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Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy

to Seek Land Trust Alliance Accreditation

 Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy (RELC) is in the process of applying to receive accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.  Accreditation will not only strengthen RELC’s operating practices to further secure it long-term sustainability as a local land conservation organization, but it also will assure the public that it operates in conformity with national quality standards adopted by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.


The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, conducts an extensive review of each applicant’s policies and programs.  The Commission invites public input and accepts signed, written comments on pending applications.  Comments must relate to how RELC complies with national quality standards.  These standards address the ethical and technical operation of a land trust. For the full set of standards, see www.landtrustaccreditation.org/getting-accredited/indicator-practices.


To learn more about the accreditation program and to submit a comment, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.  Comments may also be faxed or mailed to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission; Attn.: Public Comments, 112 Spring Street, Suite 204, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (fax 518.587.3181).  Comments on RELC’s application will be most useful by May 1, 2013.

Date of Notice: December 21, 2013






Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy Announces 

Rail Trail Support


     RELC has recently committed to support the expansion of rail trail projects in the towns of Rochester, Rosendale, and Warwarsing through its partnership with three local organizations.  “Rail trails benefit the public by providing enjoyable recreational opportunities for residents and visitors as well as an increase in economic activity for local businesses and the community in general,” said Walter Levy, RELC’s president.  “We are excited by the prospect of one day enjoying long, uninterrupted rail trails as well as our ability to help our partners leverage the work they have already done.”  RELC is supporting rail trail expansion by providing grants to Wallkill Valley Land Trust/Open Space Institute, the Rondout Valley Business Association, and Friends of Historic Kerhonkson.


 Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT)/ Open Space Institute (OSI)

      RELC is providing a $25,000 dollar-for-dollar challenge grant to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Trestle Project, a joint project of WVLT and OSI.  The project will restore Rosendale’s 114-year old rail trestle and add it to an expanded rail trail that will run from Wallkill to Kingston.  This expansion means that trail users can take the scenic route to pass by woodlands, open fields, and farmland as they pass between many scenic and historic hamlets. 

      Residents and tourist alike can bike, walk, run, horseback ride and cross country ski while they discover a wide variety of birds, other wildlife and the panoramically beautiful views of the Shawangunk Ridge as they ride 150 feet above the Rondout Creek across the 940-foot long bridge.  The project will include repairing the bridge's steel infrastructure, installing decks and railings, and regrading and widening the rest of the Rail Trail.  RELC is particularly interested in the expansion of the rail trail near its existing 426-acre conservation easement near Williams Lake.  This linear park will benefit Mid-Hudson Valley residents in many ways.  It will fill in the most important "missing link" in one of the best networks of rail trails in the Hudson River Valley, and will encourage new economic development in the town of Rosendale. 

      In short, the restored Rosendale/ Ulster extension of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail will be a recreational and cultural resource that will provide users with an unparalleled recreational experience.  For more information on the Trestle Project, visit: www.wallkillvalleylt.org


Rondout Valley Business Association’s Rail Trail Initiative

      RELC is providing a $1,000 dollar-for-dollar challenge grant to the RVBA’s Rondout Valley Rail Trail Initiative (RTI).  The grant is to assist in the RTI’s initial plan development and fundraising efforts as it seeks to develop plans to expand the rail trail in the towns of Marbletown, Rochester, Wawarsing and the Village of Ellenville.

      “We are expanding the length of the rail trail through the Rondout Valley towns and villages, connecting the existing and proposed trails that will ultimately provide an uninterrupted path from Kingston south through Ellenville and onwards to Sullivan County. This will bring tourism and economic activity, which is definitely needed in our community, ” said Richard Travers, RVBA’s president.  For more information on the RVBA, visit: www.RondoutValley.org


Friends of Historic Kerhonkson

      RELC has provided a $500 grant to FHK to assist in its volunteer activities to expand the rail trail from Main Street in Kerhonkson south to Ellenville.  While the Town of Wawarsing is funding a substantial portion of the expansion along with State transportation grants, FHK has been instrumental in providing volunteer labor and services for clearing paths and cleaning up the rail bed.  RELC’s grant will provide financial support to assist FHK in those efforts.








Accreditation Public Comment Notice

2013 Newsletter - Spring

2012 Newsletter - Spring/Summer 

2011 Newsletter - Autumn/Winter

2011 Newsletter - Spring/Summer

2010 Newsletter - Autumn

2010 Newsletter - Spring/Summer


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