By TIM O’BRIEN, Times Union, link to original post
A walking and biking path will allow people to travel anywhere along the Moe Road trail system to the Exit 9 commercial area.
A nearly 1,000-foot addition to the trail opened Tuesday linking the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library to the Arongen and Shatekon elementary schools and to Wall Street near the Southern Saratoga Y. “It’s just another part of improving the connectivity in the Exit 9 area,” said Clifton Park Supervisor Phil Barrett. “It’s just a wonderful connection for the kids to use.”
The construction of the trail was a cooperative effort among the library, the town and the Shenendehowa school district. It took a wooded path that was overgrown and often flooded from a culvert and created a paved trail with a pedestrian bridge over a tributary from Stony Creek.
For some 1,200 students, that will mean easy access for field trips to the library. While the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library is a short walk away from the two schools, the lack of a proper path made it difficult to make a field trip on foot. “From a practical perspective, it’s an easier route for children to take advantage of the programs they offer at the library,” said Shenendehowa Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson. “When we collaborate, we can do some really positive things.”
Arongen Principal Benjamin Roberts said the new path will make it much easier for students. “It’s a tremendous resource to have next door,” he said. “The programs the library offers extends the curriculum for our schools.” “It’s truly an example of maximizing our resources,” Shatekon Principal Elizabeth Wood added.
The new path was designed by Paul Olund of Environmental Design Partnership. “We took advantage of the fact this was on an old farm road grade,” he said. The original path was overgrown and a culvert made it difficult to cross, he said.
The town contributed $28,500 toward the project, the library paid $17,000 and the Shenendehowa schools paved 720 feet of the path using some of the money from a $400,000 Safe Routes to School grant.
Over the past 11 years, Clifton Park has added 18 miles of trails through the town. “We’re in the very preliminary stages of extending the trail down Moe Road,” Barrett said.
The town is also working with the town of Halfmoon for a trail now being designed on Crescent Road. “The goal is a contiguous trail so people can go from Exit 10 to Exit 8,” said Town Board member Scott Hughes. “Even now during a downturn in the economy, we are still trying to invest in trails and open-space preservation because they are quality of life issues.”