"...provide leadership in the translation, interpretation
and explanation of the history and evolution of New York State's land
and inhbitants to create excitement in discovery and learning."
From the Vision Statement
of the New York State Museum.
Inspired by the excitement and
momentum of a broad new exhibit program (see concept drawing
from the 1999 Master Plan to the left)
the State Museum is taking a new look at a statewide mission focused on
research, collections and heritage tourism. Field laboratories where
teachers, scientists, educators,
historians, students, and the public can jointly explore a
real environment together, can see formations millions of years
old, or can stand in the footsteps of people who helped form
our Nation, are rare places to be treasured.
The Stark's Knob Scientific Reservation was created over 84 years
ago for this very reason. It has been, unfortunately, more potential
than realization for many of those 84 years. But now we have an opportunity
to actualize the goals and intent of those who worked to create this
place at the beginning of the last century.
The goals of the current project are pretty much the goals
set forth by the Saratoga County Historian in 1973:
- "establish definitive boundaries"
- Until the boundaries of the State Reservation are re-established, no
project can effectively take place. The definition of public property is at the
core of the entire rehabilitation effort.
- "establish rights of way"
- Access has always been problematic, both in terms of parking and
in terms of entry. Both of these obstructions to easy public use of the
site will be addressed.
- "firmly differentiate the area from surrounding land"
- Persons using the site need to know when they have reached the limits of the public property, and
owners of adjacent private lands need to have a clear indication of their own
areas of usage. The concept of fencing has always figured in discussions of this site, and
establishment of a perimeter fence is a priority.
- "remove brush and noxious weeds"
- Brush and weeds have been a perpetual problem, both limiting safe access and obscuring
the features people come to see. Selective clearing of intrusive growth is proposed to
not only increase visibility and ease of movement, but to provide for
other recreational uses of the site.
- "install directional signs"
- From the very first year it was opened, Stark's Knob has suffered
from a lack of sufficient and accurate directional signage. Route 32 is
becoming a heritage tourism corridor, and visitors need to be directed
to the site and to appropriate use areas within the site with clear and
well situated signs and markers.
- "install a permanent description of the past"
- While most of the repeat visitors to Stark's Knob are already familiar with the history and geology
of the site, many first time visitors may be unaware of the rich natural and cultural history
represented here. Informational panels and small field exhibits would help
to interpret in more detail the features present, and provide an experience
of more depth and interest.
A coalition of interested and motivated local people and regional organizations has been
created to assist in the rehabilitation of the Stark's Knob Scientific Reservation. Clearly,
no project of this scope can succeed without such a community-based partnership and local organization.
If you would like to participate in this venture, you may contact this
group through Marlene Bissell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You must complete a Volunteer Application
before participating in volunteer projects on this property.
Follow these links to some interesting websites relating to the Hudson/Champlain heritage corridor:
The Champlain Canal Byway
A Revolutionary Day Along Historical US Route 4
For more information...
If you have questions, or wish to obtain more detailed information about this subject,
New York State Museum
Room 3107 Cultural Education Center
Albany, New York 12230