Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation: Grants for Conservation

OVERVIEW: The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck (PCLB) Foundation supports conservation efforts in Upstate New York, the Hudson River Valley, and throughout Connecticut. 

IP TAKE: The PCLB Foundation is very regional in its giving, but there's a multi-billion dollar fortune waiting in the wings, and hints of broader horizons for this funder. It does not accept unsolicited proposals, but welcomes prospective first time applicants to contact the office to discuss applying.

PROFILE:  Peter Buck was a nuclear physicist before co-founding Subway Restaurants. Subway has grown to become the largest restaurant chain in the world and Buck still owns half of the company. In 1999, the Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation was founded and has seen its assets grow to more than $332 million.

The PCLB Foundation is still relatively young but has been very involved in funding land conservation grantmaking in New York and Connecticut. PCLB supports organizations working to conserve land and promote sensible growth in New York's Hudson River Valley region and also Connecticut. The bar for entry is high and priority is given to conservation outfits that work to create or connect important corridors of land and preserve farmland. 

While the foundation’s grantmaking has been very regional, it has been diverse, doling out money to trusts, conservancies and other kinds of land conservation organizations. Black Rock Forest Consortium, for instance, is a nature reserve located in Orange County, New Jersey which used to be owned by Harvard Unversity but is now privately-owned. Black Rock is heavy into sustainability education and the foundation has supported them in recent years. For a complete list of grantees, click here.

Peter Buck's son Christopher is president of the board of the PCLB Foundation. Christopher lives in New York but has a house upstate in Garrison, the same part of the Hudson Valley that the foundation’s money has been tapped to protect. While it’s hard to say where the foundation’s philanthropy will go in regard to conservation and the environment, it's possible that Christopher will take PCLB Foundation's conservation funding to a national level. Peter Buck is worth an estimated $3 billion, so significant funds could eventually bolster the foundation. 

The foundation doesn't accept unsolicited proposals but rather prefers that nonprofits reach out to program staff. Sometimes this can turn into on-site visits. Also, the foundation does award some project grants, but most are for general operating support.

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