For Immediate Release: December 20, 2017
Bolton Landing, NY – The Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) has been awarded a $40,000 from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) and a $10,000 grant from the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust for a comprehensive Trail Reconstruction and Enhancement Project at the Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob in Fort Ann.
In total, more than $123,000 has been raised through grants and individual donors to complete the massive project, which includes an expanded parking area (completed this summer), the re-routing of the preserve’s trails and the installation of features that will result in less erosion from storm water, and a safer pathway for users. The LGLC has contracted with Tahawus Trails to design and complete the trail work. The Pilot Knob Project also includes the creation and installation of a new kiosk and trail-side educational signage to better promote the land’s ecological and conservation values.
The LGLC’s Pilot Knob Project is one of more than 1,000 projects across the state to receive $755 million in awards through the seventh round of the REDC competition, which was announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo on December 13. (Read the full announcement here.)
The Capital Region Economic Development Council, whose coverage area includes Lake George, received $85 million supporting 110 projects that support economic growth. The LGLC grant comes through the Recreational Trails Program, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
“Outdoor experiential recreation and education is proven to increase local economies,” said LGLC Executive Director Jamie Brown, “boost health and provide a positive impact for all involved, including the hiker, tourist, local business and local community. The work to be done at Pilot Knob will boost and improve the user experience by providing additional trail amenities, which in turn, will provide economic benefits to the surrounding towns.”
The grant from the Solomon Charitable Trust will fund the purchase of six educational signage panels and stands, as well as a sustainable kiosk at the head of the trail. This signage will present informative, relevant and useful information to visitors of all ages in regards to the Preserve, the plants and animals present, as well as the role of land conservation in protecting the water quality of Lake George.
All of these improvements will reflect positively on the Preserve and in turn will raise visibility of the LGLC and the importance of land protection and proper stewardship throughout the area and the Adirondack Park.
In addition to these latest grants, the LGLC also received $40,000 for the Pilot Knob Project from the New York State Smart Growth grants awarded in August, and $33,600 from private donors.
“We are very excited to see so much support for this iconic Preserve,” said Brown. “The Preserve’s location and relatively short hike with a beautiful view of the lake makes it very popular, and these grants will allow us to make sure the trails stay safe and environmentally sustainable for many years to come.”
Named in honor of LGLC’s past executive director, Lynn LaMontagne Schumann, who was instrumental in its preservation, the Schumann Preserve at Pilot Knob is a 223-acre preserve on Pilot Knob Road. Protected by the LGLC in 2000, the popular Preserve now hosts over 4,000 visitors each year, which is not sustainable with the existing trails. (More about the Preserve)