Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Report on 2nd meeting of the Helderberg Hilltowns Association

The Helderberg Hilltowns Association held its second meeting at the Berne Senior Center on May 18.

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.

Hal Miller

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Huyck Preserve

Congratulations to the Huyck Preserve. The Albany Times Union named the Preserve one of Our Backyard: Spring's best five
The first sound you hear upon arriving at the Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville is the rush of water over the falls. Fed by snowmelt from high up in the Helderberg Mountains, the falls are at their best this time of year. By mid-June, an overlook will sit across the top of the spectacular falls. Hike along nearly seven miles of trails that wind up the plateau and back down around Lake Myosotis and Lincoln Pond. Stand amid 200-plus-year-old hardwood stands, or take in the flora and fauna on docent-guided geological, wildflower and bird walks
Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=919042&category=EXPLORE&BCCode=&newsdate=4/16/2010&TextPage=2#ixzz0o7mrmb6p

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Fearure Article in Altamont Enterprise on Helderberg Hilltowns Association

I want to call everyone's attention the to the feature story in the Altamont Enterprise this week on the organizational meeting last month of the Helderberg Hilltowns Association. The photo here was taken by Zack Simone, Altamont Enterprise writer, at Huyck Preserve where the meeting was held.

It also goes into detail about an interesting proposal by the Dudley Observatory to perhaps locate what would be the largest observatory in NYS in the Helderbergs. Pictured here is the current largest NYS observatory at Oneonta.

And the article tells about the exciting on line Heldeberg Market that Sarah Gordon is creating to market farm produce from the Heldeberg Hilltowns to consumers in the Captiol region.

All this and more is covered in the latest update of main page of Helderberg Hilltowns

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Upcoming events

There are two calenders of upcoming events available for announcements for organizations and businesses on www.AlbanyHilltowns.com .
Those who wish to post events on these pages are urged to do so themselves.

May 13

The Heldeberg Market is a new, low-cost service that will market Hilltown farmers' and home industrialists' goods online to customers throughout the Capital Region. It will launch on June 1, 2010.

Farmers and home artisan producers interested in learning more about the Heldeberg Market are invited to an informational session at the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Middle School, Room 170, on Thursday May 13, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.

Please contact owner, Sarah Avery Gordon, to RSVP for the informational session at 518-669-3446 or Sarah Gordon.

May 15 and 16

Save Thacher Park!
Join Us, On May 15'th, and 16'th, For "Thacher Day Out". The time will be 12:00 pm-5:00 Pm on both days. We will have tons of food, music, and FUN!!

May 18

The next meeting of the Helderberg Hilltowns Association will be at the Hilltowns Senior Center, 1656 Helderberg Trail (Route 443, half way between Berne and East Berne), May 18 at 7pm.
It has been suggested that since the focus of the first meeting was heavily agriculture, we should continue the discussion of "Ideas About What the HHA Should Do" but divide the discussion into several distinct categories -- Agriculture; restaurants; bed & breakfasts; recreation; open space protection; cultural tourism; historic preservation; sightseeing; museums; family-tree research; etc. That way we will get a better perspective of the broader role of the HHA (or Albany Hilltowns Association?).

May 31

The Hilltowns Memorial Day Parade will step off at 10 AM along Helderberg Trail (Route 443) from the Senior Center to the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School. A big old-fashioned celebration has the Color Guard by the VFW and American Legion, the BKW Band, floats, firetrucks and ambulances, marching units of youth and adults, and a number of horses. At the end of the parade, ceremonies to honor our veterans are held on the common in front of the school; a wreath is laid at the memorial by the Gold Star Mother, a volley is shot, taps is played. Prizes are awarded to floats and marching units. Many organizations offer refreshments or baked goods for sale. Best viewing along the route of march is from the intersection of Routes 443 and 156 to the BKW school. Get there early as good spots go quickly. Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of the Helderbergs.