FIBA Awarded $63K New York State Grant!

Fort Edward Friends of the IBA (Important Bird Area/FIBA) received a nice surprise just in time for the holidays – a New York State Regional Economic and Community Development grant for $63,191. The grant, awarded through the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the awards Monday, December 19.

“Over the last eight years, we have implemented a vision to move New York State’s economy forward by allowing communities to make strategic investments to help grow their local economies and reenergize and develop their unique regions,” Governor Cuomo said. “Regional-based economic development is vital for maintaining New York’s thriving, prosperous economy. I congratulate all of the winners of this year’s REDC awards and look forward to working together to build a stronger New York for generations to come.”

FIBA will use the grant toward their acquisition of 64 acres of prime grassland habitat in the Town of Argyle to protect New York’s endangered and threatened grassland birds. The acquisition is one of 95 projects in the Capital Region funded through the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) grants in 2018.

“We’re really excited,” said FIBA founder and Executive Director Laurie LaFond. “These grants are extremely competitive. We appreciate the support of NYS Parks and the Capital Region REDC and are proud to be part of this vision.”

LaFond said FIBA plans to open a 1 ½ mile birding trail loop to the 64 acres from the nonprofit land trust’s accessible Alfred Z. Solomon Grassland Bird Viewing Area on County Route 42 in Fort Edward in the next phase of the project.

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