New York State conservation officials announced Thursday they have awarded $1.4 million in grants to 50 nonprofit land trusts around the state.
The Associated Press reports that the Environmental Protection Fund grants are expected to generate $1.1 million in matching private and local funds to protect farmland, conserve open space and improve public access and recreation. Projects include urban trails and community gardens in New York City, Kingston and Buffalo.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said the DEC's partnerships with land trusts "are crucial to achieving our conservation goals."
The state's Conservation Partnership Program, which began in 2002, has awarded more than 570 grants for $9.5 million to 85 land trust organizations, leveraging about $11 million more from local communities and private donors.