To view images of the Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park, click here.

 

Work on Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park started in the early 70s with archeological surveys conducted on a proposed sewer line. The surveys showed that the Flatts was an important site for Native and Colonial Americans. Because of its historic importance Schuyler Flatts is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The site of the former Schuyler Homestead has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.

The park area served as a resting area for troops and settlers in colonial times. It also was a meeting place and trade center for Native American Tribes.

The Van Rensselaer's sold the property to the Schuyler family in 1692 who occupied the homestead until 1910. The site of the homestead is a central resource within the park.
The western boundary of the park contains the remnants of the Erie Canal or Clinton's Ditch. The Erie Canal was a prime passageway for settlers and trade traveling to the west. In more recent history the Flatts was the location for circus and carnival troops that visited the area each year bringing excitement and intrigues to the area.


The eastern side of the park contains portions of the Little
River Environmental area. The Little River is one of the few tidal and wetland marshes remaining in the Town. It harbors a diversity of wildlife include Great Blue Heron and migrating warbler species of many types.

The park will be operated by the Town of Colonie. It will serve as an oasis for rest and relaxation. The park is designed for passive type of recreation such as walking and hiking. Biking will also be an important part of the park's use as it connects directly to the Hudson Mohawk Bikeway.

The Town is entering into a partnership with the Capital District Community Gardens. A small community garden will be situated in the southern portion of the park.

 

One of the most important uses of the park will be education. The park is a superb resource for education on the environment, history and culture of the capital district. It is very much compatible with the 4th grade
curriculum on local history required by NYS. The site is already used by teachers and students. The park's open space will also serve as a site for encampments of reenactor's of our nation's history.

Paul Russell, Conservation Officer with the Town of Colonie served as a spearhead in moving the park from concept to reality. The property was acquired by the Town primarily through the assistance of the Open Space Institute. Joe Martens, President for OSI stated that "Schuyler Flatts Cultural Park represents what open space protection is all about. It is about history, environmental protection, education, relaxation and quality of life. OSI is proud to have been able to assist in this worthwhile project."

Planning for the park was funded through the Town and the Hudson River Greenway. Carmella Mantello, Executive Director for the Greenway, stated "We are very happy that our early planning grant served as a catalyst to bring this beautiful addition to the Hudson River Greenway to fruition"

 

Creation of the park required a considerable amount of effort by many groups including the National Guard. The park was also made possible through a Clean Water/ Clean Air Bond Act grant administered by the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro, said, "This unique property is another example of Governor Pataki's commitment to providing greater access to open space, parklands, and our outdoor heritage for communities across the state. Schuyler Flatts will provide opportunities for New Yorkers of all ages to explore the historic and natural resources.

The park is located at approximately 595 Broadway, Menands in the Town of Colonie, near the boundary of Watervliet. Directions: I-787 to Route. 378 Exit (Menands). Go west. Take the first right off 378 West. Turn right onto Route. 32 (Broadway) North. The Park is on the right approximately 1/2 mile. For a map of the park, please click here.

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