Tonawanda Coke Funds Benefit Local Audubon Preserve | Local News

The Western New York Land Conservancy announced that it has received a $160,000 grant from the Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefit Program (TCEBP), part of the amount contributed by Tonawanda Coke. A portion of the funds will be used to improve the North Tonawanda Audubon Reserve.

The project will restore habitat, reduce the threat of dangerous trees, improve walking trails and engage people of all ages in environmental education.

Grant award decisions were made by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Office of the Attorney General, following the results of a public voting process developed by these agencies. in collaboration with a community advisory committee made up of area residents. The projects with the highest number of votes were selected for funding.

Specific project highlights include:

• Remove dangerous trees and plant new trees in the North Tonawanda Audubon Preserve on Birch Drive

• Planting native trees and removing invasive species in Gallogly Nature Sanctuary, Love Road Preserve and Funk Preserve on Grand Island

• Environmental education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds on reserves

The past two years have proven that people are eager to get out into nature and explore, Land Conservancy officials said. These nature reserves have welcomed many new visitors. The preserved forests are home to fascinating plants and animals like Pileated Woodpeckers, Forked Birds, Silver Maples and the native fragrant spice bush.

Unfortunately, they also have non-native invasive plants, especially shrubs like buckthorn and honeysuckle, which crowd out native plants, reducing wildlife diversity and limiting the growth of our native wildflowers and trees. Invasive plants also have fewer positive impacts on stormwater absorption, as well as air and water quality.

In some places, invasive insects have decimated native trees, leaving dead or dying trees that pose a danger to nearby people and homes.

“As someone who grew up in Western New York during a time when the water and air were filled with toxic waste from local steel mills, I know how important environmental conservation is to community of Tonawanda,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. The state’s historic actions, along with these new efforts advanced by the Western New York Land Conservancy and all recipients of the Tonawanda Community Environmental Benefits Program, will promote and foster sustainability in the area for years to come. and I’m glad it’s moving forward with the nearly $1 million in funds obtained through the state’s enforcement action against Tonawanda Coke Corp.

Attorney General Letitia James said the enforcement action against Tonawanda Coke raised $900,000 for Tonawanda community revitalization efforts.

The Western New York Land Conservancy is a nonprofit regional land trust that has protected more than 7,000 acres of land with significant conservation value in Western New York.

For more information about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, or the mission of Western New York Land Conservancy, please call (716) 687-1225 or visit www.wnylc.org.

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