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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), a non-profit land conservation organization, are pleased to announce a sixteenth round of competitive grants for local land trusts through the New York State Conservation Partnership Program.

Approximately $2.25 million will be awarded in spring 2019 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 2016 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 820 grants totaling $17.2 million in EPF funds to more than 80 different land trust organizations across the state. The state's investment has leveraged more than $19 million in additional funding from local communities and private donors. The funds have helped create employment and advancement opportunities in the conservation field and helped local communities permanently conserve more than 29,680 acres of farmland, wildlife habitat, recreation areas and urban open space.

Program Funding

$2.25 million was available for 2018-19 NYSCPP grants from the 2017-18 and 2018-19 EPF. Grants were awarded in five categories: Professional Development, Conservation Catalyst, Conservation Transaction, Stewardship and Resource Management, and Conservation Capacity & Excellence.

Application Deadlines and Notification

All final applications for the 2018-19 Conservation Partnership Program must be submitted by Friday, December 14, 2018, at 5:00 PM Eastern time. Professional Development Grant Letters of Interest must be submitted by Monday, October 19, 2018, at 5:00 PM Eastern time.

Match Requirement

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

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, Stewardship and Resource Management, 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.

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:

Meme Hanley ( or Katrina Howey ( in the Land Trust Alliance Northeast Office at (518) 587-0774.

2018 Grant Awards

More about New York State Conservation Partnership Program:

  • Contact for this Page
  • Div of Lands and Forests
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233
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