Our work is supported in part by the NYS EPF, DEC, and a 2014 Conservation Capacity Grant administered by
The Land Trust Alliance.
Battenkill Fans Share Their Ideas at our Annual Meeting
Nearly fifty area residents came out last Tuesday evening to learn about the Battenkill Corridor Connections Project and share their vision and ideas for the Battenkill. As part of “It's Your Battenkill, Explore It” campaign, the Battenkill Conservancy sponsored the meeting that took place at Seventy Main in the Village of Greenwich. John Behan of Behan Planning & Design in Saratoga Springs and Rick Lederer-Barnes of Upstate GIS in Cambridge took participants for a trip “up river” with a combination of photographs, aerial slides and maps. They also presented the initial results of BkC's “It's Your Batten kill, Tell Us What You Want” survey before leading the group in a lively and positive interactive discussion of the river's beauty, opportunities and threats.
The Project's initial phase will focus on the lower portion of the river and the key tributaries that feed into it between East Greenwich and where the Battenkill flows into the Hudson just north of Dix Bridge. The Project looks to highlight existing access spots that already have public fishing rights but are poorly marked and under utilized vs. creating new access points. What became clear at the meeting was the public's desire to balance conservation with access and/or over promotion which might negatively impact the river. The concern regarding overuse was offset by the view that if the river is more visible and not hidden from the community's every day experience, people will take steps to care for it. While the public's overuse can be a concern during peak weekends, participants pointed out that the larger threats to the river's health stems from lack of riparian buffers, poor storm water management along the state highways and inadequate zoning restrictions for existing riverfront roads.
While BkC aims to raise awareness of these issues, their initial goal is simply to gather as much public input as possible through their simple ten question on-line survey and take small steps to highlight one of our area's most valuable assets from an environmental, cultural, historic and economic aspect.
After Behan and Lederer-Barnes completed their tour of the lower river, they opened the meeting to suggestions and recommendations for each of the ten Project sites. The recommendations included simple improvements like a bench or friendlier signage for existing access points to more ambitious and creative ideas such as a pedestrian bridge to connect areas along Rock Street to Main Street in the Village of Greenwich. BkC will be posting all comments and survey results on its website over the next few weeks. As an all volunteer group, they are also forming a sub-committee to work on implementing the Project and welcome all interested parties to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's Time for Battenkill Conservancy's Annual Meeting.