BALLSTON – Residents staged a rally outside of Town Hall before Wednesday’s Ballston Planning Board meeting to voice their opposition for the proposed Abele Woods Residential Subdivision, the board voted unanimously to grant final approval to the project during the meeting. [Read more…]
BALLSTON SPA– Ballston Spa High School students took top honors last Thursday at the county-level Envirothon competition, an environmental education contest, the Saratogian reported. [Read more…]
I am delighted to read that this year’s State Budget has set aside money for our parks, especially $500,000 targeted for grassroots “friend organizations” such as the “Friends of the Kayaderosseras” (FoK) and Saratoga PLAN. [Read more…]
MILTON – The Rock City Falls Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring a free week at a Department of Environmental Conservation educational camp this summer for two children, ages 11-17. [Read more…]
Three black bears, possibly a mother and her two cubs, struck by two different cars
BY LINDSAY PANZICA
Three black bears, possibly a mother and her two cubs, were struck and killed by two different cars on Sunday night not far from each other.
The first accident happened at about 8 p.m., and the second accident occurred a little more than three hours later.
Connor Hersh, 18, struck and killed a 350-pound adult, female bear while he was delivering pizzas on his first day of work at “I Love New York Pizza,” in Ballston Spa. The accident occurred on Galway Road, just past the Saratoga County Jail.
Hersh was uninjured, but his 2007 silver Hyundai Elantra had an estimated $4000 worth of damage.
The second accident happened a little more than three hours later at 11:23 p.m., when a driver reported that he struck and killed two smaller bears with his vehicle while traveling on Northline Road, just south of Middleline Road.
Police did not give the name of the driver of the vehicle in the second accident, but he was not injured and his vehicle sustained no damage.
They were believed to be the cubs of the mother bear killed in the earlier accident, police said.
Hersh was delivering a pizza when he spotted a large black figure along the side of the road. As he got closer, it darted into the road, stood on its hind legs and then got struck, Hersh’s mother Jennifer said.
The bear hit the passenger side and rolled over the front of the car and into the road. “He called me and said, ‘Mom I just hit a bear, a black bear’” Jennifer said.
Sheriff’s deputies found the bear dead.
The bear sightings are the second in less than 72 hours. On Friday, a black bear was spotted in a tree in the backyard of a local home on Frederick Drive in Saratoga Springs.
The bear in Saratoga simply appeared to be sleeping in the tree and eventually came down and left on its own.
David Winchell, a spokesperson for the state Department of Environmental Conservation, said they have seen an increase in bear activity in local areas because of a lack of rainfall this year.
Winchell said when it’s excessively dry it forces the bears out of the woods to find food. “We are definitely seeing more activity with nuisance bears,” he said. “Because of the dry crops, the berries and nuts and such are not as palatable as they typically are.”
As a result, bears will be attracted to any place that they feel will provide them with more food. Winchell states that they will more likely appear around areas with garbage or bird feeders.
He said during the summer months when bears are out of hibernation you should keep garbage inside and only put it out the morning of collection rather than the night before. He states that you should also avoid bird feeders during the summer as well because they attract bears.
If you do encounter a bear, Winchell says the best thing you can do is to give them room.
In the case of the bear in the tree, he stated that that is typically a defense mechanism when they realize they are in an area that they don’t want to be.
In that situation the best thing to do is to leave the bear alone and allow it to come down on its own.
“If people crowd around below the tree then they have no way of escaping.” Winchell said. “The best thing to do is give them room, ignore them, let them wander out. They really don’t want to be there unless there is food (attracting them).”
In Hersh’s situation, when a bear darts into the road there is generally no way to avoid them. He suggested drivers be extra cautious when driving, especially at night, since these animals are being seen more in residential areas this year.
BY DAN SABBATINO
Friends of the Kayaderosseras are looking to bring fun and science together in a fish filled event on Saturday, April 14.
The Friends of the Kayaderosseras, a non-profit environmental group, will be sponsoring a stocking of the creek at Kelley Park in Ballston Spa with rainbow trout at noon on Saturday to help benefit the local ecosystem.
Ballston Spa families are invited to the event to watch the kids help release the trout into the stream, according to information from FoK.
As part of the day’s festivities, FoK is also hosting a free cookout including hot dogs and sodas for all in attendance.
“Although this event is targeted mainly to kids and their parents, all ages are welcome to stop by to enjoy a hot dog and some springtime fresh air,” said FoK President Larry Woolbright.
Woolbright also works as a professor of biology at Siena College in Loudonville.
“The stocking and cookout is a new program held by the organization as part of its mission to conserve and protect the creek and its watershed as both a natural and a community resource,” according to information form the group.
According to information from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, rainbow trout will also be released into Great Sacandaga Lake in the Town of Day. Close to 12,000 are expected to be released sometime this spring. The trout are expected to be between eight and nine inches and the fish are stocked with help from County Federated Sportsmen.
Ballston and Milton and Greenfield, including parts of the Kayaderosseras will be getting a dose of brown trout sometime later in the spring, according to information from the DEC.
The Friends of the Kayaderosseras are also the sponsors and two sets of environmental clean-ups, two in May; on Saturday, May 7, and Saturday, May 14, and two in November; on Nov. 5 and Nov. 12.
Spring Cleanup Chairwoman Karen Totino will provide participants with trash bags and give everyone a chance to decide where they would like to start to clean, according to the FoK Web site. This year’s targets include the Burl Trail and Gray’s Crossing Canoe Launch as well Kelley Park.
“A special highlight of the morning will be the planting of a tree at Kelley Park in memory of Bill Burnham as well as several birch trees donated by the Ballston Spa Garden Club,” the Web site states. “As part of a re-vegetation project, Mike Tower will be introducing plant material financed by FoK’s budget for Kelley Park improvements.”
Friends of Kayaderosseras will also be hosting the annual “Meet the Creek” program on Saturday, July 16 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. “Meet the Creek” will allow attendees to experience numerous programs and hands-on displays to show what the community can do to help keep the creek healthy.