Three (+) Years of Collaborative Impact

The past three (plus) years have been a testament to the power of collaboration in environmental stewardship. Dig The Falls, in partnership with The Narrows: Cascades and Heritage Trail and the Rensselaer Land Trust, has made remarkable strides in enhancing and preserving the natural beauty of Troy, NY. This blog post celebrates our shared achievements in the Burden Pond area and surrounding preserves.

Key Achievements Through Partnership

  1. Expanding and Enhancing Trails: In a joint effort, we’ve added several miles to the trail system, offering new routes and experiences for the community. This expansion not only enhances accessibility but also promotes outdoor recreation and appreciation for nature.
  2. Infrastructure Development with NIP Grants: Our collaborative efforts have been bolstered by winning NIP Grants through the city of Troy. This funding facilitated significant infrastructural improvements, including:
    • Trail Kiosks: These informational hubs provide visitors with maps, educational material, and announcements, enhancing their hiking experience.
    • Benches: Strategically placed for rest and reflection, these benches offer a moment of peace amidst nature’s beauty.
    • Split Rail Fences: Adding both aesthetic charm and safety measures, these fences guide hikers along the right paths.
    • Falls Viewing Platform: A highlight of our project, this platform allows visitors to safely enjoy the breathtaking views of the falls dam area of the preserve.
  3. Improving Trail Safety and Accessibility: Our collaborative work has focused on creating safer trail systems. This involved:
    • Clearing Overgrowth: Removing invasive species and overgrowth has not only improved the trails’ appearance but also made them safer for hikers.
    • Rerouting Trails: By thoughtfully rerouting trails, we’ve minimized erosion and habitat disruption, ensuring a sustainable trail system.
  4. Mitigating ATV Usage: A significant achievement has been the reduction of ATV use on the preserve. This effort has helped protect the natural terrain from erosion and disturbance, maintaining the tranquility and integrity of the area.
  5. Boosting Community Engagement: One of our proudest accomplishments is the increased use of the trail system by local neighborhoods. By making the trails more accessible and enjoyable, we’ve encouraged community members to engage more actively with the natural environment.

Strategic Decision Against 501c3 Status

In our journey, Dig The Falls made a strategic decision not to pursue 501c3 status. This decision was driven by the recognition of the ongoing efforts of our partner organizations, many of which already hold 501c3 status. We believe in complementing, not duplicating, the efforts within our community.

Furthermore, we chose to direct our limited resources straight into the projects we work on, maximizing impact where it’s needed most. This approach allows us to remain agile and responsive to the needs of our projects and the community, ensuring that every dollar raised is directly invested in enhancing and preserving our natural landscapes.

The Strength of Collaboration

Our combined efforts over the past three years have transformed the Burden Pond area into a more accessible, safe, and enjoyable environment. This journey, fueled by the collective passion and dedication of Dig The Falls, The Narrows, and Rensselaer Land Trust, and all the volunteers involved, stands as a model of successful collaboration.

We extend our deepest gratitude to all volunteers, community members, and partnering organizations. Your support has been invaluable in realizing these achievements.

As we look to the future, we are excited to continue this collaborative journey, furthering our mission of conservation and community engagement.

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Join us as we embark on new projects and learn how you can contribute to this enduring partnership for environmental conservation and community well-being.


This blog post highlights the collaborative efforts and successes of Dig The Falls, The Narrows: Cascades and Heritage Trail, and the Rensselaer Land Trust over the past three years in Troy, NY. Visit our website for more detailed information and to get involved in our future projects.


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