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Purchase Receives DEC Grant for Invasive Species Prevention

Allyson Jackson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, was awarded the $99,480 grant to empower students to help protect the environment.

Major Grant to Have a Major Impact

Preserving Blind Brook Forest

Allyson Jackson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, has been awarded a major grant in the amount of $99,480 by New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation through its Invasive Species Grant Program.

The grant will provide three years of funding to help combat invasive species in the Blind Brook Forest on the eastern side of the campus. Parts of this forest are at least 100 years old, and it has a diverse community of plants and animals.

Empowering Students to Make an Impact 

The majority of the funding will allow Professor Jackson to hire students as full-time technicians in the summer and paid interns during the academic year for the next three years.

Due to the construction of Broadview, the new senior living community on campus, part of the forest had to be cut down to connect to the sewer line, leaving a corridor that allows invasive species to move into the forest.

Without management, invasive species can take over a forest and kill many of the trees. The funding supports efforts to actively remove invasive species from that area and replant native trees and shrubs.

“I’m really excited to be able to provide educational hands-on work experiences for our students while also taking care of the forest that we all love so deeply,” says Jackson. “With our help, the forest will be able to recover and regrow, and we will be able to help protect this environment for years to come.”

According to Chair of Environmental Studies Ryan Taylor, the entire department is eager to get started on the restoration project.

“Our students come to college wanting to change the world for the better, and thanks to Dr. Jackson’s visionary efforts and this generous grant, they have a tangible way they can make a significant impact.”

Grant Details

The program awarded a total of $3 million for 43 projects that reduce the negative impacts of invasive species on New York State’s natural resources, economy, and communities. The Invasive Species Grant Program provides funding for aquatic and terrestrial invasive species spread prevention, early detection and rapid response, lake management planning, research, and education and outreach.

 The grants are supported by the State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). The EPF is a critical resource for environmental programs such as land acquisition, farmland protection, invasive species prevention and eradication, recreation access, water quality improvement, and environmental justice projects.

The Invasive Species Grant Program is administered by the Bureau of Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health in DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests. For more information, please visit DEC’s website.