After a fire at Gander Mountain in New Hartford about a year ago, the retailer decided it would be a good time to restructure the building, and in the process took away the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame’s space.
But today will be the grand opening of the new location: the Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum in Vail Mills, in the town of Broadalbin.
The director of the museum, Bob Kazmierski, offered the Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame space in an area attached to the museum, off of the gift shop, said Terry Swierzowski, director of communications for the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Since the core values of the two institutions align, the Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame accepted the offer.
The Hall of Fame is dedicated first to conservation, said Ron Kolodziej, a member of the board of directors and, as of two years ago, an inductee.
The goal is to spread knowledge and information, particularly to the youth, about conservation. Special awards are given to organizations that help promote conservation, such as reintroducing salmon into a river where they were once abundant.
The Hall of Fame will also help sponsor programs and events that promote or act on conservation.
There was a fish fest in Old Forge last weekend that the Hall of Fame helped sponsor and it was basically an outdoors show, said Kolodziej.
“The motto of the Hall of Fame is ‘it’s not what you take, but it’s what you give,’ ” he said.
While the Hall of Fame does recognize those who excel in hunting and fishing, the main focus is on honoring those who are dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and natural resources. “The members of the Hall of Fame are not necessarily the best hunters or fishers, but what they do with their knowledge [of conservation],” said Kolodziej.
Kolodziej is one of over 100 inducted since the Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame’s creation in 1983, including Theodore Roosevelt, who was admitted posthumously for his conservation work that included the creation of the national park system.
The Hall of Fame isn’t exclusively male.
“It’s not a male-oriented election, we have a number of ladies that have been elected,” said Kolodziej.
The grand opening of the Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame, at the Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum located on State Route 30, will be held at 10 this morning.
Categories: Schenectady County