More and more communities are focused on improving green infrastructure to acknowledge the active lifestyle of residents and visitors, improve the quality of life, and as a means of attracting and retaining millennials. This issue of Compass focuses on the efforts of the Town of Stillwater in Saratoga.
Parks, Trails and Recreation
Why are they so important for our communities?
The many positive environmental aspects of parklands and trail systems are generally understood by municipal leaders and the general public – think opportunities for recreation, fresh air, green space preservation, and protection of habitat and vegetation. However, open spaces provide important but less obvious benefits such as economic growth, increased sense of community, and health benefits. Parks and trails have value that transcends the cost of construction and revenue generated by user fees.
Read more about the parks, trails and recreation and why they are so important to our community here.
In 2013 the Town of Stillwater acquired a 7.3-acre waterfront property on the southern end of Saratoga Lake known as Brown’s Beach. While some may have viewed this degraded property with skepticism, the Town of Stillwater saw an opportunity for a great community resource. This site was originally established in 1918 as a family resort, and historically was operated as a private recreational area. Many Stillwater residents recall Brown’s Beach as a summer hotspot that had at various times included an amusement park, beach, marina, picnic area, bath house and bed & breakfast. Over the past few decades the property was used commercially for boating and lodging but fell into a state of disrepair, and Town residents no longer had public beach access.
The Town began work in 2013 on a plan to breathe new life into Brown's Beach and provide residents and tourists with what is the only public beach access on Saratoga Lake.
Read more about Brown's Beach here.
Stillwater Trail Network
Transportation alternatives and recreational amenities have become hot topics over the past decade, particularly with young professionals. The Town of Stillwater was quick to see the value in this trend, and began diligently planning and developing an extensive multiuse trail network. The Town has secured multiple rounds of funding for new trails from the Hudson River Valley Greenway, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and NYS Canal Corp.
To learn more about Stillwater's Trail Network click here.
Edward D. Kinowski, Town Supervisor Stillwater, NY
Ed Kinowski has been Stillwater’s Town Supervisor since 2010. Located along the Hudson River, Stillwater is home to Saratoga National Historical Park (the site of the Battle of Saratoga) and joins the Town of Malta as one of two communities that GlobalFoundries, one of the nation’s largest chip manufacturing facilities, calls home. Mr. Kinowski credits the Town’s parks and open spaces – particularly Saratoga National Historical Park – for making the community a great place to live, work, and play. Mr. Kinowski is especially proud to have been a part of the reopening of Brown’s Beach and the new Glen Hollow neighborhood park.
For the complete interview click here.
Parks and Trails Require Planning
We'll leave you with some big picture take away strategies for creating and managing your parks, trails, and other open space resources.
- Economic Commitment
- Time for Maturation
Read more about these take away strategies here.