Bunnell led the group of students through the survey of the river and development of the plan. "This is an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned, and it's an opportunity to provide a service for communities."
Bunnell's students combed Colonie's 10 miles of waterfront identifying existing and potential points of access, he said. Students surveyed public utility easements and other vacant parcels along the river to develop the plan to improve upon and connect existing access points, as well as add others.
The second year graduate students worked side-by-side with town planners to assure that the goals of the town's comprehensive plan and newly proposed land use and zoning regulations were noted, said Bunnell. What they came up with is essentially the framework for the strategic plan, he said.
The only thing to do now is to see what the community wants to do.
Aside from the students' presentation of their findings, MRCP will also present an overview of future river management strategies that could become part of the plan and a gateway improvement project strategy. The partners will also update the public on the timetable for the implementation of certain parts of the plan, said Cotler.
The partners hope to be on their way, or completing, some of the minor implementations of the plan within two years, Cotler said. Those plans include a harvesting machine to rid the river's shores and access areas of the invasive water chestnut plant.
Mohawk River Community Partners is a grassroots public/private partnership committed to re-familiarizing Colonie with its historical and recreational roots in the Mohawk River.
Copies of Colonie's Waterfront Revitalization Strategy can be viewed at the William K. Sanford Town Library or online at www.colonie.org.