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Somers Land Trust Honors Volunteers at Annual Meeting

SOMERS, N.Y. - The Somers Land Trust honored two of its special volunteers at its annual meeting on Sunday at the Elephant Hotel. 

Somers resident David George was awarded a certificate for overseeing the complicated and extensive work done by volunteers to construct the bridge across the Angle Fly Brook. The bridge is a 40-foot single span fiberglass structure, which took 174 volunteers more than two days to build.

“Everything had to be carried in by hand so as not to disturb the environment,” said Director of Operations Bob MacGregor. “There were over 200 pieces altogether. We needed a coordinated effort to ensure that everyone was following directions.”  

George, a professional engineer, also oversaw the construction of the compost toilets.

“That was like herding cats,” MacGregor said. “Our success is directly related to Dave.”

Mike Lubchenko of Somers was also honored, in recognition of his help in preserving and protecting open space in the Town of Somers through his “timely and beautiful photographs and videos.” Lubchenko has spent hundreds of volunteer hours capturing the preserve's wildlife through digital photography and similarly documenting the work of volunteers and their projects. 

President Michael Barnhart defined the Somers Land Trust as “specific to the Town of Somers."

“We are the stewards of the Angle Fly. We were very fortunate to get a grant, which helped us build our organization,” Barnhart said. “We get little support from any other source. Like public radio, we depend on membership dollars. And we’re very grateful for all the volunteer hours.”

According to MacGregor, the Department of Environmental Protection has granted a permit for access to the 269 acres under its control.

“Getting the permit was a major process, but it was worth it,” MacGregor said. The Land Trust’s volunteers have already blazed three and a half miles of trails in the area.

Other improvements during the last year include new kiosks at the entrance, two smaller bridges and multiple trails. 

Board Member Rosey Van Wart spoke about educational opportunities at Angle Fly and made special mention of contributions made by Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. 

Guest speaker Candace Schafer, Executive Director of the Westchester Land Trust, said that because of the current state of the economy, it is almost impossible to do what the Somers Land Trust did with its minimal funding.

“I congratulate you for being so well-organized and for being able to accomplish so much despite the economy,” Schafer said.

 

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