What We Do
For more information, see the article, What is the Land Trust Anyway?, written for TI Life's June 2013 issue by TILT's Coordinator of Education and Outreach, Corinne Mockler.
TILT conserves land in the Thousand Islands region of New York State, which includes the islands in and the shoreline along the St. Lawrence River between Cape Vincent, NY and Oak Point, NY on the US side of the Canada/US border. The river drains the Great Lakes Basin, and thus, is a critical part of the largest supply of fresh water on the planet.
The lands conserved may be:
· Habitat for threatened or endangered species
· Filters for clean water in watershed areas
· Important historic sites
· Scenic areas that define the unique character of the region
· Recreational lands that benefit the community
Helping Landowners Conserve Their Private Property
A property owner can protect the natural features of his or her land through a conservation easement, or land conservation agreement. This is a voluntary legal agreement between the owner and TILT and helps the owner plan for the protection of the cultural and natural features of the property. Each easement is designed to meet the owner’s needs and personal wishes for the land. It limits some of the owner’s rights to develop the land and protects the land in perpetuity, passing with the land when it is sold or inherited.
The landowner continues to own the land, retaining all rights to it except those limited by the easement, and pays property taxes on it. It remains private property.
Conserving Land Owned by TILT
TILT also conserves land it owns - preserves where habitat restoration and trail maintenance are
performed. While some have restricted use, many TILT preserves and trails are open to the public, including Potters Beach, Zenda Farm Preserve, the Grindstone Island Nature Trail, the Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail, the Macsherry Trail on the Crooked Creek Preserve, the S. Gerald Ingerson Preserve and our future Otter Creek Nature Trail on the Otter Creek Preserve. These preserves and trails offer recreational opportunities for visitors, as well as environmental protection. Other lands owned by TILT include rocks and shoals in the St. Lawrence River, the historic Fort Haldimand, grasslands and forest which preserve wildlife habitat, and land donated to TILT for its scenic qualities.
Most of these lands remain on the tax rolls and TILT pays all property taxes on them.
Habitat Conservation and Restoration
Partnering with other agencies and organizations, TILT has helped to restore a variety of important habitats in the region. Stewardship is the most important part of our work, and includes restoration of nesting habitat for Common Terns, reclaiming open fields for grassland species, protecting wetlands and other nursery areas for aquatic species.
Education and Consulting – "Get Out On The Land" With TILT!
TILTreks & Talks and KidsTreks are annual series of educational programs that give individuals and families the opportunity to "Get Out on the Land!" Some are field trips to a preserve for a bird walk or an historical tour; some are recreational outings like bike rides and kayak paddles; still others are discussions and presentations on wildlife or habitat preservation. You will always learn something!