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Greenway Land Protection Program

Thanks to funding from the Greenway Ecological Standing Committee and support from the Niagara River Greenway Commission, the Western New York Land Conservancy is engaged in a multi-year program to proactively protect ecologically valuable land along the Niagara River Greenway with landowners who want to protect their lands. These programs are taking place on Grand Island and the Lower Niagara River and Niagara Escarpment communities.

The Niagara River corridor and the Niagara Escarpment are comprised of world-renowned natural wonders, unique geological features, expansive forests, networks of meandering tributaries, and important wetlands. These unique ecosystems support rare plants and animals, as well as migration and breeding events for wildlife. They also provide important ecosystem services, such as water filtration and flood control. However, they are also threatened, and could be lost forever if we don’t act now. 

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Grand Island

We have been active on Grand Island since 2017. Protected lands on Grand Island include the 146-acre Margery Gallogly Nature Sanctuary, one of the largest undeveloped, privately-owned properties on Grand Island. This beautiful forest includes portions of Big and Little Six Mile Creeks, towering oaks, and nesting ovenbirds. If you look carefully, you'll see blue-spotted salamanders squiggling on the forest floor. Other protected properties on Grand Island include the 44-acre Love Road Preserve, where you can gaze up into tall trees and spot amazing migratory birds like Scarlet Tanagers; the 10-acre Funk Preserve and, in early 2022, the 36-acre Alt conservation easement.

Lower Niagara River

We purchased the Stella Niagara Preserve (29-acres) in the Lower Niagara River region in 2016. This historic, nationally designated Peace Site is home to a variety of habitats, including a riparian zone, a beautiful native meadow, a forested area, and vernal pools. These habitats support rare plants and animals like the threatened Bald Eagle and Lake Sturgeon, as well as native shrubs such as Ninebark. We’re looking for additional properties to protect in the Lower Niagara, especially along the river. 

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Niagara Escarpment

Along the Niagara Escarpment the Land Conservancy has protected the 46-acre Niagara Escarpment Preserve (2011/2021) and the 74-acre Lytle Preserve (2008) owned by the Town of Lockport. The Niagara Escarpment Preserve includes 1,000 feet of the Niagara Escarpment, 21 acres of contiguous mature hardwood forest with several unique woodland plants, and 10 acres of rare restored grassland habitat. The Land Conservancy holds a conservation easement on the Lytle Preserve, a property with diverse habitats that feature wetlands, mixed hardwood forests, farmland, and open meadows—including 47 acres of grassland maintained as habitat for birds and other wildlife.

If you are a landowner in any of these project areas within the Niagara River Greenway and would like to learn how you can permanently protect your land, please contact our Land Conservation Specialist, Sarah Costlow, by email at or by phone: (716) 687-1225 ext. 119.

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