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Naturalist Chris Evers leads a group in the Access Nature program.

The Lewisboro Land Trust recently announced that their Access Nature program has been selected as a partner for HSBC’s corporate social responsibility Graduate Group Initiatives in partnership with GlobalGiving UK.

According to the Lewisboro Land Trust, GlobalGiving UK, which works to support nonprofits through providing access to funds, tools, networks and learning opportunities, reached out to the Lewisboro Land Trust asking to submit a proposal for a partnership with HSBC.

“We couldn’t be more pleased or more grateful for this opportunity,” Bonnie Robins, director of Access Nature, said.

HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services institutions and serves more than 40 million customers through global businesses. Their partnership with LLT will allow the Access Nature program new resources that will enable it to expand.

Lewisboro Land Trust’s Access Nature program creates outdoor nature experiences for people with disabilities and connects those with otherwise limited ability to experience nature with all the benefits it can provide. The program has been successfully completing this goal for six years with hundreds of participants.

“All along, we wanted this program to not just be the 10 or 12 programs a year that they can run, but they wanted it to be taught to other organizations,” Lewisboro Land Trust Co-Director Bobbe Stultz, said. “That’s what this is going to allow us to do.”

Over the next three months, a group of 10 HSBC Graduate Group members will offer their time and skills to work on creating an Access Nature educational workshop, with the goal of making the program more inclusive and reach populations of greater diversity.

When finished, the 90-minute educational workshop will be offered to other land trusts and outdoor organizations to teach them how to duplicate the work of the Lewisboro Land Trust.

“This is a great honor and opportunity for Access Nature" Ms. Robbins said. "We were so honored and delighted to be picked by Global Giving, out of over 5,600 nonprofits on their platform, to represent them as partners with HSBC. The HSBC team is global and brings much expertise to our project.”

In other Lewisboro Land Trust news, their Hometown Heroes Celebration, planned to be held Sunday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, has been postponed due to scheduling conflicts among the town’s first responders.

After weeks of persistent efforts by the land trust to engage local first responders, Ms. Stultz said they had to make the hard decision to postpone the event until more of our hometown heroes could be celebrated.

Many local businesses signed up to sponsor the event. All donated money has been returned to the sponsors following the event’s postponement. Ms. Stultz said the land trust already made a banner for the event and was hoping to display it in town.

The banner reads, “LLT celebrates Hometown Heroes” and lists the business sponsors. It is currently hung outside Gossett Brothers Nursery and will then be moved to Tator’s Garage for display. Both businesses are among those who agreed to sponsor the event.

On Aug. 6, the Lewisboro Land Trust received some other bad news. Staff members learned that the recently-installed Native American Acknowledgement sign was stolen from Old Field Preserve in Waccabuc. Ms. Stultz said this is the third time a sign at that preserve has been vandalized or stolen.

Ms. Stultz added that this incident was particularly upsetting because the signs are part of the land trust’s Native American Acknowledgement initiative and were handmade with local materials.

In an effort to catch the culprit or culprits removing or damaging the signs, the Lewisboro Police Department has increased patrols in the area. It is also looking into the possibility of adding video surveillance.

Jessica Leibman is a staff reporter at The Record-Review where she covers the Town of Lewisboro the Katonah-Lewisboro School District.

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