February 24, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust Earns National Recognition
NEW PALTZ, NY – The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) announced today that it has been granted accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission – a mark of honor and distinction in the field of land conservation. The achievement of accreditation validates the Commission’s confidence that the Wallkill Valley Land Trust meets national standards of professionalism in the area of land conservation, and that it has the long-term capacity to continue to preserve and manage land into the future.
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust, founded 29 years ago, is located in the Hudson River Valley and holds 34 conservation easements comprising more than 2,500 acres of active farmland, wetlands, public access space and the well-known Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. Wallkill Valley Land Trust now joins 342 other accredited land trusts across the country.
“Applying for Accreditation was a multi-year effort by our small staff and dedicated Board of Directors” said Christie DeBoer, Executive Director. “This process enabled the Wallkill Valley Land Trust to improve our policies and practices, vastly enhancing the impact of our work in permanent land conservation in Ulster County. Achieving the distinction of accreditation from the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission highlights our dedication and commitment to operate at the highest standards for land trusts. Our efforts will help make the mid-Hudson Valley an even better place for future generations to live, work, and play.”
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT), was founded in 1987 as a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the unique rural character of Southern Ulster County.
WVLT has conserved 37 public and private parcels totaling over 2,500 acres, including the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in New Paltz and Gardiner, three CSA farms and a variety of agricutltural properties and important habitats, including wetlands and forests.
WVLT owns several properties open for passive recreational use, including the Rosendale and Ulster sections of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (and the iconic Rosendale Trestle), Joppenbergh Mountain, and other lands containing vibrant habitats and wetlands.
To fulfill its mission, WVLT collaborates with many local and regional organizations, including the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association, Open Space Institute (OSI), Scenic Hudson, the Mohonk Preserve, Historic Huguenot Street, SUNY New Paltz and the Hudson River Estuary Program of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. WVLT is also a member of the Land Trust Alliance, a national organization of over 1,700 land trusts and was recognized as an accredited land trust in 2016.
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Southern Ulster County by conserving lands of scenic, agricultural, ecological, recreational and cultural significance.
Beth Bengtson, President- Kingston
Rob Hare, Vice President - Esopus
James Ottaway, Jr., Treasurer - New Paltz
Carol LeFevre, Secretary - Gardiner
Bob Taylor, Member at Large - New Paltz
Hensley Evans - Rosendale
Seth Hollander - Gardiner
José Moreno-Lacalle - Gardiner/New Paltz
Tom O'Dowd - Kingston
Vals Osborne - Gardiner/New Paltz
Robert Witkowski - Gardiner/New Paltz