/or land trusts within their service area.

How to Apply:

Please see the Land Trust Alliance New York grants webpage (leaves DEC website) for grant applications, program updates and announcements.

For information regarding this grant program you may contact:
Ethan Winter (ewinter@lta.org) or Katrina Howey (khowey@lta.org) in the Land Trust Alliance Northeast Office at (518) 587-0774.

Application Deadlines and Notification

All final applications for the 2015-2016 Conservation Partnership Program are due by Monday, December 7, 2015 at 5:00 PM Eastern time. Professional Development Grant Letter's of Interest must be submitted by Friday, October 16, 2015.

Those land trusts submitting a Professional Development Letter of Interest will be notified by mid-November if they are going to be invited to submit a full application.

2015 List of grants by region (PDF, 120 KB)

2015 Grant descriptions (PDF, 105 KB)

2015 Map showing locations of grant recipients

More about New York State Conservation Partnership Program:

  • Contact for this Page
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    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233
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  • Page applies to all NYS regions