Department of Environmental Conservation

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2019 Community Smart Growth Grants

DEC announced the following smart growth grant awards to Adirondack Park and Catskill Park communities and organizations in November 2019, in cooperation with the Department of State and Adirondack Park Agency.

Adirondack Park

2019 Adirondack Park Community Smart Growth Grant Awards
Recipient and Partners Project Name and Description Awarded
Historic Saranac Lake Historic Saranac Lake Museum Campus Site Plan
Design an integrated site plan for the museum campus at 118 Main Street and 89 Church Street in downtown Saranac Lake, NY. Create a unified campus in the heart of historic downtown Saranac Lake that will promote Smart Growth principles and attract arts and culture tourism to the village of Saranac Lake. Careful site planning is important for this location because of its central location downtown, its historical importance, and the potential impact on the patterns of vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian circulation.
Town of Ticonderoga Building and Site Design for the Ticonderoga 18th century French Sawmill Reconstruction
Develop schematic design and detailed construction drawings for reconstruction of an 18th century French sawmill including a timber-framed replica structure (sawmill) foundation / basement for the mechanical system, waterwheel; water flume from the LaChute River to the sawmill; sitework and utilities including driveway/parking area, one separate single accessible toilet room, and laydown area for raw log and cut timbers.
Fort Ticonderoga Association Accessibility Features for Fort Ticonderoga National Historic Landmark 1826 Pavilion
Add accessibility features to the National Historic Landmark 1826 Pavilion to accommodate educational programs, events, and earned income. Improvements include the addition of a brick pathway, an enlarged entrance foyer, new bathrooms and meeting, conference and exhibition spaces that are designed to be enjoyed and accessed by all persons. Furthermore, a wrap-around porch will be created to connect the main South Meeting Room to the South Patio, ensuring smooth access and usability. The parking lot will be re-graded & accessible parking spaces added.
Town of Westport Westport Train Station / Depot Theatre Accessibility Improvements
Re-pave, re-stripe and install a walkway with a handrail on the hill between the historic 1876 train station that houses an active Amtrak stop and the non-profit Depot Theatre. This iconic landmark area is home to an important Adirondack transportation hub that saw 5,596 passengers in 2018 and the only Equity theatre in the Adirondack Park, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and entertained approximately 3,500 patrons. This project will improve access to the station and theatre.
BluSeed Studios, Inc. Expanding the View of BluSeed Studios
Implement building and site improvements along a village travel corridor. Create a pavilion and outdoor classroom/concert area, a new accessible sidewalk system, and additions and improvements to the Pollinator Garden being installed in Summer 2019.
Town of Webb Public Restroom Facility in Downtown Old Forge
Construct a public restroom facility in downtown Old Forge, NY, Town of Webb, which will consist of a centrally located building within the business district of Old Forge. The building will be slab on grade and will contain ADA compliant public restrooms with each side including 2 sinks, 2 sanitary units and a baby changing table. The outer vestibule will include a water fountain which can also act as a water bottle filling station.
Adirondack Center for Loon Conservation, Inc. Adirondack Loons - Expanding the Community Presence of the Adirondack Loon Center
Expand the educational and retail capacity of the Adirondack Loon Center in Saranac Lake, NY. This will utilize the Common Loon as an educational ambassador to enhance public awareness and understanding of environmental conservation issues critical to the Adirondacks and its wild and human inhabitants. This project will enable the Center to expand and improve its retail displays and educational exhibits on loon ecology and conservation and help support personnel to engage with visitors.
Adirondack Hamlets to Huts, Inc. Adirondack Hamlets to Huts Trails Center Interpretive Displays and Organizational Development Projects
Create an attractive interpretive space in the Adirondack Hamlets to Huts Trails Center in Saranac Lake and help AHH advance its sustainability through the development of both a business plan for the organization and the purchase and implementation of a donor management system (DMS). This initiative will help turn the back room of the Trails Center into an educational space with displays that will inform Trails Center visitors about Principles of Leave No Trace (LNT), day hiking risk management, and bear and moose ecology.
Village of Speculator Village of Speculator Historic Fire Tower Assembly Project
Restore and reconstruct a 1930s era fire tower in a Village Park accessible to all. Fire towers are a cultural and historical symbol of the Adirondacks and are a tangible part of the legacy of natural resource conservation in New York State. Typically only accessible after climbing a mountain, the restoration and reconstruction of the 1930s era Hooker Hill Fire Tower in the Village of Speculator's Ball Field Park will bring the historical, cultural and regional significance of fire towers to a universally accessible location in downtown Speculator.
Town of Keene Town of Keene Trails & Trailhead Parking Improvement Project
Address impacts associated with increased visitation and recreational use of natural resources in the Town of Keene and enhance public access to High Peaks Wilderness resources. Specifically: 1) improve the quality, accessibility and interpretation of connector trails; 2) improve trailhead parking at the Marcy Field Trailhead Parking area and expand Keene Hiker Shuttle route options and; 3) support state-wide & regional initiatives to promote stewardship of the Adirondack High Peaks region by providing staff to provide visitor information, hiker education & public outreach at Marcy Field Trailhead Parking area
Hamilton County Hamilton County Trails in to Prosperity
Conduct an analysis of conditions of priority recreational trails in Hamilton County, specifically 5-10 priority trails that lead visitors from communities to back country recreational opportunities. Develop a plan for activating local capacity for management and sustainability of trails. The large number of trails in the County presents a maintenance challenge. Hamilton County will take a pro-active leadership role in maintaining and preserving trails, which will enhance the quality of the user experience.
Town of Caroga Wheelerville Trails - Mountain Biking Destination
Construct a multi-use, year-round recreational trail system on lands owned by the Town, as recommended in the 2018 feasibility study, which included a designed loop system. The initial phase of construction calls for nearly 5 miles of trails, roughly three feet in width, focused on easy access to mountain biking with varying degrees of difficulty.
Town of Lake George, with the Town of Queensbury McPhillips Preserve at French Mountain
Complete final design and permitting phases related to site access, trail design, and supporting amenities, including parking, outdoor meeting space, and signage at the new McPhillips Preserve at French Mountain. The communities envision a series of hiking trails, complex of single-track mountain biking trails, and conservation-based education linked with the Lake George school campus.
Town of Chester Cunningham Community Forest Master Plan
Complete all predevelopment planning for the Cunningham Community Forest Trail which will be primarily located on a 104-acre Town property in the hamlet of Chestertown. The trail will be a full loop connecting an existing nature trail at the Town Municipal Center to the sidewalk network. The project will set the stage for a new public amenity to enhance quality of life with an inviting forest trail experience, improvements to pedestrian circulation and management of a valuable natural resource.
Adirondack Mountain Club, Inc. (ADK) Heart Lake Parking and Signage Improvement Project
Survey and re-design the hiker parking area at ADK's Heart Lake Program Center. Located at the busiest trailhead accessing the High Peaks Wilderness Area in the Adirondack Forest Preserve, the Center attracts nearly 100,000 visitors annually. The Center provides overnight accommodations, an education facility with indoor program space and sleeping quarters, and access via the property to the adjacent wilderness area.
Village of Tupper Lake, with the Franklin County Local Development Corporation (FCLDC) Tupper Lake Hamlet Revitalization Program
Provide matching funds to property owners in the two traditional commercial districts of Tupper Lake: Uptown (Park Street) and The Junction (Main Street) to undertake transformative building renovations. Funds will be used for façade renovations, creation and renovation of commercial space, and the creation of new residential units. The program will prioritize mixed use, tourism enhancement, business development, affordable housing, and accessibility for all age groups.
Essex County Cornell Cooperative Extension Increasing the Reach and Effectiveness of Adirondack Harvest
Through website innovation, media promotion, and outreach events, this project will grow the impact and reach of Adirondack Harvest, supporting area tourism, marketing, and educational initiatives, focusing on agricultural and forestry products, businesses, events and experiences. The diversity of businesses and consumers through the constantly changing seasonality of local food and the tourism economy creates the need for a streamlined, powerful resource website and an ever-present, adaptive promotional effort.
Pendragon, Inc. Pendragon Theatre LEED Integrative Project Planning and Design Process and Green Site Redevelopment
Support environmental features of the Pendragon Theatre in downtown Saranac Lake for LEED certification: permeable pavement, drought-tolerant landscaping, and the LEED Integrative Project Planning and Design Process including registration, modeling, commissioning, and documentation. The repurposing of 56 Woodruff St. will create a state-of-the-art theatre facility on an under-utilized site in a priority area for downtown redevelopment.
Town of Tupper Lake Enhancing the Winter Recreation Economy of Tupper Lake
Make targeted improvements to immediately improve winter recreation at the James C. Frenette Sr. Recreational Center, create a town-wide Winter Recreation and Tourism Master Plan to focus attention on the opportunities for winter recreation to offer solutions to seasonal fluctuations in the town's economy, and develop a strategic plan for the Recreational Center, which is underutilized, particularly for winter recreation.
Adirondack Public Observatory, Inc. Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory
Implement "Part One" of the Launch! phase of the Adirondack Sky Center & Observatory project: design and construction of the AstroScience Center Museum and Planetarium, in Tupper Lake, NY. Part One includes final architectural and engineering work, sitework, site utilities, and foundations.
Essex County Industrial Development Agency The Town of Ticonderoga, Main Street Revitalization, 2019 Microenterprise Grant Program
Deliver a Microenterprise Grant Program (MGP) for eligible expanding or startup businesses, located along the Ticonderoga main street/central business district. The MGP will provide a resolution for small businesses' lack of access to capital, assisting businesses to offer a more relevant mix of wares, goods and services. The program will help improve the viability of the businesses and enhance access to goods, services & accommodations while protecting the environment and maintaining the historic community core.

Catskill Park

2019 Catskill Park Community Smart Growth Grant Awards
Recipient and Partners Project Name and Description Awarded
Catskill Center for Conservation and Development Catskill Park Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program
Develop an internal Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strategy for the Catskill Center with assistance from an established DEI consultant. Position the Catskill Center as an effective DEI ally for the outdoor recreation community in the Catskill Park. Bring DEI awareness and mindful action to the Catskill Center's programs and overall mission. Develop a preliminary DEI strategy for the Catskill Park and assist in the creation of a Catskill Park DEI working group
Catskill Revitalization Corp., Inc. The Delaware and Ulster Railroad Restroom Improvements
Provide new restrooms at the Delaware and Ulster Train Depot in Arkville. These restrooms are the only public restrooms for those riding the scenic rail and one of the few available along the Route 28 corridor, a state and national designated scenic byway. The new restrooms will be ADA compliant and include standard amenities such as changing tables and accessible stalls, plus radiant floor heat for four-season use and green technology.
MARK Project, Inc. Village of Margaretville Amphitheater Project
Revitalize the Village of Margaretville's centrally located Village Park by developing the space as an amphitheater. The small, but beautiful parcel is in the center of the Village, connected by a foot bridge from the municipal parking lot to the sidewalk on Main Street. The Binnekill and Bull Run streams are both visible from the Park and feed into the East Branch of the Delaware River, making this site the ideal setting for outdoor community events, performances and educational programming.
New York New Jersey Trail Conference Ashokan Rail Trail Stewards
Recruit, train and deploy trail stewards on the newly opened 11.5-mile multi-use recreational Ashokan Rail Trail. The stewards will educate and interact with the visiting public along the trail loop over a three-year period. This will greatly enhance the quality of the recreational experience, promote ancillary tourism, and protect the environmental resources of the reservoir and its surroundings.
Town of Hunter Hunter Branch Rail Trail Clove Creek Bridge
Extend community rail trail with a new bridge, including engineering (survey, permitting, and designs), purchase of prefabricated pedestrian bridge and installation. The bridge will span Clove Creek between the villages of Hunter and Tannersville in the place of a former truss bridge on the former Hunter Branch rail bed. The Hunter Branch Rail Trail (HBRT) is an essential link to the growing network of trails throughout the Town of Hunter.
Town of Windham Town of Windham Comprehensive Plan
Update the Town's Comprehensive Plan in order to reevaluate the land use goals of the community. The Town last updated its Comprehensive Plan 16 years ago in 2003. This update will be a public process with input from the Town residents, municipal government, community organizations, local businesses, and neighboring communities. It will provide the basis for the implementation of stronger land use controls to help drive a shared community vision towards reality.