What We Do
Since 1985, the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) has helped safeguard the regional landscape of the 1000 Islands by accepting conservation easements, acquiring property and by establishing accessible areas available for public enjoyment. Currently, TILT protects over 8,200 acres of land, both fee-owned land and conservation easements, including important wetland, grassland and woodland habitat. This includes preserves and over 40 miles of trails that are open to the public, year-round. During the spring and summer months, we host our annual TILTreks & Talks, TeenTreks, KidsTreks and TILTKids Camp programs, which promote living, learning and conserving in the 1000 Islands. These treks invite participants to join TILT staff and local experts as we explore our preserves and experience the many recreational benefits that can be enjoyed.
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.
A Thousand Reasons to Conserve...
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.
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, TeenTreks, KidsTreks and TILTKids Camp 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!