Rail Trail Public Meeting

Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail Update – Public Meeting

rail trail for webAlbany County will host a public meeting to discuss progress on the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail on Tuesday, January 12 at 6:00pm at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Large Meeting Room, 24 Martin Road in Voorheesville.
This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for the trail and learn more about the next steps for the project. Please spread the word to anyone you know who is interested in the future of the trail.

We hope to see you there!

Animal Track & Sign

Saturday, January 23, 2016*
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Bozen Kill Preserve in Altamont, NY
Cost: Free

From ants, to bobcat, to red-tailed hawks, all animals leave signs of their activities. Join Dave Muska of Ondatra Adventures as he introduces you to the fundamentals of tracking and awareness to better understand the stories animals leave behind.

trackandsign for web copyIn this class, you’ll be introduced to basic tracking skills and concepts such as clear print identification, track patterns, as well as techniques to develop your skill in tracking.

This is a great class for photographers, hunters, or anyone who wishes to deepen their outdoor experience.

To Bring: tape measure or ruler, notebook and pencil/pen, lunch/snack, and weather appropriate clothing.

Learn more about Ondatra Adventures 

Directions to the Bozen Kill Preserve:
From the intersection of the Northway and Rt US 20, Western Avenue: Drive West, approximately eight miles and turn left onto Route 146 toward Altamont. When you reach Altamont turn right onto Maple Ave. Continue straight. At the fork bear left onto Bozenkill Road. After approximately one half mile turn right onto Westfall Road. After crossing the Bozen Kill look for the Preserve on the left. (less than 1/4 mile from Westfall Rd.)



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*Event is weather dependent
Photos courtesy of Ondatra Adventures

Viewpoints: December 2015


winter newsletterThe Winter edition of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy newsletter is here!

Don’t miss:
Opportunities Abound,
Opening the Bozen Kill Preserve,
Fall Fundraiser Success,
and more!

To view and download your copy click here: Viewpoints: December 2015

Opportunites Abound

In the United States, more than 5,000 acres of land are lost to development every day.** In the Capital Region, thousands of acres are threatened right now.

Along the upper Bozen Kill

Along the upper Bozen Kill

Today, after a long period of reduced activity resulting from the recent economic slump, the pace of development in our region is picking up dramatically. While this helps create jobs and economic activity, we need to avoid the familiar pattern of sprawl from poorly planned development leading to the loss of cherished natural areas. People across the region are calling us, alarmed by the sudden conversion of fields and woodlands to residential and commercial expansion. In many locations across the Capital Region development marches on through farm fields and forests rather than smart growth through infill or redevelopment of previously disturbed areas.

MHLC has fourteen priority projects under way that could result in the permanent conservation of nearly 2,000 acres of natural lands

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is your local land resource. MHLC preserves land while providing places to walk, explore, recreate and reflect. Over our 23 year history, the Conservancy has preserved almost 3,700 acres in Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery counties. More than 1,300 acres are open to the public for hiking, cross-country skiing and an array of educational and recreational opportunities.

We are excited to announce that today, MHLC has fourteen priority projects under way that could result in the permanent conservation of nearly 2,000 acres of natural lands in our three counties over the coming months. These landscapes represent a broad swath of properties resulting from our efforts to preserve:

• working farmlands (Montgomery and Albany counties),
• wildlife habitat and stunning vistas (throughout the counties we serve),
• a site for the possible relocation of the historic Hilton Barn (New Scotland),
• and some of the last remaining open spaces in the highly developed areas of our region (Pine Bush and the Mohawk River Corridor).
To complete these historic projects, we must raise $245,000. This is an extraordinary opportunity– to have so many projects coalescing at once after years of preparation and negotiation—and now the funding must come together too! We need your assistance today more than ever– we cannot accomplish great things without you. Your generous donation today will help MHLC act quickly and decisively to save these vital open spaces forever!

Montgomery County Farmland
Much of New York’s Capital Region landscape is farmland, which is also some of the most threatened farmland in America. More than 4,000 farms in New York have been lost to real estate development since the 1980s, a significant loss for our economy as well as a loss of fresh, local food.

MHLC has a great new opportunity to protect almost 500 acres of family farmland in Montgomery County. The project includes nearly a mile of Schoharie Creek frontage and high quality agricultural lands.

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Fall colors and a farm road in the Town of Colonie.

Town of Colonie Open Space
“There are still significant blocks of undeveloped land in the Town, especially at the western and northern edges including the Pine Bush and the Mohawk River Corridor. It is now a critical time for the community to decide whether and how to conserve some of these remaining lands for this and future generations.” (Town of Colonie Comprehensive Plan page 12)

We are poised to protect nearly 70 acres of open space in the middle of one of the Town of Colonie’s highly developed neighborhoods. The property is located along the Mohawk River, a protection priority for MHLC and very scenic area. We also hope to add several properties to the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in the Town of Colonie – MHLC’s first projects focused on expanding the protection of this globally rare and locally important ecosystem.

Bozen Kill Ravine
With the newly opened Bozen Kill Preserve just outside of Altamont, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is protecting almost 3 miles of Bozen Kill shoreline. Flowing from the Helderberg Escarpment, the Bozen Kill originates from wetlands in Schenectady County and eventually enters the Watervliet Reservoir, the primary drinking water source for Watervliet and much of the Town of Guilderland. MHLC has long considered the Bozen Kill a protection priority and there are more opportunities to protect this scenic natural area. Today we plan to expand the Bozen Kill Preserve with three acquisitions that will add an additional mile of shoreline along the Bozen Kill stream.

Helderberg Conservation Corridor
A new conservation easement, to be completed by year end, will expand the conservation area between Indian Ladder Farms and Thacher State Park. Additional easements underway will preserve scenic vistas and farmland in Rensselaerville as we continue to build a corridor of preserved lands stretching from the foothills of the Catskills across the Helderberg Escarpment.

Spread the Word!
Click here for a printable version:
MHLC Conservation Opportunites 


**http://www.landtrustalliance org/why-conserve-land/threats/unplanned-development

Preserve Openings

Bozen Kill Preserve Opening
Join us for a grand opening celebration on:
Wednesday, October 14 at 10:00 a.m. 

at the new Bozen Kill Preserve in the town of Knox, NY. Read more

Fall Hike Schedule

2015 Fall Hiking Series

Hikers: Please call the office at MHLC at 436-6346 or email rsvp@mohawkhudson.org so that carpooling may be coordinated. Please bring water, lunch/snack, and waterproof boots. All hikers will meet at the Delmar Municipal Lot at 125 Adams Street, Delmar. All hikes listed below will start promptly at 10AM and will be completed by 1PM. Read more

Eat! For the Environment

Enjoy a meal at Creo’, Stuyvesant Plaza, on Tuesday September, 22nd, and a portion of the proceedes from your meal will be donated to MHLC.  Read more

George Landis Arboretum

We are excited to share an article written by Fred Breglia, Executive Director of the Landis Arboretum, a neighboring organization that shares MHLC’s conservation goals and interests. MHLC is collaborating with the Arboretum to introduce our audiences to other local conservation leaders.

George Landis Arboretum:  Who We Are
Fred Breglia, Executive Director and ISA Certified Arborist

fred bregliaFred Breglia has served the Landis Arboretum for over 15 years, first as Director of Horticulture and Operations and as Executive Director since 2010. He earned degrees in Landscape Development and Plant Science/Horticulture from SUNY Cobleskill. He is an ISA certified arborist with over 25 years in the green industry. He is a popular speaker on tree- and garden-related topics throughout the Capital Region and is a regular guest on WAMC’s “Vox Pop” broadcasts on gardening. Fred lives in a converted grange hall in Glen, NY, with his wife Erin and sons Fred and Michael.

The Landis Arboretum, located in Esperance NY, is looking forward to collaborating with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.  Our mutual environmental values will strengthen our efforts to conserve our area’s valuable natural resources.  We begin this joint effort by sharing articles with each other’s newsletters, focusing on topics that might be of interest to our collective membership. 

Landis Arboretum is a public garden comprising hundreds of acres overlooking the historic Schoharie Valley.  Arboretum founder Fred Lape began the work of developing the Arboretum in the 1950’s on Oak Nose Farm, his family homestead.  With the support of a bequest from friend and colleague George Landis, Lape’s goal was to grow every species of woody plant from the world’s temperate regions  that would survive in the hills of Schoharie County.  

Forty acres of the Arboretum are developed with plantings of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials from around the world. The remainder of the property consists of natural areas, woodlands, wetlands, more than 12 miles of trails, and open fields.   Among the Arboretum’s horticultural features are a labeled collection of nearly all the trees, shrubs, and vines native to New York State, as well as collections of notable trees, flowering ornamental trees and shrubs, tough trees for tough sites, conifers, and oaks.  Two old growth forests and additional natural areas representing various stages of succession await visitors   The Van Loveland Perennial Garden at the old farmhouse is a seasonal favorite. Interpretive signage aids visitors in their enjoyment and understanding of the collections and ecosystems of the Arboretum.  

As one of only three arboreta in eastern North America with old growth forests as well as holding a collection of nationally recognized Northeast oaks, the Landis Arboretum is a role model for its conservation efforts in New York’s Capital Region and a valuable community resource regarding horticultural practices, up-to-date invasive pest and disease issues affecting plants, and plant health care.

For additional information about the Landis Arboretum as well as a listing of workshops and events, please visit the Arboretum’s website, www.landisarboretum.org. 



Interview with Mark King

MHLC Executive Director Mark King was recently interviewed by Phil Bayly of News Channel 13. Watch the entire interview below.

Volunteerism Grant

As a result of the great volunteer effort at a recent work day at our Van Dyke Spinney Preserve MHLC received a $1,000 grant from Allstate. Thank you to Eric Woods and Allstate for making this possible! http://www.getwoodsinsurance.com


Wild Parsnip Season

Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is in full bloom now. Some people are sensitive to a substance in the plant called psoralen and may develop a rash if their skin contacts the leaves or plant sap in the presence of sunlight, a reaction known as “phytophotodermatitis”.  The blisters and rash may leave skin discoloration or scars that can persist for several months. Wild parsnip is most irritating at the time of flowering. 
Read more

Salamander Spotting

MHLC Members and friends enjoyed a beautiful day on the Margaret Snowden Craven Easement on Sunday April 26th for the Search for the Spotted Salamander Hike lead by Alvin Breisch.

Thanks to everyone who attended the hike and to Al Breisch who made it educational and fun!

Al with egg sacs

Al Breisch with a found salamander egg sack Photo: Tim Roske

For more hikes, check out our Spring hike schedule.

Additional photos below.


Van Dyke Spring Clean


MDSCN0763HLC welcomed 15 volunteers to our Van Dyke Spinney Preserve this past Saturday to help clear the new trail. Several bags of litter and old tires were cleaned up and many brave volunteers tackled the thorny Multiflora Rose that stood in the way of the new trail. We enjoyed a beautiful day, and accomplished more than expected. Thank you to all of our volunteers for contributing their time and efforts, and special thanks to the Bethlehem YMCA and the Togetherhood Committee for helping to make this work day possible.

We look forward to continuing work on the Preserve, and hope to open this Summer.



A star in the water

Can you spot the star at our Restifo Preserve? Thanks to Louis Suarato for the great photo!


In Search of the Spotted Salamander

Sunday, April 26th | 1 p.m.

Description: Local herpetologist Alvin Breisch will lead this family-friendly hike on one of Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s most recently acquired easements, the Margaret Craven Snowden property, adjacent to the Heldeberg Workshop in the Town of New Scotland.  The spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is a state-listed species of special concern known to the Helderberg region. Enjoy the spring wildflowers as we search for signs of this unusual creature.

Easy to moderate, approximately 2 hours.

When: Sunday April 26th at 1 p.m.
Where: Martin Road Extension in the Town of New Scotland

Directions to Hike: From the 4 corners in Delmar NY- Head W on Kenwood Ave. (Rte 140) to New Scotland Rd (NY-85 W) for 1.7 miles; Turn slightly L and continue on New Scotland Rd for 5.5 miles; At New Salem turn R on 85A E for .6 miles and turn L on Picard Rd (Co Hwy 306).  In approximately 1 mile turn left on Martin Road Extension; hike and parking on left.

RSVP: Please let us know if you plan to attend. Email us at rsvp@mohawkhudson.org or call 518-436-6346.

Please wear appropriate hiking boots or outdoor shoes and bring a raincoat in case of inclement weather. It’s a good idea to pack water, a snack, bugspray and sunscreen.

Spring Hike Schedule

Environmental and Farmland Funding

New York state is in the midst finalizing budget plans. Two items related to the mission of MHLC are $20 million dollars proposed for farmland conservation in the Hudson Valley region and an increase to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

Our friends at Scenic Hudson have made it simple to support the proposed $20 million dollars to conserve farmland in the Hudson Valley. Visit the link below to learn more.


To learn more about the Environmental Protection Fund visit:



TO  MHLC recently displayed at the Environmental Protection Fund lobby day at the NY state capitol.