New Nature Bus Connects Communities to Outdoor Opportunities in Albany County

June 10, 2021
Nature Bus

Free Service to Run Every Saturday Through September 25, 2021

ALBANY, NY (June 10, 2021) The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC) has partnered with the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and local partners to provide a free bus service to connect communities in the City of Albany to natural areas in Albany County that are a short ride from downtown Albany.

MHLC Conservation Director Sarah Walsh, the architect of this partnership, said, “Access to nature is something we all need, but not something we all have access to. Through Nature Bus, we will take an important and long overdue step towards ensuring access to these spaces for everyone.”

Nature Bus will run every Saturday, with service starting on June 12, 2021, and running through September 25, 2021, bringing Albany residents to some of the region’s most scenic outdoor destinations. Nature Bus riders can explore trees of the world at Pine Hollow Arboretum, walk trails in the woods at Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy preserves, or visit Five Rivers for outdoor education opportunities. Residents can also take the bus to Thacher Park for a spectacular view from the top of the Helderberg Escarpment. All partner locations have easy-to-navigate maps and well-marked trails to make the user experience fun and easy. All locations are free and open to the public from dawn to dusk. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult when visiting Five Rivers, Thacher Park, and Pine Hollow Arboretum.

Nature Bus will have stops at the following locations within the City of Albany:

Livingston and Lark                                                   North Pearl and State

South Pearl and State                                                 Second and South Pearl

Second/Whitehall and Delaware                             

Nature Bus will make four stops each Saturday at the following locations:

  • Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm, Albany
  • Pine Hollow Arboretum, Slingerlands
  • Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, Slingerlands
  • Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar
  • Hilton Barn Park & Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail, Voorheesville
  • John Boyd Thacher State Park, Voorheesville
  • Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s Bennett Hill Preserve, Clarksville
  • Lawson Lake County Park, Feura Bush
  • Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s Normans Kill West Preserve, Delmar

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “DEC is proud to support the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and Capital District Transportation Authority’s Nature Bus initiative to help connect more New Yorkers with nature. Connecting young people to the outdoors is the best way to cultivate our next generation of environmental stewards in the Capital Region. This free service will provide access to outdoor gems close to home that they otherwise might not have the opportunity to explore, appreciate, and enjoy.”

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with MHLC to tear down barriers and expand access to historically underserved communities in the City of Albany. We can’t wait to greet our newest patrons with a warm welcome. John Boyd Thacher State Park offers family friendly activities, a world class nature education facility, and some of the most beautiful trails in the state. This program brings us one important step closer to recognizing our mission to make parks accessible to everyone.”

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “I commend the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and CDTA for once again thinking outside the box and developing this exciting program. The Nature Bus will provide free rides to some of Albany County’s best outdoor offerings to communities who may not have had the opportunity or ability to access these sites. This effort is consistent with the County’s ongoing equity agenda and I strongly encourage residents to take advantage of this service. I am especially proud that our Rail Trail and Lawson Lake County Park are included in the route.”

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "The Nature Bus is a wonderful way to connect our communities to several beautiful locations including the recently revitalized Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm in Albany. Many people may not have the ability to get to these outdoor spaces and providing this opportunity introduces all the benefits of being in nature. I want to thank Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, CDTA, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for collaborating to provide access to nature for everyone." 

Mark King, Executive Director of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy said,“The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy is so pleased to work with a wide variety of partners on this important endeavor. As we learned during the pandemic, access to nature is critical for our emotional and physical well-being, but for many this access is challenging. We hope the Nature Bus will encourage more people to get out and explore all of the wonderful parks and preserves throughout the Capital Region. Many thanks to CDTA and the partners and project supporters who contributed so much to make the Nature Bus possible.”

Carm Basile, Chief Executive Officer of CDTA said, “Providing accessibility and opportunity to our local communities continues to be a top priority. We are thrilled to partner with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy to introduce the Nature Bus as a convenient resource that will inspire those to experience the diverse and natural wonders that surround the Capital Region. We are committed to providing new and improved ways to enhance transportation services and the Nature Bus is an innovative program that will provide services to communities who may not have access to these beautiful, nature sites.”

Kim Tateo, Executive Director and Farm Manager for Friends of Tivoli Lake Farm and Preserve said, "We hope you enjoy the new Brother Yusuf Burgess Trail and the Preserve as a whole. We hope you have peaceful adventures!"

Gabrielle Sant'Angelo, Executive Director of The Pine Hollow Arboretum said, "The Nature Bus provides the ability to come explore, connect, and enjoy the natural beauty of the arboretum. We invite everyone to walk the trails, admire the trees, appreciate the wildlife, and discover things they have not yet experienced."

This project would not be possible without partnerships from CDTA, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation, Friends of the Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm, Pine Hollow Arboretum, and Albany County. Funding to make this service free is courtesy of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, MVP Health Care, Friends of Thacher Park, and private funders.

 To learn more about location amenities and suggested things to bring to make your trip fun and easy, visit MHLC’s Nature Bus website: https://mohawkhudson.org/nature-bus/.

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