Palmertown, NY (December 11, 2017)—The Open Space Institute (OSI), in partnership with Saratoga PLAN and local officials, today announced an upcoming community discussion about efforts to develop a Palmertown Conservation Master Plan to identify conservation corridors and recreational areas, that, if protected, will create regional connectivity, bolster the recreational and forest economy in Saratoga County, and increase public access to trails. The master plan is scheduled to be completed by the Fall of 2018.
“Palmertown” is the name of the ridge of open space between Moreau Lake State Park and Saratoga Springs, located in north-central Saratoga County.
This public workshop will take place on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 from 6-8PM at Greenfield Community Center.
An invitation to attend the meeting has been sent to user groups in the area including local land owners, mountain bikers, equestrians, hikers, hunters, and snowmobile users. Public input gathered at this meeting will help guide the next steps in the planning process.
“The Palmertown Master Plan is the spark that will energize the creation of a Saratoga-Moreau conservation corridor, connecting Moreau Lake and Saratoga Spa State Parks. Saratoga County has great potential to become a new center for outdoor recreational activities,” said Katie Petronis, OSI’s Northern Program Director. “The first step is to connect communities within Saratoga County. Much of the trail infrastructure exists; we just need a plan for protecting the land and connecting these natural and recreational resources.”
In Saratoga County, OSI is working to connect Moreau Lake and Saratoga Spa State Parks via a 13-mile trail corridor. This natural corridor will provide a recreational link between the parks and connect the communities of Saratoga Springs, Glens Falls, and Queensbury.
Saratoga County is among New York’s fastest-expanding counties. In the face of Saratoga County’s development pressures, the master plan will serve as a framework for prioritizing the protection of places in the county that have the power to benefit the public most.
The plan will document existing conditions in the Southern Palmertown region, highlight the unique features of the area, and map the recreational and economic resources in Saratoga County with the hope of creating a vision for the region’s recreational economy.
By developing a long-term plan to connect the region’s recreational trails and increase access to outdoor recreational opportunities, the master plan is creating a framework for Saratoga County to become a new destination to be enjoyed by residents and visitors, alike.
For more than 20 years, OSI has been working to enhance Saratoga County’s recreational opportunities, protect climate-resilient lands, and safeguard drinking water resources. OSI has protected more than 6,200 acres in the area, doubling the size of Moreau Lake State Park and permanently protecting Greentree Lake, with 1,800 additional acres slated for protection in 2018.
In the summer of 2017, as part of the first steps in the process of creating a master plan for the Southern Palmertown Range area, graduate students from SUNY Albany gathered historic information and assessed the physical, economic, and social characteristics of the landscape. Their work began outlining the challenges and opportunities for the Palmertown area and their analysis provided a starting point for the development of the Palmertown Conservation Master Plan.
With a focus on identifying opportunities for future conservation, recreation, and forest-based economic development, the Palmertown Conservation Master Plan will help guide conservation priorities in this area into the next decade.