Ellen Rosano is chair of the town’s Conservation Advisory Council, an eight-member panel that promotes interest in the environment through bulletin board displays, public relations and educational presentations. She and her husband Paul are lifelong Colonie residents.
Q: The amount of development is an issue in town. What is the CAC’s involvement in that process?
A: The Town of Colonie CAC serves as an advisory board to the Planning Board. The CAC reviews the site plans, visits sites and takes pictures of the site. The Council then makes recommendations to the planning board via an assessment sheet and attendance at the planning board meeting.
Q: What does the CAC see as the most pressing issue in town and why?
A: The environment and the preservation of natural resources, replacement of plantings and the control of invasive species are of utmost importance.
Q: How did you get involved with the CAC? And how do you get young people interested in the environment?
A: I have always been interested in the environment. Initially on a small scale with gardening, providing areas for pollinators and admiring the beautiful trees around us. When I was offered a position on the Conservation Committee, I was happy to join. Passing on an interest and advocacy in the environment is a must for the future. The Town of Colonie has a conservation Day every year. The night prior to the event all of the seedling must be unpacked, wrapped in peat moss and newspaper repacked and label for distribution. Teenagers from the local high school assist with the task. They learn about the seedlings, their benefits and have to plant and nurture them. It is hoped that this activity will pique their interest and encourage them to be stewards of the earth. At the event itself there are several other organizations present: Cornell Co-Operative Extension, The Pine Bush Preserve, Audubon Society Fort Orange Club, Hudson/Mohawk Conservancy. There are personnel available for questions, recommendations, soil testing is also provided. The seedlings are distributed to residents, with information on how to plant and why this particular seedling is desirable. Communities around the area have arbor/Conservation Day, “Joe” could avail himself of these events. The activities are of interest to children as well, hopefully encouraging them to become champions of the environment.
Q: What is the biggest threat to the environment and what can an everyday Joe from Colonie do to help protect the environment?
A: I believe the biggest threat to the environment are invasive species. They are literally destroying our environment. They prevent our native plantings from thriving. They negatively impact the biodiversity of a region and destroy the natural habitat of native species. The average “Joe” can subscribe to the DEC. Website, visit local nurseries, contact Cornell Cooperative Ext. These are all great resources for anyone to gain information regarding the environment. The local library is also a great source of information. There is a group PRISM, Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management. Members of the CAC are active members. In 2018 and 2019 CAC and the Town of Colonie have partnered with Siena College through a contract with PRISM to identify invasive species. CAC and PRISM working together provided a walking tour of the Crossing, educating the public on the subject of invasive. A number of residents attended the event.
Q: What is your favorite park — national, state or local — and why?
A: The crossing would be my favorite park location. It is user friendly, great location and had water feature, wildlife and variety of plantings. A serene place for walks, sitting and contemplating, a playground for children and a quiet place to pay your respects to our military heroes.
If you know of anyone who would like to be featured as a subject of Five Questions, contact Jim Franco at [email protected] or 518-878-1000