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May 22, 2014

OLT to offer spring hikes

The Otsego Land Trust will be hosting two free, public hikes this spring.

“If we don’t take care of healthy land and clean water we will not have healthy lives,” said Virginia Kennedy, executive director of the OLT.

Kennedy said that getting people out to hike helps them to appreciate the value of the land. The OLT maintains 85 conservation easements and eight public access sites, a total of more than 9,000 acres of protected land.

The first of the two hikes will be a spring wildflower hike at the Greenwoods Conservancy, which is located on Zachow Road in the town of Burlington, at 10 a.m on May 24.

The Peterson Family Trust owns the Greenwoods Conservancy and its conservation easement is managed by the Otsego Land Trust.

“The conservancy often shares its land with educators and scientists and student researchers,” said Kennedy. “It’s a magnificently beautiful property.”

This wildflower hike, however, will be the first wildflower hike held on the property. Leading the hike will be Donna Vogler, a professor of biology at the State University College at Oneonta, who will identify and teach hikers about native wildflowers.

“She’s very generous with her time and expertise,” said Kennedy.

The second hike will take place at 496 Sibley Gulf Road in Middlefield at 10 a.m. on June 3, and will be done in conjunction with the Adirondack Mountain Club. Kennedy said that the Otsego Land Trust generally holds two hikes with ADK a year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

“They’re a great group of people,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy said that the hikes done in conjunction with ADK are typically held on the properties of owners who’ve chosen to protect them with conservation easements. The owner of the Sibley Gulf Road property, Marion Karl, will lead the June 3 hike. The property consists of 173 protected acres that, according to the OTL’s website, feature woods, meadows, wetlands and mountains.

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