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Improve Your Residential Land

An Opportunity:

Residential Conservation Practices

If you own residential property near the Tomhannock Reservoir, we invite you to begin a discussion with us about options for protecting water quality and beautifying your land. These improvements can prevent water pollution in the Tomhannock Reservoir, benefitting thousands of people in Rensselaer County.

If you want to install water features, solve erosion or flooding problems, or attract birds, butterflies, or game to your land, we may be able to help. Because these habitat improvements can prevent water pollution in the Tomhannock Reservoir, state and federal assistance may be available.

Here are some helpful tips for reducing harm to the Tomhannock:

  • Clean and maintain your septic system

  • Save money by using the correct amount of fertilizers and pesticides around your property; follow the directions on the container

  • Install rain barrels and rain gardens to capture runoff from your roof; use the water later on your lawn and plants

  • Avoid potential health issues by bagging pet waste and throwing it in the trash

  • Properly dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs; septic tanks and treatment systems are not designed to handle them

  • Clean up oil and other chemical spills with an absorbent material like kitty litter and dispose of it in the trash

  • Plant native tree and plant species 

  • Switch to electric landscaping equipment to avoid gasoline spillage, unhealthy and unpleasant fumes, and the bother of a trip to the gas station to refill the gas can.

Conservation practices can help you deal with flooding and erosion, attract wildlife, and create water features on your property. 

What is the Tomhannock Rural Land Campaign?


It is a program to preserve open space, woodlands, and agricultural land around the Tomhannock Reservoir, which is the water supply for more than 100,000 people in Rensselaer County. The campaign partners are the Rensselaer Land Trust, Rensselaer Plateau Alliance, and Agricultural Stewardship Association.


What Are “Residential Water Quality Management Practices?”


This term covers a collection of steps you can take to reduce polluted runoff from your land. What these practices have in common is a focus on keeping the Tomhannock reservoir clean, protecting your family and pets from exposure to harmful chemicals, and planting vegetation that attracts birds, butterflies, and game animals. 


Who Can Use Water Quality Management Practices?


Everyone with a yard in the Tomhannock Reservoir area! 


When Do I Have to Decide About Conservation Practices?


If you are interested and would like to learn more, it’s best to reach out to us early. Our program has a mid 2022 deadline. It takes time to choose the right strategies and apply them.

How Do I Get Started?

Call or write Jim Daus, Land Protection Manager, Rensselaer Land Trust, 518-659-5263,

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