Trail Feasibility Study: Why SALT?

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Trail Feasibility Study: Why SALT?

On April 5, 2015, Posted by , In Blog,Trail Study News, With No Comments

Three years and 7 months ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, Schoharie Area Long Term formed. The community had a need for volunteer mobilization, a streamlined communication system amongst those in need of help, and for those willing to help. Sarah Goodrich, SALT’s Executive Director, was one to answer that call. In those early days when flood waters were still spread across the valley, she and a handful of others set up a card table and a clipboard to start organizing volunteers. She knew the communities of Schoharie County well, as she was both a resident and former business-owner. Quickly over the next few days, other volunteers began showing up in the yard of the Heritage House (where the SALT office still resides) to be directed where the greatest need was. Houses were being dredged, walls knocked down, framing bleached, furniture cleaned, trash disposed of at “Mount Trashmore” (remember that mound?), people were provided meals, pets were reunited with their owners, and probably more that we can never truly put into words. Sarah’s, and countless others, early activism grew into the county-wide agency that SALT is today with thousands of volunteers who have helped put Schoharie County back together. SALT’s track record is impressive: 36,000 volunteers coordinated, 500 families assisted, $2 million in funds raised. This is incredible when you think how it started: Sarah and other volunteers banding together to start the movement of community rebuilding and recovery.

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Today SALT is an incorporated 501(c)3 nonprofit. We reside in the Heritage House (258 Main Street, Schoharie), and have 4 full time and 2 part time employees, 5 AmeriCorps VISTA members, and 1 Masters of Social Work intern. We have a board of 18 made up of local business owners, town leaders, and community members. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and have a fantastic website. SALT is doing so much more these days, than was probably imagined 3 years and 7 months ago.  Because of SALT’s many successes in helping the community with direct-service, the agency has been able to expand and start exploring new ways of revitalizing the communities within Schoharie County.

One we’re most excited about is this idea of constructing a potential 38 mile trail that winds its way between Esperance and Blenheim along the Schoharie Creek. The Trail Feasibility Study came about from an idea that several community members had, and it’s been kicked around for years. SALT has tackled the enormous task of facilitating the Trail Study for several reasons: we’ve got the capacity, the talent, and the interest!

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To answer some questions that we have recently, we’ve decided to give a Trail Study Update, which is what this blog entry is. The days of ground breaking the trail are long off, and actually that day may never come. At this point, SALT’s role is to connect with stakeholders like private landowners, the managing agencies of public lands, municipalities, business owners, community members- really anyone with a vested interest in Schoharie County. Two new AmeriCorps VISTA members joined SALT earlier last month  to help manage and coordinate all trail-related efforts. Eric Malone, the Schoharie Area Wild (SAW) Coordinator, and Alyssa Johnson, the SAW Fund Development Coordinator are tasked with helping to coordinate the Trail Feasibility Study over the next year. One of the most important sections of the study is to receive the public’s feedback on this potential trail study. A survey has been created, and if you wish to give SALT your feedback, please click here. How often would you walk, bike, jog, or canoe along this trail? Would you hike in the winter? Or just during the winter months? We need to know very basic information before progressing forward.

Click HERE to read more about the trail study!

We need your help. Please share this blog post, like us on Facebook to continue to get SALT updates, and join our email list. We need to know how our communities feel about this potential trail study. For now, we’ll continue researching potential funding sources and presenting at public meetings!

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