Conserving Land • Protecting Resources
Since 1987


Assemblyman John T. McDonald III and Troy City Councilmen Ken Zalewski and Rodney Wiltshire join Rensselaer Land Trust and Capital District Community Gardens for a community volunteer cleanup day at the John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve in Troy.

On Saturday, May 18, 2013, 40 volunteers joined Rensselaer Land Trust, Capital District Community Gardens' Produce Project and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for a stream and preserve cleanup at the John B. Staalesen Vanderheyden Preserve along the Wynants Kill.


The project was a culmination of CDCG's Produce Project's Foodshed to Watershed Educational Program, a hands-on, environmental education curriculum. The Produce Project is a job-skills training program that involves underprivileged high school youth in horticultural practice on an urban farm in Troy. The students led the day's volunteer efforts, and together with the community they planted 300 trees along the stream, removed trash, installed the preserve's sign and kiosk and spread mulch at Capital District Community Gardens' new Preserve Community Garden.

"This TogetherGreen project provided a unique opportunity for Capital District Community Gardens and the Rensselaer Land Trust to build upon our existing partnership," said Capital District Community Gardens' Executive Director Amy Klein. "By bringing together community volunteers and students from CDCG's Produce Project we were able to make improvements to both the preserve habitat and our community garden, while providing the students with an opportunity to experience and explore a local natural place."

Sharing their remarks at the event, Assemblyman John T. McDonald III, Troy City Councilmen Ken Zalewski and Rodney Wiltshire and Scott Wells of NYSDEC each expressed their gratitude for the community members who dedicate themselves to the protection of Rensselaer County's green spaces through volunteerism.

One Rensselaer Land Trusts' goals in hosting a stream and preserve clean up event is to give the community an opportunity to further gain an appreciation for Rensselaer County's beautiful green spaces," said Rensselaer Land Trust's Executive Director Christine Young. "Saturday was a great opportunity to introduce community members of all ages and several of Rensselaer County's elected officials to our unique 23-acre urban preserve and we could not be happier with our partnership with Capital District Community Gardens."

The Foodshed to Watershed program was supported in-part through TogetherGreen, a National Audubon program funded by Toyota. TogetherGreen supports community based programs that promote leadership, conservation and diversity in the environmental movement. Trees were provided by the DEC's Saratoga Tree Nursery.

View photos from this event here.

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