The Albany Pine Bush Preserve, a local and national treasure. Protected by a partnership, the Albany Pine Bush is one of the most endangered landscapes in the Northeastern United States.
The origins of the Pine Bush are rooted in glacial history. As the last glacier to cover New York State melted and receded approximately 15,000 years ago, a massive lake formed covering the Capital Region. Rivers deposited large amounts of fine glacial sand into the lake, forming a delta that centered on western edge of modern day Albany. After Glacial Lake Albany drained, wind swept the exposed sand into dunes that were later stabilized by the unique plants of the Pine Bush.
The Albany Pine Bush harbors rare and endangered species including the federally endangered Karner blue butterfly, two rare natural communities and fourteen rare insects. Specifically, it is home to 45 wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New York State. Today, less than 6,000 acres of the original 25,000 acres remains as Pine Bush habitat. Since the first parcel of this inland pitch pine-scrub oak barrens was purchased in 1974, more than 3,200 acres have been protected towards a goal of an almost 5,380 acre Preserve.
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is a public benefit corporation formed by the NYS Legislature for the purpose of protecting and managing the unique and endangered natural communities of the Albany Pine Bush for ecological, recreational and educational benefits. The Commission consists of the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Commissioner of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the mayor of the city of Albany, the town supervisors of the towns of Colonie and Guilderland, the chief executive officer of the county of Albany, the state director of the New York field office of The Nature Conservancy and four members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Commission believes effectively protecting the Pine Bush involves partnership with landowners and cooperation with local communities to create environmentally compatible development.
To assist in this effort, Commission partners work as a team to sponsor particular programs or projects with donations of funds and in-kind services. Sponsors include corporations, foundations, individuals and groups. Working together to achieve our objectives, the Commission and its partners can realize mutual benefits.
Commission members protect priority lands, as identified in the most recent New York State Open Space Conservation Plan and by the Commission in its Management Plan. All acquisitions are from willing sellers.
Designing environmentally compatible development is important. Landowners have signed agreements with the Commission protecting and developing different parts of their property.
Be a part of supporting the Albany Pine Bush by participating in our events and volunteering to help protect the pine bush region. We look forward to offering a number of events to educate and encourage others to appreciate this unique habitat that we have in our backyard!