It’s been said that people who spend time in nature are generally healthier and happier. In addition, people who have positive experiences in nature are more likely to volunteer and vote with the environment in mind. The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) is a non-profit organization that brings people together to conserve, appreciate, and enjoy land.
Columbia County, in New York State, is home to one of only two forested wildlife corridors that cross the Hudson Valley and are essential for plants and animals moving in response to climate change. If this corridor is fragmented by development, it will fail. These landscapes are essential for recreation, the economy, sequestering carbon, reducing air and water pollution, preventing fires and floods, and filtering drinking water. They’re also threatened by poorly planned development, climate change, and invasive species. For nearly 40 years, CLC has collaborated with individuals, communities, and partners to ensure Columbia County is a beautiful, livable, resilient place.
CLC is the only conservation organization focused exclusively on protecting land in Columbia County. In addition to permanently protecting land with legal tools like conservation easements (which limit future development), CLC provides educational resources for land management for landowners, municipalities, and conservation-minded partners. CLC is recognized across the country for its innovation when it comes to protecting farmland and recognized by local farmers as an essential partner in land protection. CLC and its partners use a variety of tools to protect farmland, keep it affordable, support the next generation of farmers, and facilitate relationships with farmers and community members. Last year, the CLC and its partners held over 50 free and low-cost educational programs that provided opportunities for people to fall in love with the world around them. With the help of volunteers, donors, and supporters, they maintain ten Public Conservation Areas, with nearly 30 miles of trails, for recreation, reflection, and restoration.
On this episode of Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley, join Troy Weldy and Sara Cashen as they talk about the history of this impactful organization and how they continue to collaborate with landowners to ensure about 30,000 acres of land is conserved and protected in perpetuity. And learn about the numerous volunteer opportunities to get involved and to get to know nature better. Listen in!
Hosts: Tim Kennelty and Jean Thomas
Guests: Troy Weldy and Sara Cashen
Production Support: Linda Aydlett, Teresa Golden and Annie Scibienski