November 26, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Nearly $2 Million in Smart Growth Grants for Communities in Adirondack and Catskill Parks

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Grants Support Environmentally Protective Cultural Amenities, Recreation and Economic Growth

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced nearly $2 million in smart growth grants were awarded to 27 communities and organizations that will help identify local priorities for community development, leverage surrounding natural areas for public enjoyment and collaborate on initiatives throughout the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserves. 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 magnificent natural resources of the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserves attract visitors and residents from around the world, and it is crucial that New York continues to invest in smart planning to ensure the environment and local economies are protected," Governor Cuomo said. "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, and complement our ongoing efforts to make these regions world-class destinations."

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Governor Cuomo recognizes the unique needs of Adirondack and Catskill communities and has provided significant support for initiatives that enhance experiences for visitors and residents alike. The grants announced today support DEC's ongoing efforts to balance preservation with economic development while focusing on making the Catskills and Adirondacks accessible and attractive destinations for people of all ages."

Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "This substantial state investment will promote smart development and the preservation of the Adirondack and Catskill parks. This funding will leverage existing state investments to spur further economic development within the Park and promote amenities for people of all ages."

Bill Farber, Chair of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, said, "The Adirondack Park Community Smart Growth grants support local priority projects that will contribute to the regional economy and capitalize on existing local resources. I am particularly pleased to see that local recreational trail stewardship capacity will be supported, improving recreational opportunities in Hamilton County. I would like to thank Commissioner Seggos and Governor Cuomo for their leadership in providing this opportunity for continued partnership."

Shaun Gilliland, Chair, Essex County Board of Supervisors, said, "Essex County is deeply appreciative and truly values the focus that Governor Cuomo gives to the communities of the Adirondacks. These Smart Growth grants will have direct and lasting impact on improving the quality of life and economies of our towns and region. We share Governor Cuomo's vision of making our region a tremendous place to live, work, and recreate."

James B. McKenna, President and CEO of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, said, "The Adirondack Park is competitive in the global, national and regional tourism economy. Smart growth grants have helped our communities activate destination plans which are home grown and designed to show off unique attractions and cultural strong points. This year's smart growth awards will support attractive community centers and help accommodate recreational use for a more sustainable, balanced future."

Jeff Senterman, Executive Director, the Catskill Center, said, "Catskill Park Smart Growth Grants offer Catskill communities and nonprofit organizations the opportunity to work together on projects that have positive direct impacts on residents and visitors to the Park and we applaud Governor Cuomo's continued strong support of this program. By supporting projects that seek to balance economic development with environmental preservation, Smart Growth Grants help ensure that we protect the values that make the Catskill Park special while working to make the region more accessible and welcoming for all." 

Funding administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation is awarded to municipalities and not-for-profit organizations that responded to a Request for Applications announced earlier this year through DEC's Smart Growth Grant Program. Grants for projects in the Catskill and Adirondack parks were made available by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Grant awards are:

ADIRONDACK PARK

Highlighted projects advancing age-friendly communities and amenities in town centers:

  • Historic Saranac Lake - $37,150 - Historic Saranac Lake Museum Campus Site Plan
  • BluSeed Studios, Inc. - $100,000 - Expanding the View of BluSeed Studios: Building and Site Improvements Along a Village Travel Corridor
  • Town of Ticonderoga - $100,000 - Building and Site Design for the Ticonderoga 18th Century French Sawmill Reconstruction
  • Fort Ticonderoga Association -$100,000 - Accessibility Features for Fort Ticonderoga National Historic Landmark 1826 Pavilion
  • Town of Westport - $18,660 - Westport Train Station / Depot Theatre Accessibility Improvements
  • Town of Webb - $100,000 - Public Restroom Facility in Downtown Old Forge
  • Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, Inc. - $50,000 - Adirondack Loons - Expanding the Educational and Retail Presence of the Adirondack Loon Center in Saranac Lake
  • Village of Speculator - $100,000 - Village of Speculator Historic Fire Tower Assembly Project
  • Adirondack Hamlets to Huts, Inc. - $30,000 - Adirondack Hamlets to Huts Trails Center - Interpretive Displays and Organizational Development Projects

Projects focusing on recreation, environment, sustainable economic growth, and other smart growth priorities: 

  • Town of Keene - $88,850 - Town of Keene Trails and Trailhead Parking Improvement Project
  • Hamilton County - $66,500 - Hamilton County Trails in to Prosperity - Analysis of Conditions of Priority Trails and a Plan for Activating Local Capacity for Management and Sustainability of Trails
  • Town of Caroga -$64,367.56 - Wheelerville Trails - Mountain Biking Destination
  • Town of Lake George - $75,000 - McPhillips Preserve at French Mountain
  • Town of Chester - $30,000 - Cunningham Community Forest Master Plan
  • Adirondack Mountain Club, Inc. - $66,000 - Heart Lake Parking and Signage Improvement Project
  • Village of Tupper Lake - $100,000 - Tupper Lake Hamlet Revitalization Façade Improvement Program
  • Essex County Cornell Cooperative Extension -$99,624 - Increasing the Reach and Effectiveness of Adirondack Harvest
  • Pendragon, Inc. - $100,000 - Pendragon Theatre LEED Integrative Project Planning and Design Process and Green Site Redevelopment
  • Town of Tupper Lake - $100,000 - Enhancing the Winter Recreation Economy of Tupper Lake - Town-wide Winter Recreation Plan and Targeted Improvements to Outdoor Winter Recreation Center
  • Adirondack Public Observatory, Inc - $75,000 - Support for Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory Launch! Phase: Design and Construction of the AstroScience Center Museum and Planetarium
  • Essex County Industrial Development Agency - $100,000 - The Town of Ticonderoga, Main Street Revitalization, 2019 Microenterprise Grant Program 

CATSKILL PARK

Highlighted projects advancing age-friendly communities and amenities in town centers:

  • Catskill Revitalization Corp., Inc. - $71,000 - The Delaware and Ulster Railroad Restroom Improvements
  • MARK Project, Inc. - $58,500 - Village of Margaretville Amphitheater Project
  • Town of Hunter - $79,000 - Hunter Branch Rail Trail West of Tannersville Clove Creek Bridge

Projects focusing on recreation, environment, sustainable economic growth, and other smart growth priorities: 

  • Catskill Center for Conservation and Development - $41,000 - Catskill Park Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program
  • New York New Jersey Trail Conference - $50,457 - Ashokan Rail Trail Stewards
  • Town of Windham - $35,000 - Town of Windham Comprehensive Plan
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