You Can Help Save the Pine Bush in The Town of Colonie

COLONIE: The Town of Colonie is currently working on its Town of Colonie Comprehensive Plan. Now is the time for people concerned about protection of the Pine Bush to speak up.

According to the Town’s website, “A comprehensive plan is a document that, according to New York State Law, ‘identifies the goals, objectives, principles, guidelines, policies, standards, devices and instruments for the immediate and long range protection, enhancement, growth and development of a municipality.’ In short the Comprehensive Plan is a map of what the Town of Colonie will look like in the year 2020.”

About one third of the Pine Bush ecosystem is located in the Town of Colonie. Some of this land is in the Preserve, but many important parcels remain unprotected. Some of these parcels have been proposed for development.

Now is the time to let the planning officials in the Town of Colonie know how you feel about protection of the Pine Bush. Save the Pine Bush’s position is that all of the remaining continuous Pine Bush ecosystem in the Town of Colonie should be acquired and protected as forever wild. The Town of Colonie, has an obligation to protect this beautiful and unique ecosystem. Not only will protecting the Pine Bush allow future generations to enjoy and learn from this unusual place, but having a large preserve in its borders enhances the attractiveness of the Town to economic development. People want to live near nature preserves. Making the Town a more attractive place to live attacks economic development.

Protection of the Pine Bush is good for the Pine Bush, good for the citizens of the Town, and good for economics.

How can you help? There are two ways: Write a letter or email to the Town asking for preservation of the Pine Bush. Address your comments to: Comprehensive Plan, Memorial Town Hall, 534 Loudon Road, Newtonville, New York 12128. Email your comments to

Attend a hearing on the Comprehensive Plan. The Town has held three hearings so far including one on Open Space and one on Parks and Recreation. Some of the meetings only have a couple of dozen people in attendance, which allows time for discussion of ideas. Please consider attending one of the remaining meetings, and speak about how important the Pine Bush is to you. The dates are:

Development Patterns—Tuesday, Oct. 19, 7-9 pm
Economic Development—Monday, Oct. 25, 7-9 pm
Traffic & Transportation—Wednesday, Nov. 10, 7-9 pm
Youth Issues Meeting—Monday, Nov. 22, 7-9 pm
All of the meetings are held at the Meeting House at the Crossings Park.

The Pine Bush is an issue in Development Patterns (we want no development there), in Economic Development (there are many economic benefits to preservation of open space), and Youth Issues (the Pine Bush is a great place to learn about nature).

Please consider attending a hearing. The officials at the hearings seem to really want public participation and listen to members of the public who attend. Also, they serve great cookies (this is the first time I ever attended a public hearing where cookies were served. –ed).