So many things we take for granted in Clifton Park and Halfmoon simply don’t happen or at least happen far less automatically and smoothly, once you get a few miles down the Thruway, or on the canal.
In Clifton Park, we routinely see posts on social media about community leaders and groups coming together to honor our heroes, complete service projects, support people in need, and develop new ways to enhance our quality of life.
This column speaks regularly about the work of the local chamber of commerce, and we seem pretty good at publicizing that work, but what about the various social and civic groups who do so much yet often don’t get the publicity they deserve?
For example, last weekend the Town of Clifton Park celebrated a National Night Out to honor First Responders, family, friends and hometown heroes. That would be a big deal given the kind of year we are having, but this was the 16th time Clifton Park has held this commemoration. Our community stays connected, in good times and in bad.
The residents of Clifton Park and Halfmoon love building bridges. After all, the very crossing most of us use to get across the river, the Northway’s twin span Kosciuszko Bridge, was erected here in the 1950s.
In 2013 the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County built a foot bridge for visitors to gain access to the Erie Canal’s Historic Lock 19. This summer Eagle Scout Leo Coons supervised a bridge replacement project near Clute’s Dry Dock; the one it replaced had also been built by scouts.
And soon, another new bridge nearby will cross the historic canal and make possible a whole new adventure on the Vischer Ferry trails by connecting, for the first time in more than a century, both sides of the waterway at that location.
These projects are all examples of how citizens come together, each different group tackling a project and independently doing their part but with a common goal of making a better community.
This is why we have wonderful parks, trails, benches, memorials, and markers in our area.
Halfmoon has done similar great work in refurbishing its parks, and also restoring the old tool shed behind the Historical Society building. The shed once stored many of tools used by generations of farmers throughout our community.
About a month or so ago, a new blue and yellow historic marker was erected on Waite Road in Clifton Park in front of a small cemetery. It’s a reminder of those who built this community and made our world of today possible. Apparently our neighbors quietly and humbly conducted this project during the pandemic, a vivid reminder that southern Saratoga County soldiers on.