Save the Pine Bush Enjoys Another Victory

Adventure Park Parcel Added to the Preserve

by Lynne Jackson

The Albany Pine Bush Management Commission purchased 34 acres of land on September 24, 1996. Included in this purchase a key parcel that had been slated to become an adventure park consisting of go carts and miniature golf until Save the Pine Bush stepped in and filed suit against the Town of Guilderland.

In the spring of 1995, the construction of the adventure park and the destruction of the second largest site of Karner Blues in the Pine Bush seemed like a sure thing, until Save the Pine Bush brought a court case to stop the project. An encounter with the developer, Michael Giovanone, and a group of SPB volunteers at the first hearing on the project, alerted group members to the seriousness of this proposal. Mr. Giovanone was very friendly with us at this hearing, telling us how he would help the Pine Bush with his adventure park. He told us he would build a miniature golf course and dedicate each hole to some aspect of the Pine Bush. (I can just see it all now, the one hole dedicated to the Karner Blue, one to the hog nose snake, one to a pitch pine tree and on and on). He promised to plant native species on his mini golf course (ever try to buy a few hundred species of Pine Bush plants at the local garden center? I don't think so!) He even said he would split the profits from one weekend a year with Save the Pine Bush, which, if memory serves me correctly, would have been in the thousands of dollars, a princely sum for one Pine Bush fund-raiser.

Save the Pine Bush sued, and as a result of the suit, construction was delayed during the summer of 1995. When we lost that suit in Supreme Court, we appealed to the Appellate Division, and then to the Court of Appeals. No construction was begun in 1996. Our suit is still in court. If Save the Pine Bush had not sued, the land would now be a mini-golf adventure park. Another victory for the Pine Bush!

Printed October, November, 1996

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