Our Big Fish exhibit grand opening planned for June 30th is just around the corner and lots of work needs to be done. 10 very ambitious volunteers have painted the first floor of the building. New carpeting covering the entire first floor of the building will be installed the week of May 14th. THE HAND PAINTED MUSKIE SIGN AS ARRIVED! New sign boards are being printed at the printers. Our in-house display builder is busy in the shop preparing elaborate fixtures. Our part time curator Hallie Bond is assembling the final pieces of artifacts to complete the exhibit. Is our project manager nervous? You better believe it ! Not to worry he says- “We will be ready for the grand opening!”
After an incredibly long winter and cold spring our hiking trail project is back on track to open Memorial Day weekend. The Morristown Highway department completed the new gravel parking lot installed along River Road East. They intend to finish the 300 foot long boardwalk through the marshy area during the week of May 14th. A boy Scout from Troup 9 in Heuvelton has agreed to complete his 100 hour Eagle Scout project at the Trail site by managing 30 scouts doing hiking trail improvements in June. We will add new signage, bench seating, and possibly an observation tower in the next couple of months. The Board of Trustees for the museum has approved the name “Morristown Red Barn Preserve “ as the official name for the Bogardus Farm Property.
We reported in our Blog last month that the Blue Herons were back. Over 40 birds have been spotted in the Rookery at the back of the farm. While it is difficult to see in these nests because of our commitment to remain 500 feet away- we think we have baby birds in the nests. It is a beautiful sight to see the comings and goings of these beautiful birds. Since there are so few Rookeries in the North Country- if you spot a blue heron in St Lawrence County- there is a good chance he/she lives in the nests at our Preserve.
Our Grant funding team has been working overtime to secure monies for the Museum Projects. We have successfully received generous funding for the fishing exhibit from the Sweetgrass Foundation. We have applied for three more grants and are awaiting approvals. The first grant will fund an observation tower for the hiking trail: the second grant will provide money to construct a second hiking trail at the farm as well as improvements to the Red Barn and the third grant will provide funds to install heating and cooling in the Museum building.
The annual drive to solicit funds from our museum supporters is underway. The patron letter was mailed out last week. Our generous donors contributed more than $5,000 in 2017. As explained in the patron letter- the acquisition of the Bogardus Farm was a wonderful opportunity to provide the community with hiking trails and outdoor recreational activities but this acquisition also came with expenses such as heating, lighting, maintenance and landscape costs. In addition to checks we are accepting donations by way of PayPal if that interests anyone.
Please check our 2108 events calendar for updates and additions. We just added Thomas E Brooking from the Sturgeons- For- Tomorrow non profit organization as a guest speaker for July 19th. We think we will be adding another guest speaker for August 9th- please check our calendar regularly.
With the increased activities planned by the museum ( new Big Fish Exhibit, new hiking trail, guest speakers and concert series) the Museum has increased the number of days we will be open this summer. Our new schedule is as follows:
Saturdays 9am 1pm
Sundays 1pm to 4pm
Wednesdays 9am – 1pm
We continue to seek volunteers to join the museum. If you are interested in donating some time- we have many projects to do. As we look at our ambitious agenda- we know we will be challenged to deliver on everything without more help. Please reach out to a Board member if you have any interest in serving our community.
May 14, 2018