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Saratoga Winter Festival deemed a success

A first-time collaboration between area conservation groups has helped add 92 acres to Saratoga County preservation efforts.

On Sunday, March 2, Saratoga P.L.A.N., Preserving Land and Nature and the Saratoga Sport and Social Club came together to host the Saratoga Winter Festival at Spa State Park.

Officials from both organizations had hoped the promise of cross-country ski races, a snowman-building contest and a craft and wellness fair would draw about 200 people. By days end, approximately twice that number attended and helped raise more than $2,000 benefiting the future Round Lake Preserve.

We are more than happy for it being a first-time event. We are thrilled with the amount we did raise and the visibility the event raised, said Amy Stock of Saratoga P.L.A.N.

The event kicked off at 11 a.m. on Sunday and ran till 5 p.m. Events included a 5K adult crass-country ski event as well as a 1K event for ages 13 and under. Throughout the day, local bands performed, including jazz musicians

The Sarah Pedinotti Band and indie rock band Sirsy.

By the time the event wound down, all that was left were snowmen, or interpretations thereof, scattered over the festival grounds, said Stock.

On Friday, Feb. 29, Saratoga P.L.A.N. announced that it had finalized the purchase of Phase I of the Round Lake Preserve. The $840,000 purchase was made possible by state and county grants, the town of Malta and Saratoga P.L.A.N.

The 92-acre preserve at the lake's south end includes 57 acres of wetlands, forests and fields purchased by Saratoga P.L.A.N. and 35-acres of lakefront purchased by the town of Malta.

The site is home to Blue Heron, migratory birds and wildlife, said Bob Lippman of the Saratoga Sport and Social Club. The land acquisition is necessary to the preservation of the lake and securing the wildlife rich environment for future generations as an outdoor recreational area, said Lippman.

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