August 24, 2009, Oneonta Daily Star: Rt. 28 Scenic Byway moving forward

Rt. 28 Scenic Byway moving forward

Delhi News Bureau
link to complete article is here:
http://www.thedailystar.com/local/local_story_236040050.html

The Central Catskills Collaborative will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday to begin the development of the Corridor Management Plan for the nomination of a 50-mile stretch of state Route 28 as a Scenic Byway.

The meeting will be held at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development on Route 28 in Arkville and is open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

An overview of the Scenic Byway nomination process, the steps in completing the plan and the opportunities for community involvement will be highlighted with an open discussion will follow, presenters said.

Ben Murdock, Catskill Center Educator, will open the session with a discussion on the threats of invasive species and the relationships with travel corridors.

A scenic-highway designation would stimulate local economies through tourism and recreation and open the door to federal and state monies, according to proponents.

The Central Catskills Collaborative, a group of seven communities along the Route 28 Corridor, recently contracted with the Catskill Center to guide the development of a Corridor Management Plan, a requirement in the Scenic Byway nomination process.

The 50-mile section of Route 28 wends its way from West Hurley in Ulster County to the hamlet of Andes in Delaware County. The project is supported by a grant from the Catskill Watershed Corp.

Catskill Center Executive Director Lisa Rainwater said the Catskill Center was thrilled to partner with the Collaborative and formally begin the nomination process.

According to Scenic Byway program officials, a scenic byway is a road that has a story to tell through the preservation and promotion of a series of unique scenic, recreational, cultural and historical qualities. Successful nomination requires the preparation of a Corridor Management Plan, which is created through collective grass-roots efforts of the involved communities.

The Central Catskills Collaborative includes representatives from the towns of Andes, Hurley, Olive, Middletown, Shandaken and the villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville. Earlier this year, the town of Olive, in conjunction with the Collaborative, secured a $50,000 award from the Catskill Watershed Corp.'s Local Technical Assistance Program.

As part of the project, The Catskill Center and the Central Catskills Collaborative will host a series of community meetings to define the project, gather information and identify volunteers.

For more information, call Peter Manning at (845) 586-2611 ext. 104, or e-mail him at pmanning@catskillcenter.org.

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