SMHT Color Logo 115x180px Southern Madison
Heritage Trust

SMHT Schapiro, and Gateway Reserves trails
are open to the public from dawn to dusk. 
Leland Reserve is CLOSED during the hunting season.    Locations map =>

Dairy Farm Succession Grant:  SUCCESS!
SMHT has received a grant of $825,628 from the NY State Farmland Protection Implementation Program to protect the 528 acre Rocky Top Acres farm
 in Brookfield, Madison County .
Through this program, proceeds from the purchase of development rights on agricultural land will allow farmers an opportunity to diversify their operations and/or to transition their farms to the next generation at more affordable costs, while ensuring the land forever remains used for agricultural purposes.  We plan to close the project by mid-year 2024.

Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative - Round 17 - Phase 2, 2019

Restoration of Native Vegetation at the Schapiro Reserve: SMHT engaged in a restoration project with the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, an organization aimed at improving the general water quality of streams feeding into the Susquehanna River watershed, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. This USC restoration project was aimed at restoring the Schapiro Reserve to something like its historical character, with a mix of 4300 native trees and shrubs, reducing runoff and improving overall water quality of Payne Brook, which becomes part of the Chenango River a few miles downstream.   A dense are of honeysuckle was shredded into mulch and planted with trees which will eventually shade out any regrowth of the honeysuckle.   More=>

Projects for 2024 and Beyond

Trail Connection from Schapiro Reserve to the O&W Village TrailProposed Trail Connection Schapiro Reserve to College Street1
The trail connection crosses Village of Hamilton land from the end of the O&W RR Trail on the Schapiro Reserve to College Street a short distance from the southern terminus of the Village O&W Trail.  The route passes close to the wastewater treatment plant, past the dog park, and along the access road to College Street. The trail traverses only Village of Hamilton property and will likely require grant funding and Village approval to proceed with the project  More=>

Bridge to Brackett Woods    
The plan is to provide trail access to special features of Brackett Woods by crossing the Madison Feeder with a footbridge.  The Madison Feeder Trail would provide access to the Woods with parking at the Gateway Reserve.  

Extension of the Madison Feeder TrailFuture Madison Feeder Trail small
The Madison Feeder Trail currently ends at Route 12B.  The plan is to extend the trail along the feeder to the O&W RR Trail adjacent to the Hamilton Municipal Airport.
  Click picture for larger version.

SMHT hopes in the long term to gain national accreditation through the Land Trust Alliance and the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.  The requirements are extensive and involve all aspects of the land trust’s operations.  

Get Involved

Issues and Activities

We need your help to be successful advocates for responsible land conservation.  See a current Newsletter, explore this site then consider joining us.
So roll up your sleeves and work on a special project, help shape our agenda during our monthly meetings, take a hike with us, or provide much-needed financial assistance.
Donation Form icon-pdf    or
Donate on line =>

Contact us for more information by  Email

Roadside Cleanup: SMHT is responsible for picking up trash along 2 miles of Route 12B North of Hamilton, NY.  Details =>

5th Grade Ecology Project with the Hamilton Central School
                                                   Details and videos =>

Fiddler’s Green Monitoring and Educational Project  Details =>

Leland Reserve trail cleanup &
                                 Bridge construction        Photos =>
SMHT hosts guided walks at the Leland Reserve
                                                   Girl Scouts    Photos =>
Trails Project:
SMHT is working with the Chenango Canal Association to improve the Chenango Canal Towpath Trai that leads from Bouckville to the Village of Hamilton and to link that trail to one along the Madison Feeder of the Chenango Canal.    Trails web site =>

Donate Button


Leland Reserve Bird List =>

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SMHT wants to help!

If you want to preserve land for future generations
If you want to keep it in farming, or open space or free from intensive development, we are your friends and can help you do it.

The SMHT can show you how to use a protective easement or other instrument to protect your land for future generations and possibly gain a tax benefit doing it.

Check out our handy plain language booklet and/or contact us by email or telephone at

Harvey L. Kliman, President, SMHT

Who We Are:

      Southern Madison Heritage Trust works to conserve, for public benefit, natural resources in and around the townships of Brookfield, Eaton, Georgetown, Hamilton, Lebanon and Madison in Madison County, NY.  We strive to protect land, conserve prime soils, working farms, water, unique habitats, scenic landscapes, recreational sites and historic features through stewardship, public education and support of practices that advance natural resource conservation.

Madison County Outline Map w towns & SMHT 6 Towns Color
NYS taxmap

   New York State               Madison County          Six Towns SMHT Coverage Region

Web Master Email

Southern Madison Heritage Trust
P.O. Box 117 - Hamilton, NY 13346

Banner photo by John Hubbard