Middletown - The Orange County Land Trust was recently awarded grants totaling $35,000 from two local charitable foundations to help the organization fulfill its mission of protecting Orange County’s open spaces. The Harriman Foundation, which supports land preservation and environmental protection activities within the Ramapo River Valley region of Orange County, awarded the land trust a grant of $10,000. These funds in the past were utilized to help protect just over 405 acres of former Arrow Park land in Monroe and Tuxedo, 259 acres of which were added to Sterling Forest State Park in 2009. The Orange County Land Trust assisted in the protection of an additional 65 acres adjacent to these lands in 2010, adding to an important corridor for recreation and wildlife habitat in this southeastern part of the county. This year, funds will be used to help conserve other adjacent and nearby lands. A local foundation requesting anonymity recently awarded the Land Trust a $25,000 operating grant, to support the operations of the nonprofit trust. These funds will be used to help pay for professional staffing at the land trust and land appraisal costs, as well as closing costs associated with land acquisitions and the placement of conservation easements. The mission of the Orange County Land Trust is to preserve the fields, forests, wetlands, ridgelines and river corridors in and around Orange County through voluntary land conservation for the benefit of people. To date, the nonprofit Land Trust has helped protected nearly 4,000 acres of working farmland, biologically sensitive and scenically important lands throughout Orange County. For more information, volunteer opportunities and ways of giving, visit www.oclt.org. Become a fan of the Orange County Land Trust on Facebook for conservation news and information.