Open Space Institute Celebrates $50,000 Catalyst grant from Conservation Partnership Program

Image Credit: Greg Miller

Grant will help establish recreation trail corridor in Saratoga County

Town of Saratoga (June 19, 2019)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) celebrated receiving a $50,000 grant to establish a recreation trail corridor in Saratoga County. The Conservation Partnership Program grant, made available through the state’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will allow OSI to continue its conservation work in the Palmertown Range, a sector of the Adirondack Foothills that runs from Fort Ticonderoga in the north to Saratoga Springs in the south.

OSI received the award after completing the Southern Palmertown Community Conservation and Recreation Strategy (the "master plan"), which identifies conservation priorities critical to establishing a 13-mile recreational and wildlife “green” corridor in northern Saratoga County, and protecting the first parcel of land toward achieving this regional conservation vision. OSI’s 860-acre “Smith Farm” acquisition was the northern most property identified in the master plan and permanently protected a scenic, forested parcel, including two miles of Hudson River frontage, for public enjoyment and recreation. With the grant, OSI will hire a consultant and start implementing key recommendations from the master plan.

“The protection of the Palmertown Range offers one of the best and last opportunities to protect a continuous swath of land between the Green and Adirondack Mountains, providing people with a place to enjoy nature and wildlife with a corridor for habitat and movement,” said Kim Elliman OSI’s president and CEO. “This grant furthers OSI’s commitment to saving land for healthy communities and goes a long way in helping us achieve long-term conservation goals.”

In addition to providing additional recreational opportunities and driving local ecotourism, conservation of the Palmertown Range will also provide wildlife with a corridor for habitat and movement. Working together with local land trust Saratoga PLAN, OSI used mapping data to analyze the area’s conservation, economic, and recreational potential and showcased the information in the master plan. Click here to learn more or to read the full plan.

"Land trusts make a real difference in local communities, maximizing public and private dollars to protect and preserve New York's natural resources," Governor Cuomo said. "Through the Environmental Protection fund, New York is bolstering our extensive network of land trusts that provide support for environmental and open space programs, generating revenue, creating jobs and ensuring a cleaner and healthier New York."

Forty-seven not-for-profit land trusts across the state were awarded more than $2.2 million as part of the Conservation Partnership Program. A total of 70 grants funded through EPF will leverage an additional $2.2 million in private and local funding to support projects that protect water quality and farmland, boost public access for outdoor recreation and conserve important open space areas that will benefit community health, tourism and economic development.

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