CATS Hosts Volunteer Day at Essex Quarry Nature Preserve | News, Sports, Jobs


From left to right, Judith Murphy and Colin Thoman prune trees to cross-country ski height. (Photo provided – CATS)

ESSEX – Champlain Area Trails (CATS) hosted a volunteer trail project at their new Essex Quarry Nature Reserve on Friday, November 20. Volunteers helped staff cut down brush and fallen trees along two paths in the quarry.

The day brought together 16 volunteers as well as three staff members. To follow New York State’s COVID-19 guidelines, the volunteers were split into two groups and worked on different trails while remaining socially distant.

“It was fantastic to see such a large turnout on a Friday afternoon, especially during a pandemic,” CATS executive director Chris Maron said in a press release. “We had a great time getting out on the trails, creating new ones and giving everyone the chance to see the quarry.”

CATS purchased the 35-acre Essex Quarry property in Essex in December 2019 to create a nature reserve that is home to 400 million year old fossils, a globally rare type of forest called a “limestone forest” and a historic rock quarry. The cut stone in the walls of the Essex quarry has been used in many buildings in Essex. It was also reportedly used for the construction of the State House in Albany, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge.

The nature reserve will have a network of hiking trails with interpretive signs, which can be used for walking or cross-country skiing. It advances CATS ‘mission to save land, create trails, connect people to nature and promote economic vitality.

From left to right, Nancy Sinkoff, Dan Keegan and Emily Segada (CATS operations and communications manager) show off their sawing skills. (Photo provided – CATS)

“It was exciting to have everyone on our first long day of volunteering due to COVID,” said Emily Segada, CATS director of operations and communications. “We take the simple things for granted – doing trail work, socializing in our community and meeting new people. We had a great turnout from board members and community members, who were all so excited about the career and what we are doing with the reserve.

Essex Quarry Nature Reserve will officially open on Saturday June 26, 2021.

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