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Columbia Land Conservancy employs local teens for conservation projects

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Contributed photo The hard-working Greenagers.
August 13, 2019 12:25 pm

CHATHAM — Don’t be surprised if you run across groups of hard-working young people on the trails at Hand Hollow and Greenport Conservation Areas this summer. The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) is excited to announce that a team of Greenagers will be completing projects to remove invasive species and improve trails.

For the past five summers, in collaboration with a Great Barrington–based non-profit called the Greenagers, CLC has provided paid summer employment for Columbia County high school students. Through trail building and related activities, the students learn to appreciate the rewards of challenging physical labor and deepen their personal commitment to stewardship of the natural world.

This year, one crew will be stationed at Greenport Conservation Area, focusing on removing invasive species from the Yellow Trail, which connects Hudson High School to the property. Once the invasive species are removed, CLC will install new interpretive signage at the site, which will include information about the site’s natural and cultural history, including the finding of a mastodon tooth near the site.

The second crew will work at Hand Hollow Conservation Area, both on land and in Meizinger Lake. They will be improving sections of the Blue Trail that are currently muddy and eroding, and removing invasive water chestnut from the surface of the Lake, improving habitat for the fish and other animals that live there.

If the Greenagers’ works sounds like fun to you, consider volunteering for CLC. Opportunities include trail work and site monitoring. Visit clctrust.org or contact John Horton at john.horton@clctrust.org to find out more.

The Greenagers work is supported in part by grants from the Hudson River Valley Greenway, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation through the Recreational Trails Program, and the Rheinstrom Hill Community Foundation. Interpretive signage is funded in part by a grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Water chestnut removal at Hand Hollow is funded in part by a grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Invasive Species Rapid Response and Control Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.