Champlain Area Trails (CATS) has been awarded two grants from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) totaling $63,225.
“We are thrilled to be awarded $28,500 to create a new website that will greatly improve our online presence,” said Emily Segada, CATS Operations & Communications Manager, “We’ve already reached out to designers and are working to have a much more interactive trails page among many other improvements.”
CATS has also been awarded a $34,725 grant to support their Essex Quarry Nature Preserve and Trail project. These funds will help pay transaction costs (legal, survey, staff time) and some of the trail-making expenses.
There has already been great progress on the trails, design plans for a kiosk and interpretive signs. CATS is working to have these be “context-based,” meaning they will use leftover stones from the quarry for these improvements.
“We thank the broad community support for this project,” said Chris Maron, CATS Executive Director, “We are grateful for these two grants that are from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) and New York’s Environmental Protection Fund. They, along with previous NYSCPP grants, have advanced our mission to save land, make trails, connect people with nature, and promote economic vitality in NY’s Champlain Valley.”
Essex Town Supervisor Ken Hughes said, “It’s great to have the state support the Essex Quarry Project where CATS is converting a private quarry property to a nature preserve where people can hike, ski, and learn about the history of the quarry and our town. They’ll also learn about the property’s rare forest community, this region’s geology, and fossils. We anticipate visitors will support our local businesses so it’s a win for everybody.”
The NYSCPP is administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Over $2.2 million was awarded to land trusts in New York State this year, with $351,649 going to North Country land trusts.