Town Supervisor Mahan celebrates Earth Day with new conservation, sustainability plans

Albany County
Town of Colonie

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Town Supervisor Paula Mahan announced a number of initiatives and accomplishments to celebrate Earth Day in the Town of Colonie. These next steps are intended to advance both the goals of the Town’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan and Supervisor Mahan’s commitment to quality of life in Colonie.

The announcement highlights initiatives that illustrate how the Town of Colonie plans to engage in conservation and sustainability practices. They include conserving critical environmental areas, enhancing the community’s opportunity to interact with new passive open space, advancing the Town’s pledge for a sustainable community, advancements in energy efficiency, and the town’s annual tradition of distributing seedlings to residents.

Conservation of 880 Troy-Schenectady Road

Last year, the Town Supervisor began discussions with the Albany County Land Bank to acquire and conserve 10.6 acres along the Schuyler Creek, which flows north and south through the site. This site was the subject of a foreclosure by the County, who then transferred the property to the Land Bank which had listed it for sale. After the Town received some initial calls from potential buyers, it was immediately determined that the development of this property would compromise a “natural buffer” to the Garling Heights neighborhood. In March, the Town Board approved of the acquisition from the Land Bank for $1. The Town is in the process of closing on the property and by doing so, it will be protected from future development.

Sand Creek Road Park

In 2013, the Town of Colonie acquired nearly 130 acres of land at 620 Sand Creek Road. This piece of land provides residents with an opportunity to experience a “tranquil forest setting,” including a small pond and upland views into a natural ravine that includes a stream. In May, the Planning and Economic Development Department will conduct a public engagement meeting to share its findings about the site and to ask for public input on how the property can be best used and enjoyed.

Climate smart communities coordinator and task force

At the next Town Board meeting, Supervisor Mahan will ask the Board to designate Planning and Economic Development Director Sean Maguire as the Town’s Climate Smart Communities Coordinator. He will be directed to recommend a Climate Smart Communities task force that will work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to a changing climate. In 2018, the Town adopted the New York State Climate Smart Communities Pledge.

LED streetlight upgrades

In 2021, the Town of Colonie will complete a street lighting upgrade. The project involves the conversion of its streetlights to LED, which will result in long-term cost and energy savings. Older lights, typically high-pressure sodium streetlights, are less efficient than LEDs, require more frequent replacement, and as a result higher maintenance costs. LED lighting also produces a light that is brighter making it easier for motorists and pedestrians to see obstructions and other hazards, which could also increase safety.

Conservation/Arbor Day

Since 2016, the Town of Colonie has been recognized by The Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA community. This program works with the UDA Forest Service. An important part of the Town’s annual application for the Tree City USA designation is its annual Conservation Day program. The program provides town residents with the opportunity to receive free seedlings. This year, town residents can pick up one of this year’s selected seedlings at Town Hall on Saturday, May 1 between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Fifteen varieties of trees will be available while supplies last. Residents are asked to bring proof of residency to the event.

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