Wed April 25, 2012
Conservation Partnership Awards $1 Million in Grants to Land Trusts Statewide
New York's Conservation Partnership Program awarded $1.4 million in grants to land trusts across the state. One of the projects highlighted during the Monday's announcement is Rochester's El Camino Recreational Trail. It's an old, 2 mile rail line turned into a pedestrian walkway that runs from High Falls to Seneca Park. Gay Mills, the executive director of the Genesee Land Trust, says the state funding is good news for neighborhood bikers and walkers.
"Hopefully this adds a clean, safe place for them to get from one place to another …to recreate, to enjoy themselves and to just be out and about in nature."
Leaders of the partnership between the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance say protecting farms, recreational opportunities and green infrastructure is vital to the economy as well as the environment. Charles Ruffing is the director of health safety and environment at Kodak.
"It's really heartening for me to see the benefits that can arise from public and private partnerships that can really accrue to all of us as citizens," Ruffing says. "We at Kodak have a special affection for the El Camino Trail. It's going to be coming up through places right where we work. And we were proud to play a small part of the early part of funding that program."
The Conservation Partnership Program is viewed as model for other states to follow, having created jobs and preserved over 15,000 acres of open land.