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Bethlehem to lease golf course

"The open space here is every bit as improved as those open spaces in the Adirondacks," said Joe Martens of the Open Space Conservancy.

Martens and everyone involved in the project agreed the golf course would most likely have become the newest town housing development if the residents of the town did not step forward to let government know their feelings about preserving it.

"If we did not save this today, you would never be able to recreate it," said Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, who said he has played on the course several times with his son. "It's worth saving and will be a tremendous asset to the community."

A petition drive to save Colonial Acres began a few years ago, with more than 600 residents signing up to save the course.

"I believe this land adds enormously to the quality of life to this town," said former Colonial Acres neighbor Randy Fisher, who started the petition drive.

The partnership between the Conservancy and the town will allow for 33 acres to be preserved for environmental protection.

"It's just great for the community," said town board member Dan Plummer, who is credited for keeping the project to save Colonial Acres in the forefront.

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