in the news

The Land Conservancy Joins Community Partners to Celebrate the Niagara Gorge at GorgeFest

June 7, 2022: The Land Conservancy is teaming up with New York State Parks, the Niagara River Greenway, the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, the Buffalo Museum of Science, and more than a dozen local environmental organizations for a one-day celebration of the Niagara Gorge and its amazing river. The internationally renowned Niagara Gorge is one of the most iconic places in Western New York. GorgeFest will celebrate the Niagara Gorge’s unique ecosystem and incredible biodiversity with activities that include geology hikes, native plant and animal meet and greets, fossil displays, hands-on activities for the whole family, and much more.

Western New York Land Conservancy Dedicates College Lodge Forest, Old-Growth Forest Network Inducts Preserve into Nationwide Program

May 27, 2022: The Western New York Land Conservancy and the Friends of the College Lodge Forest held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the College Lodge Forest to announce the Land Conservancy’s formal purchase of the property. Located near Fredonia, NY, this spectacular forest has long been a cherished community gathering place in Chautauqua County. As part of the ceremony, the College Lodge Forest was formally inducted into the national Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN). To celebrate the dedication of this protected forest, the Old-Growth Forest Network’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Joan Maloof, presented a plaque to the Land Conservancy's Executive Director, Nancy Smith.

Western New York Land Conservancy Awarded $690,000 to Grow Native Plants for Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park

April 1, 2022: The Western New York Land Conservancy is pleased to announce that it was awarded $690,000 by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to collect local native plant seeds, grow the plants, and then provide the plants to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park in Buffalo. The Land Conservancy will focus its efforts on the “inlet” zones of the park. It will grow 50,000 plants from locally collected seeds, and add many trees, shrubs, and aquatic plants that will enrich the wildlife habitat at the park.

The Riverline Awarded $900,000 in FY22 Federal Budget

March 17, 2022: The Riverline was awarded $900,000 in federal funds in the recently approved federal budget, as announced at a press event early this week. The event featured New York State Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand; Congressman Brian Higgins; Mayor Byron Brown; Thomas George, Director of Public Transit at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA); Jeff Lebsack, The Riverline Director; and Nancy Smith, Executive Director of the Land Conservancy.

Land Conservancy Awarded $2 million Grant to Protect Lands that will Safeguard Drinking Water in Allegany County

February 3, 2022: The Land Conservancy is pleased to announce that it has received a $2,000,000 grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as part of its Water Quality Improvement Program (WQIP), a grant that specifically targets the protection of source waters. With this funding, the Land Conservancy will identify and permanently protect land in the Black Creek-Angelica Creek watershed in Allegany County, safeguarding public drinking water sources. The grant will allow the Land Conservancy to find priority source water protection lands, and as always, partner with local landowners who voluntarily wish to protect their land.

Land Conservancy Awarded Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefit Program Grant to Enhance Multiple Preserves

February 2, 2022: The Land Conservancy is pleased to announce that it has received a $160,000 grant from the Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefit Program (TCEBP). With this funding, the Land Conservancy will undertake a host of projects at preserves in North Tonawanda and Grand Island. Through this project, they will improve existing nature preserves, restore wildlife habitat, reduce the threat of hazard trees, improve walking trails, and engage people of all ages in environmental education.

Providence Farm Collective Awarded Major Grant to Develop Farmers’ Market on Buffalo’s West Side

January 27, 2022: Providence Farm Collective (PFC) is pleased to announce that it has received a $477,000 Farmers Market Promotion Program grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). With this funding, PFC will create a farmers’ market on Grant Street, in the heart of Buffalo’s west side where many of their farmers live. The market will be open from the end of June to October 2022, and it will serve the Black community and refugees from Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia, Myanmar, and Liberia.

The Land Conservancy and The Riverline Launch Community Art Program to Inspire Future Designs and Programs

January 3, 2022: The Western New York Land Conservancy and The Riverline are launching a community art program with The Riverline communities for an exhibit that will debut at several locations—and virtually—in the summer of 2022. Building on strategies identified in The Riverline Equitable Development Framework, the exhibit will celebrate the rich history and cultural diversity of the Valley, Old First Ward, and Perry neighborhoods through the voices and stories of neighborhood residents. Residents and local artists will provide the materials for the exhibit to elevate resident voices and promote community pride. The materials will inspire future design details of The Riverline, including interpretive signage, art installations, and programming.

NOTE: If you would like to be involved in this project, please reach out Jeff Lebsack, The Riverline director, at

Community Reaches Fundraising Goal, Western New York Land Conservancy to Purchase the Allegany Wildlands

January 1, 2022: The Western New York Land Conservancy and the Friends of the Allegany Wildlands are pleased to announce that the community has reached their fundraising goal to save the Allegany Wildlands. Located near Allegany State Park in Cattaraugus County, this spectacular 200-acre forest is home to a rich diversity of plants and animals. Once purchased, it will be permanently protected and become part of the Land Conservancy’s planned Western New York Wildway.

Read more media coverage: