The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy saves special places by promoting the voluntary conservation of farmland, cultural and natural landscapes in cooperation with landowners, other not-for-profit organizations, businesses and local governments for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.
1: Strategically conserve additional land within Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery counties.
A. Develop and implement a strategic land protection plan with clear criteria recognizing the importance of ecological or agricultural value, connectivity, public access, scenic vistas, recreation, and associated acreage.1. Review and update (as needed) land acquisition criteria.
2. Review focus areas, and update as needed, including but not limited to:
- Bozenkill stream corridor
- Town of Bethlehem Greenway (includes Normans Kill, Phillipin Kill, rail trail)
- Wolf Hollow
- Vly Marsh environs
- Mohawk River Corridor
4. Develop for each priority area/region an action plan for protection.
- Identify potential parcels for protection.
- Identify best tools for protection (Conservation Easement, fee acquisition, Purchase of Development Rights).
- Identify potential partners.
- Identify potential funding sources.
B. Implement action plans.
C. Work with municipalities to establish land protection programs including dedicated funds for land protection.
D. Explore the desirability of conserving land in areas of high population density.
2. Through effective stewardship, ensure the perpetual protection and management of preserves and easement-restricted lands.
A. Develop management plans considering ecological management and public access for all preserves.
B. Monitor all conservation easements annually.
C. Ensure all parcels have clear title.
D. Mark boundaries and complete installation of “branding” signs on preserves.
E. Reach out to neighbors of MHLC preserves, and other interested parties to establish relations to promote stewardship and protection.
F. Obtain insurance to cover legal costs of enforcing and defending easements.
3. Increase community awareness of and support for land protection and stewardship.
A. Enhance effectiveness of MHLC’s communications by using a variety of strategies, including:
- Maintain and update website.
- Publish and distribute newsletters on a regular basis and annual report each year.
- Maintain regular electronic communications with current and potential donors.
- Publicize MHLC accomplishments and events through external media such as press releases, outreach to local newspapers, and social networking sites (e.g. Facebook).
- Publish brochures and information sheets about preserves and trails.
B. Expand outreach to the public, community groups and leaders.
- Identify key government, business, and community leaders and establish regular contact to build relationships.
- Ensure key community leaders receive all promotional materials. Distribute annual reports to key stakeholders.
- Develop relationships with diverse community organizations to introduce a wide audience to MHLC.
- Conduct hikes and outings open to the general public.
- Provide educational programs on environmental issues consistent with the mission of MHLC.
4. Achieve financial stability: Raise sufficient funds for land conservation and stewardship, operations, and other initiatives.
A. Increase individual donor base in numbers and amount.
- Retain and upgrade current donors; and acquire new donors.
- Develop and implement planned giving program.
- Evaluate effectiveness of all membership initiatives and make changes as needed.
B. Increase foundation, business (corporate) and government support.
C. Raise additional funds for the Stewardship and Legal Defense Endowment Fund.
D. Hold at least one social/fundraising event annually to raise additional unrestricted funds.
E. Monitor investment strategy to balance growth and stability.
F. Increase the board’s capacity to participate actively and successfully in fundraising.
- Achieve and sustain 100% board annual fund contribution.
- Provide ongoing training and experience in fundraising techniques.
- Work with nominating committee to educate potential board members of their financial and other responsibilities as MHLC board members.
5. Increase organizational effectiveness.
A. Ensure that board and staff members understand and fulfill their responsibilities.
- Clarify roles and responsibilities of board and staff.
- Ensure board and staff receive appropriate training needed.
B. Enable the board of directors to more successfully fulfill its governance role.
- Recruit, educate and retain effective board members.
- Clarify and strengthen the committee structure.
- Improve board and committee meeting management.
C. Develop strategic partnerships to promote the mission of MHLC.
- Continue to integrate Friends of the Rail Trail (FORT) and Mohawk River Community Partners (MRCP) into MHLC.
- Develop criteria on how MHLC determines whether or not to merge with another group, form a new partnership, etc.
D. Fully implement Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Standards and Practices.
- Upgrade recordkeeping system.
- Strengthen policies for working with contractors and vendors.
- Review and update all of MHLC’s policies.
- Determine desirability of applying for accreditation.
- Apply for accreditation if appropriate.