Wendy Mahaney, PLAN's new Palmertown Coordinator says hello!
My family moved to the Saratoga area a little over four years ago, and I taught for a year in Skidmore’s Environmental Studies and Sciences Program. I have a background in ecology and environmental sciences; I worked as an environmental consultant for five years in Ohio, and prior to that I performed ecological research in wetland, forested, and prairie ecosystems from New York to Michigan.
In addition to my Coordinator role for the Palmerton Conservation and Recreation Strategy, I continue in my role as the Manager of Sustainable Saratoga, a local non-profit dedicated to promoting sustainable practices and the protection of natural resources, as I have for the past several years.
I am thrilled to work with PLAN and OSI to implement the Palmertown Conservation and Recreation Strategy. The Southern Palmertown mountain range is a hidden gem in our backyard. Located in northern Saratoga County, it is at the interface between urban/suburban development and natural habitat.
This plan has the potential to connect more than 10,000 acres of predominantly forested habitat between Saratoga Springs and Moreau State Park; and it is located at the edge of the Adirondacks. I am excited to combine my science background with my education and outreach experience to begin the implementation of this plan.
I have four main goals at the start of this consultancy. My first priority is to create a guidance committee, comprised of representatives from key partners – the four towns, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Skidmore College, Saratoga County and others – to guide the implementation of this strategy. Second, I am working with a team of students in the Skidmore-Saratoga Consulting Partnership to examine the economic value of the benefits we receive from the forested landscape and recreation opportunities within the Palmertown area.
Another important goal is to get started on trail planning, with the ultimate goal of having a trail system that extends along the ridge of the Palmertown Range, linking Saratoga Springs to Moreau and Corinth. And finally, I will be working with partners throughout the area to engage the community, raise the profile of the project, and garner support for the implementation of this project.