Round Lake Preserve to Offer Many Outdoor Opportunities

by Ryan Callander

Concept art from Town of Malta and Saratoga P.L.A.N. public workshop.

On Route 67, just a short drive out of Mechanicville, there is a 92-acre piece of property along the Anthony Kill creek that at one time was intended to be cleared and used for residential development. However, because of the work of the Town of Malta and Saratoga P.L.A.N. (Preserving Land and Nature) that land will instead become part of the new Round Lake Preserve. The Round Lake Preserve will be located less than a mile away from the Luther Forest Technology Park, and when completed, will provide the surrounding area with access to Round Lake as well as offer a number of trails and other attractions for outdoor enthusiasts.

The 92-acre property is expected to be purchased by the end of 2013 or early 2014. When completed, the land will be protected from future development, provide public access to Round Lake, provide boat and kayak access to Round Lake, and offer a network of walking and hiking trails.

The preserve has been in the works for several years. The project can trace its beginnings back to 2004 when Malta began expressing a strong interest in creating a location that would provide public access to Round Lake that could be used for recreational purposes. In 2006 the Town of Malta along with Saratoga P.L.A.N acquired a roadway as well as the first pieces of property in the project. According to Audrey Ball, Director of Parks, Recreation & Human Services for the Town of Malta, the first pieces of the Round Lake Preserve were chosen “to protect the land from future development, to preserve Native American artifacts, plant and bird habitat, protect a scenic farming vista overlooking Round Lake and provide interpretive trails and connections to the Zim Smith Trail, the Anthony Kill and Round Lake.”

Funding for the project came from a number of sources. The Town of Malta and Saratoga P.L.A.N. contributed $340,000 and $50,000 respectively. Additional funding also came from a NYS Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) Grant ($350,000) and the Saratoga County Farmland and Open Space Preservation Grant ($100,000).

Ball credits the actions of Malta as well as Saratoga P.L.A.N. for initiating “a smart growth movement to preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, critical environment and historical areas.” Through the work of the Town of Malta, Saratoga P.L.A.N., and other non-profit and government groups, residents of Malta, Clifton Park, Halfmoon, Stillwater, and Mechanicville will soon be able to enjoy the beautiful natural resources on their doorstep for many years to come.

Proposed Round Lake Preserve off Route 67. Courtesy of Town of Malta and Saratoga P.L.A.N.

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