The newly opened 45-acre Rowland Hollow Creek Preserve is the product of an innovative partnership among a developer, the city and a local preservation group.
The preserve off Grand Avenue just west of Slade Road features nearly a mile of nature trails (a half-mile loop and a shorter one-quarter mile loop) that are open to the public.
The public is welcome to walk or snowshoe on the trails but all pets must be leashed. The trails meander through a wooded area that includes an overlook of Rowland Hollow Creek.
“Saratoga PLAN is excited to open this, our eleventh and newest public preserve in Saratoga County. This preserve is part of a unique conservation project and should serve as a model of what is possible when new housing developments are planned,” said Maria Trabka, executive director of Saratoga PLAN (Preserving Land and Nature ).
The preserve is part of a conservation subdivision project in conjunction with the new Meadow Vista Estates development.
“As a conservation organization we look forward to more opportunities to partner with builders and developers to demonstrate that conservation and development are not mutually exclusive,” Trabka said in a prepared statement.
The wooded trail system invites people to safely explore the preserve, while the woodlands protect wildlife habitat and the unpaved lands protect the water quality and wetlands surrounding Rowland Hollow Creek, the statement says.
“We don’t look at it as an isolated project. It’s in the city’s Green Corridor Plan and has been on the map since 2002,” said Andy Fyfe, Saratoga PLAN’s stewardship director.
Fyfe said Monday it is hoped that this preserve can eventually be connected to other nature trails and protected lands in the general vicinity.
The project partners include Charlew Builders, the city of Saratoga Springs and Saratoga PLAN. A major grant from the Rotary Club of Saratoga Springs provided money for the trail improvements, entryway and signage built by PLAN staff, volunteers, and contractors.
The land was donated by Charlew Builders, as was a stewardship fee from the builders to make sure Saratoga PLAN is able to maintain the property for the long run.
Saratoga PLAN will manage the property as a natural area for native forest and wetland flora and fauna. A small portion of the sales of each of the 21 lots in the subdivision will be used for stewardship of the preserve.
Matthew Dorsey, president of the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club, said the club was “delighted to be involved in this project as it provides a valuable resource to Saratoga Springs residents”.
A grand opening of the preserve was held Sept. 7.