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State awards grants for John Brown Lives, Upper Saranac Foundation

Two local nonprofits were awarded thousands of dollars in state grant funding on Friday. The funding will help expand programming at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid and contribute to the containment of invasive species at the Fish Creek Ponds Campground near Upper Saranac Lake.

The Upper Saranac Foundation was awarded $19,000 toward its Fish Creek Aquatic Invasive Species Spread Prevention and Containment project, which targets invasive species at the state Department of Environmental Conservation campground at Fish Creek. The foundation has pulled Eurasian watermilfoil from Upper Saranac Lake for years and has since moved on to nearby Fish Creek Ponds and Follensby Clear Pond.

The state also awarded John Brown Lives, a Westport-based volunteer organization, $11,650 toward programming at the John Brown’s Farm State Historic Site.

Grant recipients have to raise outside funding of at least 10% of the grant amount received, according to Robin Dropkin, executive director of the nonprofit advocacy group Parks & Trails New York.

The new grant funding comes from the Park and Trail Partnership Program, which is funded through the state’s $300 million Environmental Protection Fund. The program supports organizations involved with stewardship of state parks, historic sites and public lands. More than $2.7 million has been awarded through the program since it was established in 2015.

“The grants announced today will help bolster efforts to keep New York’s open spaces beautiful and pristine at a time when more New Yorkers than ever are turning to nature for refuge and relaxation,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “New York is thankful for this dedicated group of volunteers, which provide invaluable support to our park system by devoting their time to help make improvements that all of us can enjoy.”

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