Thanks to a community of volunteers, donors, and supporters that numbers thousands strong, the Columbia Land Conservancy has grown from an all-volunteer organization started around a kitchen table to a national leader among land trusts.
Since our founding in 1986, CLC has been working to conserve Columbia County’s important landscapes and connect people to nature.
- CLC began in 1986, and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. We are rated Platinum on Guidestar for our organizational transparency. The IRS Form 990 is available here.
- CLC owns and manages ten Public Conservation Areas, with nearly 30 miles of trails. These sites are visited over 45,000 times per year.
- CLC has secured over $27 million on behalf of local farmers, conserving over 12,000 acres of land.
- CLC has collaborated with 250 easement landowners owning 29,984 acres of conserved land to ensure they are protected in perpetuity.
- In 2022, CLC hosted 54 educational programs attended by 810 individuals.
Click play on the video below to see a map of all the protected land (more than 30,000 acres!) CLC has conserved in Columbia County through time.
“I was raised to honor nature and to have a deep respect for agriculture. The Columbia Land Conservancy makes it possible that those values will always be protected.”
“There are five generations of family that have solitude in visiting this property. This conservation easement is so important to know that this land is protected forever.”
Elizabeth Backus Girard
CLC is proud to be part of Gaining Ground, a national land trust movement to conserve land, strengthen communities, and create a healthier planet. The amount of land that land trusts like CLC have conserved, taken together, is larger than the National Parks system!
We facilitate the Berkshire-Taconic Regional Conservation Partnership a coalition of more than 15 state and local partners who envision a Berkshire-Taconic Region in which the fabric of the natural and scenic landscape, including the region’s forests, farms, rivers, and wetlands, remains intact and functional, supporting and interdependent with local and regional economies and high quality of life.
Support for farmers
CLC has applied for grants on behalf of dozens of local farmers, keeping family farms in production and enabling them to pass land along to the next generation. We partner with the American Farmland Trust’s Farmland for a New Generation program, which helps connect farmers looking for land with landowners looking for farmers.
My drive to become a dairy farmer is inextricably linked to the relationship that I have with the land. I grew up with the understanding that the land supported my family and all the cows that we raised. I’m farming to keep up that legacy and because there is nothing else I’d rather be doing. Chaseholm is such a big part of who I am that being far away from it has always been hard to imagine. I’m grateful to know that this land is protected; it’s an essential part of making farming accessible for many more generations to come.Sarah Chase of Chaseholm Farm
Providing opportunities to connect with nature
CLC cares for ten Public Conservation Areas throughout Columbia County, which include more than 30 miles of trails and are visited more than 60,000 times per year.
“Each place is special in its own way, with the diverse landscapes coupled with the changing seasons. Never a disappointment these Public Conservation Areas.“
“The trails are so clean and lead through a variety of terrain with gorgeous scenery. I would have never known about these conservation areas had I not found out about the Hike Five Challenge.”
Conservation takes all of us working together. CLC partners with local youth organizations to deliver educational presentations, libraries on the Nature Explorer Backpack program, and municipalities to distribute Municipal Mini Grants. Want to collaborate? Send us an email!
“I’m so inspired by all the work you do and especially grateful this year for the Explorer Backpacks! So cool and saved “suddenly-home-from-school” days. ”
“The CLC mini-grant was absolutely useful in updating our signage! The ultimate sign cost a lot more but the mini-grant was leveraged to get additional donations for a nicer sign.”
Peter Frank, Friends of Hudson Youth