Your Town’s parks, open spaces, ball fields, and trails are ready for use with the arrival of warm and dry weather. Summer camp and recreational programs are open for registration at www.guilderlandrec.com or the Parks’ Office on Route 146 across from Tawasentha Park. While only required for schools, the Town voluntarily tested all drinking water sources and confirmed that they passed water quality standards for lead.
Parks Department employees have diligently removed fallen trees and branches, and other damage caused by our harsh winter season to parks. An essential part of the annual spring clean-up is performed by Boy Scout troops during the first weekend in May. This year, weather permitting, the Boy Scouts’ project list includes picking up litter, trail maintenance, cleaning out drainage ditches, installing benches and wood chip trail base, posting informational trail signage, removing invasive species, and planting trees and riparian vegetation along the Normanskill. I thank the Scouts, their parents, and leaders for contributing to the beautification of Tawasentha Park.
If you have not recently visited Tawasentha Park, please check out the new pool house and new Chalet building with nearby new restrooms. You are also encouraged to enjoy over 20 miles of marked multiple-use trails (bike and hiking) in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. Many trails are located on Town-owned land that is managed by the Preserve, with a trailhead at DiCaprio Park for a “through trail” extending 2.9 miles to a trailhead at the Madison Avenue Pinelands. Other trails are accessible at the ends of Willow Street and Di Bella Drive. Trail maps with trailheads are available at www.albanypinebush.org.
Western Turnpike Golf Course is open for another season. Due to hard work by grounds-keeping staff during this harsh and extended winter, the 27-hole course has opened on time and in excellent shape. Residents can obtain discounted greens fees with proof of residency. Please call the Pro Shop at (518) 456-0786 for information about membership, leagues, outings, and other questions. Western Turnpike now offers online registration for tee times.
The Town and NYS Department of Conservation are working on the installation of boat launches on Town-owned land on the Normanskill or its tributaries. It might take a bit longer to identify the best location for the new boat launch. Fishing is allowed at Tawasentha Park just east of the hiking trail bridge over the Normanskill where pan fish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and other species are present. There is no Town fee for fishing but New York State requires that persons over 16 years of age have a fishing license, which you can obtain at Town Hall or the Guilderland Public Library. The Town, City of Watervliet, and DEC are also working on a recreation plan for the Watervliet Reservoir including non-motorized boat access and hiking links to the recently opened Vosburgh Trails over Town open space.
On Saturday, April 28th, more than 400 persons attended the inaugural Hometown Heroes Banner Event at Tawasentha Park. The event included the unveiling of banners honoring 28 veterans and active servicemen and women, and the four-day visit by the Vietnam War Memorial Moving Wall, a half-size replica of Vietnam Memorial. The Moving Wall lists the names of 58,318 servicemen and women who lost their lives in service of their country. Well over 1,000 persons visited the Moving Wall which was guarded 24 hours a day by local veterans. Each banner has the honoree’s name, photo, rank, and era of service. Twenty-five banners were placed on lighting poles in the Park and three banners are located at the Guilderland Public Library. The banners will be taken down around Veteran’s Day and given to the honoree’s family or sponsor. Next year, the Town will honor 28 new honorees.
The banners are supplemented by a booklet which provides a biography of each honoree and coded map for locating each banner. You can download the biographical booklet on the Town’s website, or pick up a copy at the Parks’ Office, Tawasentha Park’s entry booth or pool house when the pool opens in mid-June. Please take the time to visit the Tawasentha Park and recognize the heroic service of your fellow residents.
Saturday, April 28th was also the first day of retirement for Steve Oliver, Highway Superintendent after 32 years of Town employment. Steve was honored by a banner, and was part of the planning group for this successful event. Upon behalf of the Town, I wish Steve a well-deserved and enjoyable retirement free of early morning and late night emergency calls and untimely winter storms.
Saturday, April 28th was the first day for Greg Wier’s tenure as the new Highway Superintendent. Greg started his career in the Highway Department and advanced to Foreman. At the Town’s request, Greg served as Transfer Station Supervisor for three years and most recently as Director of Parks & Recreation for the past four years. The Town is honored to have Greg return to head the Highway Department which is the Town’s largest department and crucial to the Town’s quality of life.
Thank you again for taking the time to read these notes. If you have any questions or comments, please give me a call at Town Hall ((518) 356-1980).
Peter G. Barber, Town Supervisor