ESF Takes Over Adirondack Visitor Center
Arrangement ensures future of Newcomb interpretive facility
SYRAUCSE - Officials from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) announced an agreement that will ensure the Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Newcomb continues to serve as an important environmental programming facility.
The APA will transfer ownership of the state-owned buildings and equipment to ESF on July 1. ESF will then begin a transitional period with the goal to manage future Newcomb VIC programs. During this period, ESF will integrate operations of its Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC) and the Northern Forest Institute at the Newcomb VIC facility.
"The Agency is pleased that the great legacy of environmental programs performed so effectively by our dedicated Newcomb VIC staff will continue under the leadership of SUNY-ESF," said APA Chairman Curtis F. Stiles. "Over the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of people experienced firsthand the wonders of nature because of the Newcomb VIC and its loyal staff. We commend SUNY-ESF for coming forward in these difficult financial times and providing this opportunity to continue educating people on the importance of conservation and preservation."
APA Executive Director Terry Martino said, "The transition of the Newcomb VIC to SUNY-ESF represents an important opportunity for the Adirondack Park Agency to build upon the positive impacts that our Newcomb facility has provided over the years. The integration of SUNY-ESF's Adirondack Ecological Center and the Northern Forest Institute will increase visitation to this region and broaden the environmental awareness of future generations. This will also ensure the community of Newcomb will continue to benefit from the facility's operations."
ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., said the agreement supports the work of the college's Adirondack Ecological Center, which is located on the Newcomb property.
"This new initiative extends the mission of the AEC, with additional educational resources for both students and visitors so they can learn about the wonders of ecology in the Adirondacks," Murphy said.
APA staff will continue to provide traditional programming in consultation with ESF at the Newcomb facility during the transitional period. Staff will provide interpretive services for the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. The public will continue to have access to the trail network and exhibit rooms. APA staff will also assist ESF in the identification of programming needs that meet the college's goals.
The agreement includes the transfer of all state-owned buildings on the 236-acre Newcomb site. The 6,000-square-foot main public assembly building with its 150-seat multiple purpose room, 700-square-foot exhibit room and staff offices as well as an adjacent 2,500-square-foot garage and classroom building will be surrendered to ESF.
After December 31, 2010 programming needs in reference to staffing, hours of operations, public visitation, special programs inclusive of groups and schools, off-site programs and outreach will be directly managed and funded by ESF.
Through this agreement the Newcomb Visitor Interpretive Center will continue to educate people about the Adirondack Park and the critical role it plays in providing clean air, clean water and a healthy habitat for a diversity of New York's flora and fauna. Integrating operations of the AEC and the newly formed Northern Forest Institute will enhance ESF's efforts to engage outside partners such as NY Audubon, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and others into future programming. The Newcomb facility will also enhance the college's efforts to establish a work study program which they plan to implement in 2011.
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