Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy celebrates 25 years of conservation in 2017

— Photo by Robert Stone

The Catskills unfold from the Bolotsky Property in Rensselaerville, which was protected in 2016 by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy was founded 25 years ago on a cold winter evening by a small group of neighbors concerned about the loss of precious open space. Today, the conservancy is a strong regional land trust and the only conservation organization exclusively dedicated to preserving the fields and forests, wildlife habitat, and character of Albany, Schenectady, and Montgomery counties.

The not-for-profit conservancy has protected more than 5,000 acres, including over 2,000 acres open to the public for hiking, cross-country skiing, and other educational and recreational opportunities. MHLC also manages more than four miles of the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail through an agreement with Albany County.

The public is invited to join the conservancy as it celebrates a quarter century of local conservation successes.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy kicks off its year-long celebration with a cocktail party honoring Matthew Bender IV, local philanthropist and conservationist. Guests will experience the breathtaking view of the winter sunset over the preserved lands of the Capital Region from the Corning Tower Observation Deck while enjoying cocktails and a light buffet.

Bender will be honored for his significant contribution to the conservancy as a devoted supporter and passionate advocate for land conservation in the Capital Region. The public is invited to join MHLC board, staff, and friends at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28. Tickets are available at or by calling (518) 436-6346.

In February, the conservancy will feature its first outdoor event of the year with a day of fat biking on the trails of its Keleher Preserve in Voorheesville, with food and beverages provided by Bountiful Bread of Stuyvesant Plaza.

As the weather begins to warm in April, the conservancy will partner with Ondatra Adventures to host a Hiking and Backpacking Tips and Tricks Workshop. In the summer and fall, the public is invited to a series of programs including birding hikes, new preserve openings, family wilderness craft programs, a Hike-a-Thon in July, and a gala affair at Thacher Park’s new visitor center in September. More information on all events may be found at

In February, MHLC will also be releasing the Capital Region Nature Passport, a new, free resource for explorers, adventurers, and naturalists of all ages and expertise levels. The passport is a collection of 25 micro-adventures that can be completed entirely within the forests, streams, and fields of the conservancy’s public preserves and protected lands.

From finding hidden habitat gems to trying out new trails, the passport encourages visitors and citizens to pull on their boots, get out the door, and get some dirt under their nails, exploring the spectrum of nature experiences waiting to be enjoyed in the Capital Region. Free copies of the passport will be available at all MHLC preserve kiosks and at the conservancy’s office at 425 Kenwood Avenue in Delmar.

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