David Miller – Co-Chairman
The OPEN SPACE, TRAILS & RIVERFRONT COMMITTEE's next meeting is Wed., February 8, 2023, at 6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Clifton Park Town Hall. Please call the Open Space Coordinator to confirm. The Open Space, Trails & Riverfront Committee meets monthly. Meetings are open to the public. The committee conducts its work through multiple, active subcommittees: Stewardship, Trails, Farmland Protection & Agriculture, Communications/Website, Events/Activities/Programs, and Land Preservation & Acquisition. Subcommittees meet as needed. Please call the Open Space Coordinator for more info about the committee and the Open Space Program.
The Open Space, Trails & Riverfront Advisory Committee's 2023 Members are:
New! HISTORIC BARNS PRESENTATION - coming soon!
TOWN CENTER PARK IS OPEN! Town officials held a ribbon-cutting on Oct. 11, 2022 to welcome visitors to the 37-acre, Town Center Park, open to the public, owned and managed by the Town of Clifton Park. The new park space is accessible from both Moe Road and the Moe Road Multi-Use Trail, as well as from Maxwell Drive at its intersection with Southside Drive, via new driveways. Bike racks and small parking areas are located at both main entrances to the park. The park features a 12-foot wide, paved path that can be shared by pedestrians, bicyclists, strollers, wheelchairs and is designed to be ADA accessible. The width of the path can accomodate groups and a mix of users. The trail is open every day, and will be maintained throughout all seasons. New crosswalks are located on Maxwell Drive connecting the new Town Center Park directly to the Town Center shopping, offices, restaurants, residential living, and community activities. New pedestrian lighting fixtures are also being installed along this main, east-west trail. Signage and benches are still planned to be installed as part of this initial phase.
The Town of Clifton Park acquired the property in February 2018 from the Shenendehowa Central School District with strong public support. In 2019 the Town Board initiated and conducted a one-year planning process, engaging with the public to create the community vision for the new park as a welcoming natural area and gathering place to enjoy the woodlands in Town Center. The Town Center Park Master Plan was presented to the Town Board on Dec. 9, 2019, for town board and public review; and the Town Board adopted the Plan in 2020. Phase 1 was constructed in 2022. Future phases include, but are not limited to, nature trails looping off this main trail, and a vision for interconnections to other locations identified in the Town Center Park Master Plan. Here is the link to the 2020Town Center Park Master Plan: pdf PARK MASTER PLAN Town Board Dec 9 small v2 (5.54 MB) .
Below please find two photos from the Town Center Park's official opening on Oct. 11, 2022.
Nature Preserves Updates:
DWAAS KILL NATURE PRESERVE: In 2020, the Blue Trail was established at the Town's Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve, thanks to Eagle Scout Ryan Haug, and is viewable in the 2021 Dwaas Kill Nature Preserve Trails Map. You can start the Blue Trail at the Main Parking trailhead entrance off of Pierce Road. The route out to the far overlook is about 1.1 miles, one way.
HAYES NATURE PARK: In 2022, Eagle Scout Christian Blood conducted park improvements at Hayes Nature Park, working closely with the Stony Creek Park District I and the Town of Clifton Park. He updated the Hayes Nature Park Trails Map adding distances, and created a QR code for easy reference for visitors.
KINNS ROAD PARK: As part of a Girl Scout Gold Award Project completed in 2021, Alison Szczesny, has created a video series showcasing Kinns Road Park, posted January 2022, for viewers to experience the park when they are not able to be there in person!
“Over the course of a year, I decided to walk and document each of 14 trails in Kinns Road Park. I recorded my hikes in the hopes of creating an online library of videos that would highlight the beauty of the park. I hiked each trail in both the mid fall and late spring. Over the course of the summer of 2021, I took the raw videos and smoothed them over, carefully editing them in ways that would highlight their natural wonder. Then, I worked with the Town of Clifton Park to add these virtual hikes to a new page off the Town’s website. I hope that my Girl Scout Gold Award Project makes this beautiful forest park accessible to all.”
--Alison Szczesny, Girl Scout Troop 2505, introducing her Girl Scout Gold Award 2021 Project
Nature Trail Videos of Kinns Road Park: Below please find a collection the videos for visitors to screen and experience 14 trails at Kinns Road Park, during Spring and also during the Fall.
Spring Videos of Kinns Road Park - Click here for videos of 14 trails and what you would experience in Spring at Kinns Road Park.
Fall Videos of Kinns Road Park Videos - Click here for videos of 14 trails and what you would experience in Fall at Kinns Road Park.
VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK & MOONEY CARRESE FOREST: In 2021, Lenny Casper and Jim Flaherty, members of the Stewardship Subcommittee refreshed the Trail Markers at Veterans Memorial Park & Mooney Carrese Forest and the town updated the Veterans Memorial Park & Mooney Carrese Forest Trails Map.
VISCHER FERRY NATURE & HISTORIC PRESERVE: For info about this special place, please see this 2002 Vischer Ferry Nature & Historic Preserve Brochure
WHIPPLE BRIDGE at VISCHER FERRY NATURE & HISTORIC PRESERVE: The iconic Whipple Bridge marks the prominent entrance to the preserve, located south of the intersection of Riverview Road and Van Vranken Road. This historic bridge was placed onsite in 1997 with the help of Union College and other volunteers, moved from its original location in Fonda, NY. For more information about the history of Whipple bridges and this particular span, please see an excerpt of the engineering students' 1996 study, here: https://www.cliftonpark.org/index.php?option=com_fileman&view=attachments&e_name=jform_articletext&layout=editor&container=fileman-attachments&table=content&row=59#
pdf GEOLOGY WALKS (1.87 MB) : LEARN MORE ABOUT ROCKS IN CLIFTON PARK! As part of a Girl Scout Silver Award Project, Katherine Johnson, of Troop 2158, developed a "Geology Walks" informational brochure highlighting information about the geology of Clifton Park, in September 2021. The brochure, prepared as a community benefit project, offers educational information about rock formations in a visually interesting format, linked to locations where you can hike, walk, and stroll to see the "rocks of Clifton Park"! Some hard copies are now available at the Town of Clifton Park Town Hall Reception Area and the Parks & Recreation Department Offices. A digital brochure is also available by clicking below on the 2-page brochure:
More information about her project and additional resources on Geology can be found by clicking here: pdf Geology Project Background & Additional Resources (1.87 MB) .
STEWARDSHIP HIKES - ARCHIVES:
If you missed the JULY 10, 2020 Stewardship program about GARNSEY PARK, you can still view it here as a PDF file: Virtual Stewardship Hike_Garnsey Park_7-10-20
If you missed the JUNE 5, 2020 Stewardship program about the 37 Acre of the new Town Center Park, you can still view it here as a PDF file: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AlFS35U05_VXg4JH0kWk6VUbMlLYUw?e=Y2cLHP
|Link to Open Space Documents|
The Open Space, Trails and Riverfront Committee offers advisory recommendations to the Town Board for implementing the Town’s Open Space Program and managing the town’s public lands. The Town’s Open Space Program is based on the Town of Clifton Park Open Space Plan adopted by the Town Board in 2003. The program includes activities such as: the acquisition of land and conservation easements to protect water quality and ensure clean drinking water, and to conserve natural areas for wildlife habitat and farmland for supporting local agriculture; the provision of additional parkland for recreation; the continuation of town-wide trail connections; and the protection of scenic and historic places. Additionally, the Trails Subcommittee provides ongoing recommendations to the Planning Board and to the Town Board for implementing pedestrian and bicyclist facilities improvements and town-wide connections. The committee meets regularly and all meetings are open to the public. The 2022 chairperson is David J. Miller.
The Town of Clifton Park Town Board appointed the inaugural Open Space, Trails and Riverfront Subcommittee in January 2006, following an earlier Open Space Plan Advisory Committee led by David J. Miller and Jim Romano, which had conducted a public open space planning process from 2001 through 2003, and early implementation from 2003 through 2005. The current Open Space, Trails and Riverfront Committee was formed to bring together the former Open Space Implementation Committee, the Trails Committee and a Riverfront Study Committee to work towards common, complementary and mutual goals and objectives, and fully implement the 2003 Town of Clifton Park Open Space Plan, adopted by the Town Board. The formation of the advisory committee coincided with the appointment of the town’s first Open Space Coordinator, Jennifer Viggiani, who started in 2005.