stewardship resource center

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Saratoga PLAN’s Galway Nature Preserve is getting a makeover thanks to a grant from the Dockstader Charitable Trust.

The existing structure in the Galway Preserve parking area will be rehabilitated and repurposed into a Stewardship Resource Center.

By installing a few structural improvements to the roof, doors and support beams, staff and volunteers will transform the garage into a storage facility for stewardship equipment. This centrally located, secure, weather-proof location will be accessible both by PLAN staff and volunteers, a number of which hail from the Galway, Providence and Charlton areas.

Saratoga PLAN is lucky to have an accomplished core volunteer group. Known as the “Monday Stewards,” this group carries out the majority of stewardship on PLAN’s preserves 10 preserves and 22 plus miles of trails. The Monday Stewards group alone equates to one full-time trail maintenance staff member.

“Volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization,” says Saratoga PLAN’s Stewardship Coordinator, Bonnie Nightingale. “Not only do the stewards share their time and resources with us each week, but they are also teachers and role models, inspiring others to continue to strive for excellence in conservation and recreation on behalf of our community,” Nightingale said.

Currently, tools and equipment used for trail projects are stored in multiple locations. The Resource Center will provide Saratoga PLAN stewards with a more efficient means of accessing and storing said gear.

At present, PLAN’s dedicated volunteers achieve a great deal of work by pooling their own tools. In addition to providing a storage facility for machinery and other trail maintenance gear, funds from the Dockstader Trust will help outfit volunteers with necessary equipment to accomplish trail work. “Each day the Monday Stewards show up to volunteer is a gift to us all! I’m thrilled that the Dockstader Charitable Trust has enabled us to gift them the Stewardship Resource Center in return,” said Nightingale.

Clayton R. Dockstader, “Doc” and his wife Kay Flickinger were great lovers of the outdoors and residents of Galway. Saratoga PLAN is grateful for funding from the Dockstader Charitable Trust to be able to create a space to house equipment and tools that volunteers can use to steward the environment so loved by Doc.

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