GLOVERSVILLE - Garbage will not remain on the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Rail Trail for long. At least, that's what Gloversville Mayor Dayton King and Johnstown Mayor Sarah Slingerland are planning with the Adopt-a-Trail program.
The program?- based on the Adopt-a-Highway program that allows volunteers to "adopt" a highway to regularly remove litter from?- is meant to ensure the trailway in the Glove Cities gets cleaned up regularly.
"It's helpful in many ways," Slingerland said. "Obviously the Rail Trail park will be cleaner. It will make people more aware of the natural resources we have. I think it will ultimately create more usage of this natural park."
A black trash bag and other items are shown recently along part of the Fonda, Johnstown and Gloversville Rail Trail.
The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini
The two cities are looking for businesses and organizations -and on occasion families and individuals - to adopt sections of the trail and maintain it by picking up trash or doing lawn maintenance several times a year to open the communities' eyes to the "natural resources" the trail holds.
Slingerland said the city of Johnstown had firefighters and Glebe Street Elementary School student council members assist with maintenance work in the past, but the Adopt-a-Trail program will be a more formal effort due to the records from applications.
"One of the roles of the cities will have is to process those applications, but it will also give us a systematic way to run this program," she said.
Gloversville Public Works Director Kevin Jones said this will help the two cities, and city officials have been told to expect money to be budgeted for the program beginning next year.
Jones cited the economy as part of the reason the mayors are looking to start this program.
"We're at a point now where as money becomes tighter, we try to find more innovative ways to get things done," he said. "We're trying the best we can with shrinking departments and shrinking budgets."
Jones said there have already been several calls received from people interested in the program.
Gloversville has a $5,000 grant from the Nicholas Charitable Trust for a temporary summer employee to mow and maintain the city's portion of the trail.
Jones said the employee, along with the Adopt-a-Trail program, will make a measurable difference in what he believes is a major part of the cities.
"What were hoping to do is make the Rail Trail the best we can make it for the residents," he said. "In my experience, working in both cities, it seems as though a lot of people use the Rail Trail. A lot of people use it for recreational purposes. A lot of people use it for exercise. A lot of people use it to get around. It's a good corridor for both cities."
According to a news release, both cities welcome a variety of organizations to participate, including fraternal, youth, senior citizen, school and neighborhood groups.
The section of trail adopters take can be any length they are willing to clean up, the release said. Adopters also are allowed to keep any proceeds they earn from recyclable trash, the release said.
For more information, call Jones at 773-4557 about sections of the trail in Gloversville, or call Johnstown city engineer Chandra Cotter at 736-4014 for sections in Johnstown.