On April 19, 2016, the North Shore Land Alliance received two separate grants totaling $45,000 from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and New York’s Environmental Protection Fund. Those grants were a $25,000 grant for transaction costs associated with the expansion of Wawapek, a newly created preserve in Cold Spring Harbor (Town of Huntington, Suffolk County) and a $20,000 grant to cover the internship coordinator for the Joyce and William O’Neil Steward Program.

The $25,000 NYSCPP grant will support the Land Alliance’s 2015 acquisition of a three-acre property immediately adjacent to the newly created Wawapek. The Land Alliance is now working on a stewardship plan for the property that incorporates the newly acquired parcel into the existing preserve and effectively uses the expansion area to enhance/ promote public access as well as educational programming. The Land Alliance is also working with the Town of Huntington, which is in the process of acquiring a conservation easement on the property that it is perpetually preserved.  See page 10 of our 2016 Spring Conservation News newletter.

The $20,000 NYSCPP grant is a one-year grant which will cover the cost for the internship coordinator for the Land Alliance’s new Joyce and William O’Neil Steward Program. Over the past few years the Land Alliance has engaged a committed corps of volunteers who contribute as many as 1,000 hours toward the stewardship of our preserves each year. While we have in the past worked on a limited basis with students or recent graduates carrying out stewardship activities on our preserves, stipends and staff supervision have been very limited. This NYSCPP grant provides the Land Alliance with the ability to hire our former consultant Amanda Furcall as an internship coordinator. This in turn will greatly improve our program by mentoring college students and recent graduates, inspiring lifelong stewardship of the environment at home and in the larger world and engaging young people in hands-on service to the land. Through the presence of our coordinator and this program, we will be benefiting interns’ experiences as well as our preserves.

The NYSCPP is administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. In all, the Land Alliance has received 15 grants from NYSCPP over the past 13 years totaling $343,600.