MEMBERS IN Attendance (9): Dick Drumm, Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Debbie Rodriguez, Pat Bailey, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan and Becky Raymond.
GUESTS (1): Jim Bonesteel, Excecutive Director of the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance
President Kevin Leyhane called the meeting to order.
Theme for the Year: “Growing Fellowship and Service Locally and Globally.”
Hybrid Meeting: Please let Kevin Leyhane, Jim Leyhane or Roberto Martinez know if you plan to join the weekly meeting via Zoom.
Proxy Votes: If unable to attend please submit your proxy votes to President Kevin Leyhane or any board member who will be attending the meeting. Proxy votes can also be submitted using the Remind App. Text to the number 81010.
Gift Of Life 25th Annual Golf Tournament: Thursday September 14, 2023. The brochure and link to register is on the website.
Summer Nights in the Park: The schedule for the summer events and the sign up for the summer nights it the park music and movie events are posted. Please sign up. There are a few slots open. Also, more than two people per event are welcome. Phil picked up popcorn for the events.
Scholarship Update: We now have nominees from all 3 school districts and have invited them to next week’s meeting. Eh Do Moo is the nominee from Rensselaer Junior Senior High School. Tenley Soroko is the nominee from Columbia High School and Luke Hoffman is the nominee from Maple Hill High School. We are awaiting confirmation of attendance. Thanks to Terry Brewer for coordinating. Murray will write the checks for the scholarship winners.
Viking Gym update: The equipment has been ordered.
Membership update: An application was submitted from Mary Alice Caldes.
Dues: Roberto and Jim contacted members by phone or email to remind them that dues are due June 1st.
Next Meeting: Thursday, June 8th, dinner at 6:00 pm at Moscatiello’s Italian Family Restaurant, Route 4, North Greenbush. Also, you can join the by Zoom using the link on the websites calendar page. The scholarship nominees have been invited to speak about their community service. Debbie Rodriguez was asked to speak about her recent trip.
Entree choices will be Chicken Ceasar Salid, Baked Ziti or Spaghetti with Meatballs.
Conservation of Public Recreation on the Rensselaer Plateau
Jim Bonesteel, Executive Director of Rensselaer Plateau Alliance
The Rensselaer Plateau Alliance works with community to preserve ecologically important areas of the Rensselaer Plateau. The Plateau is the 5th largest forest area in New York State. It is located in the eastern third of Rensselaer County. The Alliance focuses on land acquisition for conservation, preservation of wildlife habitats, maintaining clean water and promoting recreation. Land conservation preserves the integrity of the water shed. Forests filter and recharge aquifers and provide for flood mitigation by slowing down and retaining rainwater. Some of the properties have been sold to New York State for conservation. The Alliance’s Forests Forever Campaign recently raised over two million dollars for further acquisition of forest land on the Plateau and for long term land management. The Alliance and the Rensselaer Land Trust are discussing a merger.
There are miles of trails in the land conserved on the Plateau. The 436-acre Poestenkill Community Forest has an ADA access trail. The Grafton Forest includes 1,175 acres. These are just a few examples of the land available for hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching, snowshoeing and horseback riding. Trails are open from dawn to dusk. For more information check out the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance at http://www.rensselaerplateau.org.