LOOKING AHEADThe Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition has learned that we will receivea FHWA Byway Grant to fund Improved...
SUMMARY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTSTask 1 - Inform and Promote the Byway• Established a Mohawk Towpath Byway road trip on Rand McNa...
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2012 accomplishments


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The Mohawk Towpath Byway Annual Report

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2012 accomplishments

  1. 1. LOOKING AHEADThe Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition has learned that we will receivea FHWA Byway Grant to fund Improved Recreational Access to the Vischer FerryNature and Historic Preserve with a total project cost of $521,100. We will beworking with the Town of Clifton Park to implementation this project.We will release the recently completed study and the preferred alternate for theCohoes - Crescent Road in the Town of Colonie. This includes reconstruction ofthe road with pull offs along the Mohawk River, and a bike and pedestrian waybetween the highway and the river. This project was completed with the diligentcooperation of the Town of Colonie.The Byway will start a project to dramatically expand interpretation of some ofour key resources. The first step will be implementation of an on-demand cellphone based tour followed by additional interpretive kiosks along the Bywayroute.In 2013 we expect to finish and publish the Scenic Conservation Action Planworking with your municipality’s planning agency.The Byway has a growing calendar of events this year including• April 14 - Chicken and Biscuit Dinner on the Byway• April 20 - Byway Community Cleanup• April 29 - Dedication of the new bridge across historic Lock 19• July 13 - Mohawk Gateway Canal Fest• August 10 - Fourth Annual Bike the Byway• September 7 - Harvest Days on the Byway• October 20 - 11th Annual Mohawk Towpath Byway DuathlonMohawk Towpath Scenic BywayCoalition, Inc.P O Box 90Clifton Park, N Y 12065-0090518-406-8610http://www.MohawkTowpath.org/ANNUAL REPORT2012We proudly present the 2012 Annual Report of the Mohawk Towpath ScenicByway.The Byway has experienced another very productive year as you will see fromour accomplishments within the following pages.Not only did we make substantial gains as we implement the Byway’s CorridorManagement Plan, but we were able to expand our volunteer base and garnerbroader recognition of our local history, recreational and cultural resources righthere in our own back yard.More than 200 residents along the Mohawk Towpath Byway contributed nearly2000 person hours of volunteer time valued at more than $50,000. This is used,in part, as a local match for federal and state grants.Our strong relationship with each of our eight municipalities and with the ErieCanal National Heritage Corridor Commission continues to pay off. One of themost successful new developments in 2012 was the formation of the Friends ofthe Mohawk Towpath Byway. This is a membership organization of Bywayenthusiasts that provides a refreshing new voice to Byway advocacy. TheByway welcomes the Capital Region Maritime Center in its growing communityof partners. We look forward to an enriched relationship with our partners instewardship and sustainability of the Scenic Byway.Thank you for your support, encouragement and your involvement in theMohawk Towpath Scenic Byway.Lawrence D. SyzdekChairmanThe Mohawk Towpath Byway: the roadway that tells the story of the waterway west, the ErieCanal and the role our communities played in the westward expansion of the country and in theIndustrial Revolution. The Byway is one of a network of New York State Scenic Byways and one of150 Unique America’s Byways.The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc.: A regional partnership betweenmunicipalities to preserve the story - Clifton Park, Cohoes, Colonie, Halfmoon, Niskayuna,Schenectady and Village and Town of Waterford.Executive Committee:Lawrence D. Syzdek ChairmanKevin Franklin Vice ChairmanHenrietta O’Grady SecretaryNelson Ronsvalle TreasurerMunicipalities andtheir Representatives:Town of Clifton ParkJohn L. SchererEric J. HamiltonTown of ColonieKevin FranklinCity of Cohoes Ed TremblayTown of HalfmoonNelson RonsvalleTown of NiskayunaKathy MaternCity of SchenectadyKatherine StephensTown of WaterfordJ. Christopher CallaghanVillage of WaterfordMerle DoudExecutive Director:Eric J. Hamiltonhttp://www.mohawktowpath.org/The 2012 start of a wet Duathlon and our Harvest Day booth.
  2. 2. SUMMARY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTSTask 1 - Inform and Promote the Byway• Established a Mohawk Towpath Byway road trip on Rand McNally/USA Today’s Best of the Road website http://www.bestoftheroad.com/roadTrip.do?roadTripId=877 with 27 local attractions.• Had over 150,000 pass through the Byway Visitor Center on the ground level of Proctors Theater in Schenectady.The Visitor Center has a wall of interpretive information on Schenectady heritage areas and the Mohawk TowpathByway.• Distributed additional copies of our Discovery Guide principally through the Albany County Convention andVisitors Bureau (including Albany International Airport), the New York State Museum, Proctors and our eightmember municipalities.• Distributed 4000 copies of our folded rack card directing traffic to our web sites for further information about theMohawk Towpath Byway.• Attracted steady web site traffica. www.mohawktowpath.org had 7,016 page views during 2012. Peak traffic was again in October.b. The Byway’s blog has had 1,687 page views this year to 24 new posts. Peak traffic in April.c. The Byway’s Facebook page has steady traffic (likes, comments, etc) as news feed was added.• Hosted three events to raise awareness of the Byway, its stories, and its resources:a. Bike the Byway August 13 with over 30 participantsb. Harvest Days the weekend of October 1 with several hundred visitors even with bad weatherc. Mohawk Towpath Byway Duathlon with nearly 100 participants and 30 volunteers• Distributed 30 promotional tee shirts at the Bike the Byway event in safety orange color to participants andvolunteers.• Held an information booth at the Adirondack Sports and Fitness Summer Expo, at Clifton Park’s Farm Fest, andat Waterford’s Canal Days.• Distributed 150 promotional and safety neon green tee shirts at the Duathlon for participants and volunteers.• Several enthusiasts nominated and maintained information on sites, events and volunteer opportunities within theLakes to Locks Scenic Byway National Geographic geo-tourism web site.Task 2 - Protect and Enhance BywayResources• Through one of the Byway’s most successfulpartnerships, the Southern Saratoga Chambermarshaled Turner Construction, Curtis Lumber,County Waste, Shenendehowa High SchoolTechnology Department students andmentoring professional engineers from GE,Momentive Performance Materials, and TurnerConstruction. The volunteers clearedencroaching vegetation at historic Lock 19 inthe Vischer Ferry Preserve, designed a bridge,received necessary approvals and constructedand placed the bridge across the southernchamber of the lock.• Completed a draft Alternative Analysis on theCohoes Crescent Road and focused on arecommended alternative. This document will be ready for public review this spring.Task 3 - Build and Reinforce Partnerships• Continued to strengthen our partnerships with our eight member municipalities.• Built on the Byway’s partnership with the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor taking advantage of trainingoffered through AASLH and technical assistance by National Park Service connections.• Cultivated a partnership with the Capital Region Maritime Center in Alplaus.• Obtained nine commercial sponsors for this year’s Duathlon.• Worked with Lakes to Locks All American Road to maintain and enrich our geo-tourism abilities through theNational Geographic platform.• Coordinated with the Albany County CVB on marketing and publicity initiatives.• Fostered a membership based Friends of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway adding significantly to localmunicipal partners by a group of volunteers who seek to improve the visibility and heritage of the MohawkTowpath Byway. The group’s purpose is to increase public awareness of the Byway; to encourage cultural,recreational, and educational activities; and to stimulate gifts and endowments to support the Byway and itsprograms.Task 4 - Build Transportation Partnerships - We continue to expand and strengthen or connection totransportation planners and designers as several projects along the Byway move through the planningprocess.Task 5 - Refine Internal Operations - This is also a continuing effort over the course of the year. Itincludes administrative obligations, evaluation of CMP implementation, and strategic planning of futureprojects and implementation.FINANCIAL SUMMARYExpenses exceeded revenue because we have not received final reimbursement for the grant funding theCohoes Crescent Road project.
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