The Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy joined forces with a group of student veterans from Paul Smith’s College recently to hang trail signs, clear trash and perform other tasks to get the Boquet River Nature Preserve ready for the season.
A dozen people from Paul Smith’s – six student veterans, five other students and a faculty member – worked in collaboration with six Conservancy staff to help prepare the preserve for the summer season.
Small groups dispersed throughout the 120-acre preserve to mount a dozen new trail signs, natural debris from trails, and install 160 linear feet of new wooden split-rail fencing. The group also removed over 200 pounds of trash from in and around the premises, which comprised of old tires, paint cans, plastic and glass bottles, and more.
The New York State Conservation Partnership Program, funded through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund, recently awarded The Conservancy a $20,000 stewardship grant to create a new trail, expected to be built this summer.
The six United States military veterans represent the College’s Veterans Association, an affiliate of the national organization Student Veterans of America. Faculty member, Sara Dougherty, a Paul Smith’s faculty member and an adviser to the group also participated. Lunch was provided by American Legion Post 405.
In addition to the cleanup day at Boquet River Nature Preserve, the Adirondack Chapter celebrated Earth Day in other local communities as well: Staff organized a volunteer day at Everton Falls Preserve, near St. Regis Falls, and attended Keene Central School’s Environmental Awareness Day to raise awareness about conservation with students and staff.
The Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy offers several volunteer opportunities throughout the year at one of six visitor preserves in the region, or with the the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP) which conducts surveys for invasives. To learn more about the chapter’s volunteer opportunities, call (518) 576-2082 or visit their website.
Photos, from above: The Nature Conservancy and Paul Smith’s College students courtesy The Nature Conservancy; Student Veterans build split rail fence; and Student Veterans digging post holes courtesy Erika Bailey.