Saratoga PLAN has received two state Conservation Partnership Program grants totaling $64,000.
Saratoga PLAN will utilize one grant for making capital improvements to the 25-year-old Bog Meadow Brook Nature Trail, improving access and safety, enhancing protection of adjacent wetland habitat, and furthering the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail.
This project will be supported by $10,000 in matching funds from the City of Saratoga Springs, and by donations of expertise, labor, and materials.
John Munter of Munter Enterprises was one of the engineers who worked on the trail 25 years ago, and he is back to manage the current projects. PLAN is actively recruiting volunteers to supply the manpower for much of the work.
There are three segments of the project. One project involves a reroute of the southeastern portion of the trail that will make it easier to walk and take it off the shoulder of a busy road leading from the parking area. A second project will repair and improve the boardwalk and viewing area overlooking a beaver pond. A third project will improve the very rutted and rough northwestern portion of the trail extending from Lake Avenue/Route 29 to where a new trail section will be rebuilt.
A second grant is for improving communications and marketing to broaden the reach of conservation information and support in Saratoga County, using digital communication techniques including video and social media outreach. A major initiative of the land trust community is to engage and inform all people concerning land conservation, including members of underserved communities, officials for the organization said.
The grants were part of approximately $2.3 million in support for 51 nonprofit land trusts announced in April by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance. LTA administers the Conservation Partnership Program in partnership with the DEC.
“It’s great to receive the strong support of DEC and the Land Trust Alliance, and it demonstrates their belief in Saratoga PLAN’s history of land conservation work, and our professional capacity to tackle more important projects,” said Maria Trabka, executive director of Saratoga PLAN. “PLAN recently conserved 405 acres of productive farmland in the town of West Charlton, and we have about ten additional conservation projects underway.”
Andrew Bowman, president of the Land Trust Alliance, said the partnership “enables land trusts and local communities to tap the enormous potential of the land to address societal challenges and positions New York as a national leader in demonstrating the relevance of land conservation to all Americans. New York’s commitment to the Environmental Protection Fund sets a standard that can inspire other states to protect water quality, promote healthy communities, and address the growing risks of climate change. These are smart investments in our collective future.”
For more information, call 518-587-5554, or visit www.saratogaplan.org.