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County celebrates Earth Day

The towns of Saratoga County are already taking strides to go green but they will take these efforts one step further in the days leading up to Earth Day on Thursday, April 22.

The Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Spa State Park will hold its third annual event on Earth Day, where students from Saint Mary's School in Ballston Spa will take part in environmentally friendly activities and learn to respect and preserve natural resources. The fourth graders will plant a tree from the park's nursery on the resort's ground, take guided nature walks with a New York State Parks educator, clean up debris around the park and help rake leaves and beautify the resort ground. They'll also take a hands on approach to identifying common trees and how various tree species were historically used.

Delaware North Companies took over as owners of the Gideon Putnam in 2008 and brought along its dedication to maintaining an environmental company and getaway, said Candice Bergmann who does marketing, design and environmental initiatives at the resort. Having an Earth Day celebration for local youth fit into their business plan.

"The company just decided it's the right thing to do. It wants to continually improve and that includes the environmental side of things; anything to help lessen their carbon footprint," said Bergmann.

The resort originally welcomed a home schooled group, girl scout troupe and Saint Mary's school and received a positive response.

"It's a fun little adventure for [the kids] and since we partner with New York State parks, we like to support them and what they do. We also give students a free lunch, which they enjoy," said Bergmann, who said the resort consistently thinks of the environment by using recycled paper, remanufactured ink cartridges and boasting an extensive recycling program.

A group of parents and teachers who wanted to find a way to keep students interested in science created the SAGE Science Discovery Night three years ago, and this year will host it again at Gowana Middle School in Clifton Park on Wednesday, April 21, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

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