Champlain trails awarded state grants

WESTPORT — Champlain Area Trails has been awarded two grants totaling $63,225 from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program.

One grant, for $28,500, is to help build a new website.

“We’ve already reached out to designers and are working to have a much more interactive trails page among many other improvements,” CATS Operations and Communications Manager Emily Segada said in a statement.

The other grant, for $34,725, is to support CATS’ Essex Quarry Nature Preserve and Trail project, specifically to help pay transaction costs (legal, survey, staff time) and some of the trail-making expenses. Design plans for a kiosk and interpretive signs are already done. CATS is working to have these be “context-based,” meaning they will use leftover stones from the quarry for these improvements.

“It’s great to have the state support the Essex Quarry Project where CATS is converting a private quarry property to a nature preserve where people can hike, ski, and learn about the history of the quarry and our town,” Essex Town Supervisor Ken Hughes said. “They’ll also learn about the property’s rare forest community, this region’s geology, and fossils. We anticipate visitors will support our local businesses, so it’s a win for everybody.”

The NYSCPP is administered by the Land Trust Alliance, in coordination with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. More than $2.2 million was awarded to land trusts in New York this year, with $351,649 going to North Country land trusts.


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