KEESEVILLE — Adirondack Architectural Heritage and The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine was awarded a $30,000 matching grant from the Environmental Protection Fund's Park and Trail Partnership Grants program to rehabilitate the steep section of Poke-O's Ranger Trail below the mountain's summit. 'The Friends" will raise an additional $5,000 in matching funds, to total $35,000.

The grant is one of 30 awards totaling $900,000 for organizations dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of New York's state parks and historic sites, trails and public lands. The grants will be matched with private and local funding and will support projects to strengthen Friends groups and enhance public access and recreational opportunities.

Friends groups-nonprofit organizations often made up entirely of volunteers-are essential to the stewardship and promotion of our state park system. These dedicated groups raise private funds for capital projects, perform maintenance tasks, provide educational programming, and promote public use through hosting special events.

The Park and Trail Partnership Grants are administered by Parks & Trail New York, a statewide non-profit organization, in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, 'With more and more people discovering the outdoors, and visitation to our parks, trails, and public lands soaring, the need for strong public/public partnerships has never been greater. The Park and Trail Partnership Grants help bolster the role of Friends groups in these vital partnerships."

This project, called "Take It To The Top", will add to and complete the major sustainable trail rehabilitation work on the Ranger Trail, begun in 2014, which has been supported by the local and hiking communities with over 500 donations from $5 to $25,000.] Overall $290,000 has now been raised for this project. The trail work will commence on August 16, 2021.

The Friends' Coordinator, David Thomas-Train, said, "This is wonderful support to the partnership between New York State; lmerys PMA of Lewis, New York; The Adirondack Mountain Club's Professional Trail Program; and The Friends to sustainably fill in a vital link in Poke-Moonshine's expanding trail network".

The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine is dedicated to the preservation of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain and its fire tower, improving and maintaining its trails, interpreting the natural and cultural history of the mountain, as part of an overall mission of sustainable use.

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