Niskayuna Acquires Park in State Transfer



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Niskayuna Acquires Park in State Transfer

FOR RELEASE: June 1, 2024
Niskayuna, NY - The Town of Niskayuna has acquired 113 acres of parkland following the State’s
transfer of the Mohawk River State Park in Niskayuna. The Town has renamed the land, the Mohawk
River Nature Preserve.
“We’re grateful for this property transfer from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and
Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) and we appreciate their trust in our stewardship,” said Niskayuna
Town Supervisor Jaime Puccioni. “Under the Town’s diligent care, this pristine old growth forest will stay
forever wild so town residents can enjoy this natural gem for generations to come. We’re excited that
these 113 acres are now home with the Town where they belong,” she continued.
In 2006, the State purchased the 113-acre Schenectady Museum Preserve, renaming it Mohawk River
State Park, with the intent to preserve the land in its natural state for passive recreation.
“The town of Niskayuna is well-positioned to preserve, maintain and enhance the property’s trails.”
NYSOPRHP Saratoga-Capital Region Director Alane Ball Chinian said. “We are grateful for Supervisor
Puccioni’s leadership and commitment to take on the stewardship of this natural space for the public.”
The Niskayuna Town Parks and Recreation Department plans to work closely with Friends of Niskayuna
Trails (FONT) volunteers to improve access and the experience for a range of enthusiasts and abilities --
from hikers, dog walkers and strolling families, to mountain bikers and birdwatchers. “Volunteers have
done great work developing trails throughout Niskayuna. FONT currently maintains the town’s adjacent
John Brown Trail System, so together we’re excited to roll up our sleeves and make improvements to
the parkland,” said Ray Smith, Superintendent of Parks, Recreation, and Highway.
Puccioni discovered the state park on a hike with her family, and while struck by its beauty, she felt that
it needed more attention to reach its full potential. “When I became Supervisor, I prioritized working
with Assemblymember Phil Steck to acquire this land so we could make it better and more accessible.”
Supervisor Puccioni explored the idea of a park transfer when she invited NYSOPRHP regional director
Alane Ball Chinian to walk the park. “For two hours on a hot day in August 2022, we hiked the trails
together and talked about the possibilities. I proposed that if the State gave us the park, the Town
would improve upkeep and apply for grants to enhance the trails.”
After appropriate review and consideration, New York State approved the Town’s request and
transferred the state park deed to the Town in March, 2024. The Niskayuna Town Board voted to take

ownership at its April meeting and the final paperwork was completed in May. The whole process took
approximately 21 months.
The 113 acres border the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail near Lock 7. The parkland features varied
terrain from dense woods, grassy meadows, and ravines to meandering streams and river vistas. The
parkland is flanked by 100 acres of town trails named to honor Niskayuna trails advocate, John Brown.
“For many decades, the Friends of Niskayuna Trails has been dedicated to developing and maintaining
the adjacent John Brown Trail system. We look forward to working with the Town to preserve the
parkland, allowing everyone to experience the natural world without leaving Niskayuna,” remarked Josh
Bennett, Friends of Niskayuna Trails.
The parkland comes at no cost to the town. The Town plans to apply for grants to improve and make the
trails safer.
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MEDIA CONTACTS:
Town of Niskayuna: Erin Cassady-Dorion, Supervisor’s Office, 518.486.4523,
ecassadydorion@niskayuna.org
NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Saratoga-Capital Region: Ryan Percy,
Community Engagement Coordinator, O: (518) 584-2000, Ext.120 | C: (518) 527-2740
Ryan.Percy@parks.ny.gov