The meeting began with a presentation by Dudley Observatory about their historic telescopes. At the present time, Dudley has no observatory; they are examining a site in the Helderbergs. With our clear, dark skys, a Helderberg Hilltowns observatory would be a major tourist attraction.
Break-out groups then brainstormed a series of ideas for near-term projects that the Association might accomplish in the next 10 months. After listening to all of them, the group chose four:
- a series of fall hikes at Hilltown preserves (such as the Huyck Preserve) possibly coordinating with a similar effort in the Catskills;
- turkey hunter training in advance of the fall turkey season;
- a Hilltowns history / genealogy class and research day possibly coordinating with the roast beef dinner put on by the Berne Fire Company,
- a Helderberg Hilltowns Fall Harvest Festival on October 9, possibly an annual event involving all the Hilltowns.
Sarah Gordon, of Heldeberg Market made the following offer to the group:
"I would be more than happy to host a community message board, announcements, maps that guide customers to local farm, home and commercial businesses, or other items that would help get the message out about goods and services available in the Hilltowns. I could integrate these features into the Heldeberg Market website. I think that coordinating in this manner could be very beneficial to a wide range of efforts in the Hilltowns, given that I will be pursuing widespread marketing, outreach, and awareness raising activities throughout the Capital District. Coordinating efforts would increase public exposure and create something like a one-stop virtual window into the Hilltowns."
Thank you, Sarah!
The third meeting is planned for 7pm June 28 at the Octagon Barn, Knox.