Ribbon-cutting planned for new nature preserve in Amsterdam

A new recreational opportunity will officially open in the town Friday.

A new recreational opportunity will officially open in the town Friday.

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony that day for the Mosher Marsh Preserve, 43 acres of wetlands, grasslands and woods donated to the conservancy by Ellie Peters in 2008. The land was formerly Peters’ family’s farm.

The Mosher Marsh Preserve was built with the help of a $16,000 grant and a private donation from Mike and Marcie Love of Chicago, parents of MHLC board member Cathie Love.

Schrader and Company, a residential remodeling company in Burnt Hills, donated 80 hours of labor to help construct the boardwalk. Jeffy Leon, the volunteer coordinator for the project, said the trails probably wouldn’t have been completed without the carpenters’ donated labor.

A handful of volunteers helped lay the decking for the boardwalk, Leon said.

There are about 300 feet of boardwalk in two different locations including a short bridge in the front of the property and a longer one in the back that allows a hiker to loop around the property.

Completing the Mosher Marsh Preserve was one of the land conservancy’s biggest undertakings to date, according to executive director Jill Knapp.

“We never built any structures before,” she said.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service, a federal agency, had already begun to make improvements to the land before it was given to the land conservancy.

The agency has carved out shallow ponds, which are now colonized by beavers. The boardwalk runs across these pond areas and takes visitors close to the beaver dam and habitat.

Leon said it is one of the coolest features of the marsh.

“That is what it’s all about,” he said.

The preserve has been open since the work was completed in late November, and Leon said people have already discovered it.

“I noticed a whole bunch of people over there running and things,” he said. “I was very pleased.”

The Mosher Marsh is an exciting amenity in a town lacking in recreational spaces.

Town Board member Alex Kuchis, realizing the need for parks in the town, proposed instituting a recreation fee for residential developers this year, though it was never adopted.

Kuchis said that he welcomed a new recreational opportunity in the town and noted that the marsh’s main goal besides recreation is to educate people about nature.

Supervisor Thomas DiMezza, who didn’t support the recreation fee for fear that it would cause potential developers to build elsewhere, said he is happy the trails will provide a recreational opportunity for local residents.

“It’s an added feature in the town, it really is,” he said.

A guided tour of the marsh will take place following the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday and again at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

Mosher Marsh is located on Mannys Corners Road just north of the intersection with Route 67.

Categories: Schenectady County

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