Ecological Restoration Grants (ERGs) have just been awarded by Partners for Climate Action (PCA), a recently-formed non-profit organization based in Chatham.
PCA is “dedicated to supporting regional ecological leadership” by empowering and inspiring Hudson Valley community organizations—be they towns, counties, non-profits, youth groups or libraries—to improve the local environment, according to PCA Co-Founder Bob Dandrew. The ERGs are intended to support and enable such efforts.
More than $2.6 million in proposals were submitted for the inaugural round of restoration grants, and $350,000 was awarded to 17 recipients, five of them in Columbia County. All of the projects are expected to have visible results within a year.
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In Philmont the municipal library was granted nearly $12,000 to establish the Philmont Pollinator Pathway. With volunteer help, local species will be planted in habitat gardens that will be established at the library and four other public spaces on Main Street and at Summit Lake to attract butterflies, insects, bees and birds. In addition, three-to-five front-yard gardens will be auctioned off to homeowners who commit to maintain them.
A printed brochure and site-specific educational signage will also be created.
Three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about one-third of the world’s crops are dependent on pollinators to reproduce. A recent survey showed that 38-60% of New York’s native pollinators are at risk of elimination.
Pollinator resilience depends on corridors that support forage and shelter—which is too often fragmented by residential and other growth. Pollinators co-exist well with urban life as long as there are plots and patches mixed in for them to visit, which the Philmont project will provide.
In addition, the library will use the funds to expand its Library of Local books collection—a climate action book collection also established with help from PCA and its Tool Shed, a garden tool lending program that includes everything from a rototiller to drills to spades. Any holder of a library card can borrow one without charge. In collaboration with the Art School of Columbia County, a botanical sketching program will also be offered.
Read the full article on the Columbia Paper’s website