PLATTSBURGH — The Adirondack Park was awarded more than $600,000 in state funds to support a variety of initiatives.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced New York's next round of Smart Growth Grants, funded via the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.
Nearing $2 million, that round of funding featured close to 30 projects, including some in the state's Catskill Park, as well.
"The magnificent natural resources of the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserves attract visitors and residents from around the world," Cuomo says in a news release.
"It is crucial that New York continues to invest in smart planning to ensure the environment and local economies are protected."
The Smart Growth grants, awarded by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, meant to help return the parks to their natural land-use patterns.
"Located within a patchwork of public and private lands, park communities are presented with challenges and opportunities that can greatly benefit from smart growth," the DEC website says.
And so, the awards planned to identify local priorities for community development, leverage surrounding areas for public enjoyment and collaborate on initiatives throughout the Adirondack and Catskill parks.
"This round of funding also includes a focus on projects to enhance age-friendly characteristics of Adirondack and Catskill communities by creating more livable communities for people of all ages," the news release says.
The 21 grants awarded throughout the Adirondack Park went to various not-for-profits, as well as municipalities that were either fully or partially located in the park's boundaries.
Of them, several projects meant to advance age-friendly communities and amenities throughout the Adirondack Park, including:
• A $37,150 grant to the Historic Saranac Lake for its Historic Saranac Lake Museum Campus Site Plan.
• A $100,000 grant to the Town of Ticonderoga for building and site design for the Ticonderoga 18th century French sawmill reconstruction.
• A $100,000 grant to the Fort Ticonderoga Association for accessibility features at the Fort Ticonderoga 1826 National Historic Landmark Pavilion.
• An $18,660 grant to the Town of Westport for accessibility improvements to the Westport Train Station/Depot Theatre.
• A $50,000 grant to the Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation Inc. for expanding the educational and retail presence of the Adirondack Loon Center in Saranac Lake.
The Adirondack Park was home to another 12 awards that focused on recreation, environment, sustainable economic growth and other smart growth priorities, including:
• An $88,850 grant to the Town of Keene for its trails and trail-head parking improvement projects.
• A $66,000 grant to Adirondack Mountain Club for Heart Lake parking and a signage improvement project.
• A $100,000 grant to the Village of Tupper Lake for the Tupper Lake Hamlet Revitalization Façade Improvement Program.
• A $99,624 grant to Essex County Cornell Cooperative Extension for increasing the reach and effectiveness of Adirondack Harvest.
• A $100,000 grant to Pendragon Inc. for the Pendragon Theatre LEED Integrative Project planning and design process and Green Site redevelopment.
• A $100,000 grant to the Town of Tupper Lake for enhancing the Winter Recreation Economy of Tupper Lake for a town-wide Winter Recreation Plan and targeted improvements to the Outdoor Winter Recreation Center.
• A $75,000 grant to Adirondack Public Observatory Inc. for Support for Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory Launch! Phase: Design and Construction of the AstroScience Center Museum and Planetarium.
• A $100,000 grant to Essex County Industrial Development Agency for the Town of Ticonderoga's Main Street Revitalization.
The six projects awarded throughout the Catskill Forest Preserve went to different municipalities and nonprofits, as well.
"This round of smart growth grants will help support a broad range of initiatives designed to build stronger, more livable communities throughout the Adirondack and Catskill Parks," Cuomo says in the release.
"And complement our ongoing efforts to make these regions world-class destinations."
Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Plattsburgh) said he was happy the Smart Growth Grants went to some municipalities and organizations within his district.
"The Village and the Town of Tupper Lake, along with the Adirondack Public Observatory, BluSeed Studios and the Pendragon continue to seek out opportunities to better our region and I applaud their hard work in pursuing this opportunity," Jones says in a statement.
"The hundreds-of-thousands of dollars these grants will bring into our communities will improve educational and recreational opportunities, while encouraging smart, environmentally sound development."
The full list of projects and descriptions can be online at https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/49210.html.
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