Columbia Land Conservancy raises 9 1/4 Million



Funds will support new initiatives to improve habitats, provide educational opportunities, and protect important land

Chatham, NY – Thanks to a groundswell of support from local community members, the features that make Columbia County such an exceptional place are more secure than ever. Over 300 donors contributed more than $9.25M to the Columbia Land Conservancy’s capital campaign. Funds will be used to expand CLC’s education programs, protect important land when it comes on the market, and enhance the management of Public Conservation Areas to provide wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for County residents and visitors.

The Columbia County Tomorrow: Our Heritage, Our Future campaign officially kicked off its public phase at CLC’s Pancake Breakfast for members and supporters in March of 2018. CLC is excited to announce it has exceeded an ambitious $7M fundraising goal announced at that time by more than $2M.

“We’re incredibly grateful to our donors, and humbled by this outpouring of generosity,” says Executive Director Peter Paden. “Columbia County is a very special place, and a large part of what makes it so special is the remarkable wealth of conservation assets – healthy forests, good farm land, clean waters and scenic vistas. CLC works to ensure that these qualities will last long into the future, and that the people who live here enjoy them and value their importance to health and quality of life. The community came together around this campaign in a way that is going to make it possible to create a significant impact for the people, wildlife, and landscapes of Columbia County.”

Funds will be used to pursue three strategic initiatives:

* Farm & Forest Protection – acting quickly to secure high-value conservation land when it comes on the market;

* Legacy Lands Stewardship – managing CLC’s Public Conservation Areas for recreation and wildlife habitat; and

* Community Engagement – increasing partnerships with local schools, towns and community organizations to provide meaningful educational experiences and opportunities for people of all ages to work together to enhance the rural character of Columbia County.

“We’ve already begun to implement new activities as a result of these funds,” Peter says. “We have created a new position dedicated to environmental education and community outreach, we are expanding our resources for managing the 4,000 acres of public lands that we own, and we have made plans to contribute significantly to a key conservation acquisition. We have also begun an organizational strategic planning process that will identify the highest priority specific goals and strategies on which to focus in the next three to five years.”

To find out more about the impact of the campaign and view a short video about what’s next, visit


For more than thirty years, the Columbia Land Conservancy has collaborated with private landowners, businesses, government agencies, community groups, and partner organizations to preserve the County’s vibrant rural character. It has conserved more than 30,000 acres of farmland, forests, and wildlife habitat to ensure clean air and water, healthy ecosystems, a strong agricultural sector, and a rich variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. CLC works with the community to cultivate connection to the land by providing outdoor and educational activities at our 10 Public Conservation Areas, to support agriculture by ensuring prime farmland continues to be available to the next generation of farmers, and to promote land protection and smart land use planning. For additional information, call 518.392.5252 or visit

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