Working with Municipalities
Municipal Assistance Programs
Public Conservation Areas
While many local governments want to enhance the quality of life for their citizens by conserving important natural resources and providing recreational opportunities, they often lack the resources to do so, both in terms of funding and expertise. This is where DLC can help. Our Public Conservation Areas program offers DLC’s expert assistance to towns, cities and villages interested in acquiring important open space land for passive, public recreational use. The goal is to help communities throughout the County create Public Conservation Areas so the general public will have more chances to hike, bird watch or just have a picnic.
This program is locally driven, with municipalities identifying potential projects and then asking DLC to help complete them. For instance, once a municipality identifies a project, assesses local support and perhaps even determines the landowner’s willingness to sell, they can bring DLC in for hands-on assistance.
Initially an appraisal is acquired to determine the fair market value of the land for every project. DLC and the municipality can then negotiate with the landowner on price and secure an option to purchase the land that allows time to raise any necessary funds. If the municipality requests, DLC can hold a conservation easement on the property, ensuring the protection of the land. After the closing, DLC will work with the local government on a site plan, management plan, and official Public Conservation Area opening, with an orientation hike to introduce citizens to their new conservation area.
Town Hall Partnership Program
The Town Hall Partnership Program is aimed at strengthening DLC’s already positive relationships with local governments throughout Dutchess County by contributing to the conservation and ecological success of the communities we serve. Our work with local municipalities includes attending and participating at board and committee meetings, assisting with conservation land use planning, open space and farmland protection efforts, biodiversity and conservation mapping projects, scenic road initiatives, reviewing comprehensive plans and zoning regulations and giving presentations that address a community’s current open space and conservation needs. The Town Hall Partnership Program gives DLC the opportunity to work with our municipal partners to achieve sound land-planning practices throughout Dutchess County.
If you are interested in learning more about DLC’s Municipal Assistance Programs, please contact us at (845) 677-3002.