COMMUNITY BRIEFS: Pomeroy, Sacred Sites, Turtles, Young wildlife, Clav. Srs., Hidden gardens, Strawberries & tag sale, Summer gala

Apply for grant to support history organizations

TROY—The Pomeroy Fund for New York State History, a partnership between the William G. Pomeroy Foundation and the Museum Association of New York (MANY), will provide an additional $50,000 in grants to assist 501(c)(3) history-related organizations with general operating expenses in 2020. MANY is now accepting applications on its website as of Thursday, May 28.

An organization must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a Pomeroy Fund grant during this second round:

*Based in New York State

*Mission must include history

*An annual budget of $150,000 or less

*Have no fewer than 250 open hours/program delivery hours in 2019.

Pomeroy Fund grants will be made on a sliding scale between $1,000 and $5,000 based on budget size. A total of 18 grants will be made. Awarded funds can be used for general operating expenses. Organizations that have already received a Pomeroy Fund for NYS History grant in 2020 are not eligible in this round. Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, June 10, and funds will be disbursed starting Wednesday, June 24.

“The first round of the Pomeroy Fund for NYS History granted over $50,000 to 31 history organizations across the state. What we saw with this initiative reaffirmed that history organizations need support now more than ever. In this second round of funding, we’ve expanded the eligibility and broadened the scope of how the funds can be used to enable grantees to have the greatest amount of flexibility during this critical time,” Bill Pomeroy, founder and trustee of the Pomeroy Foundation, said in a press release.

“We were overwhelmed by the scope and the need for support that we saw in the first round of grant requests and we are grateful for the Pomeroy Foundation’s swift and generous response with this second round of funding,” Erika Sanger, executive director for the Museum Association of New York said in the release.

To begin an application or to learn more, visit the Pomeroy Fund webpage at:

Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel that includes MANY Board members, MANY staff and Pomeroy Foundation staff. Grants are available to all qualified organizations; an organization does not have to be a member of MANY to receive funding, nor will preference be given to MANY members. Funding notifications and assistance grants will be issued in June. Visit

St. John’s awarded ‘Sacred Sites’ grant

COPAKE FALLS—The Church of St. John in the Wilderness, 261 State Route 344, recently received a grant from the Sacred Sites Program of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. The $3,500 grant will support architectural and engineering consulting fees for the first implementation phase of St. John’s capital campaign, Sustaining People, Place, and Peace, 2019-2020. The implementation phase includes renovation of the Sacristy, handicap access, improved egress from the Undercroft and HVAC systems. This award is the third Sacred Sites grant given to St. John’s. Previous grants supported the renovation of the bell tower and a new roof for the church.

In the award letter Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, stated, “Your congregation joins over 800 houses of worship throughout New York State that have received more than $11.5 million in grants from the Sacred Sites Fund, supporting over $690 million in restoration and repair projects in the state. The Sacred Sites Program has provided outreach services and technical advice to almost 1,500 individual religious institutions. The Conservancy commends you and the congregation for recognizing the historic importance of this sacred site and maintaining it for future generations.”

To date, St. John’s capital campaign has raised $212,720 or 64% of the goal of $332,000 through outright gifts, a bequest, grants from Sacred Sites and the Rheinstrom Hill Community Foundation, and pledges from members and friends of the church.

The church has 70 members and serves the Columbia County region. The Reverend John P. Thompson is rector.

Painted turtle near the edge of the road. Photo contributed

Don’t run over turtles crossing the road

ALBANY—Native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas.

When a turtle is in the road, give it “a brake,” says a press release from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. “Slow down to avoid hitting it with your car. If you can safely stop your vehicle, consider moving it to the shoulder on the side of the road in the direction it was facing.

“Picking the turtle up by its tail may frighten or injure it. You can pick up most turtles by the sides of the shell.

“Use caution when moving snapping turtles; either pick her up at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands, or slide a car mat under the turtle to drag her across the road.

“Do not take turtles home. All native turtles are protected by law and cannot be kept without a permit. All 11 species of land turtles that are native to New York are declining,” the release said.

Fawn hidden in tall grass. Photo by Art Jacobson

DEC cautions against disturbing young wildlife

ALBANY—In the spring and summer, people may come across young wildlife that appear to be abandoned.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos reminds New Yorkers in a press release to appreciate wildlife from a safe distance and resist the urge to touch or pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife. Human contact with wildlife can carry unintended consequences detrimental to the creatures people intend to help.

In an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19, New Yorkers are spending more time at home than normal and seeing more young birds and other wildlife as a result. While some young are learning survival from one or both parents, others normally receive little or no parental care. Often, wild animal parents stay away from their young when people are near. The young are left hidden in a safe place and the parent may be nearby. Because of their behavior, the most common species to be mistakenly “rescued” by humans are young fawns, cottontail rabbits and fledgling birds. When people attempt to handle or raise wildlife, these well-meaning acts of kindness tend to have the opposite result. Many of the animals soon die despite their best efforts.

DEC also reminds people that young wildlife are not pets. Keeping wildlife in captivity is both illegal and harmful to the animal. Wild animals are not well-suited for life in captivity and may carry diseases that can be transferred to humans. But when someone encounters a young wild animal that is obviously injured or orphaned, call a wildlife rehabilitator. All wildlife rehabilitators are trained volunteers licensed by DEC.

For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about young wildlife visit DEC’s website

Claverack Seniors cancel June meeting

CLAVERACK—The June 12 meeting of the Claverack Seniors has been canceled. There will be no more trips until further notice.

Hidden gardens will remain unseen

SPENCERTOWN—The Spencertown Academy Arts Center has canceled its Hidden Gardens self-guided tour, art exhibition, and garden lecture scheduled for June.

“We truly regret to announce that we must cancel our beloved summer garden extravaganza. There’s no need to enumerate the reasons why as we all know them by heart now,” Academy Board Member Madaline Sparks said in a press release. “We will assess whether we can safely gather again later this year to celebrate the art of the garden and will share plans if that happens.”

For more information on the Spencertown Academy Arts Center visit or call 518-392-3693.

Historians shelf strawberries, tag sale

STEPHENTOWN—The Stephentown Historical Society Board has announced that both the annual June Strawberry Festival and late summer annual Community Tag Sale will not be held this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Monthly program meetings have also been canceled until further notice.

2020 Summer Gala canceled

COPAKE FALLS—The Church of St. John in the Wilderness was looking forward to its annual Summer Gala on a Saturday evening in July, but the event has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This event that brings the community together and benefits St. John in the Wilderness and its programs for the people of the Roe Jan area.

The church has continued to keep the congregation going with meetings and worship by Zoom and is reaching out even when it cannot be done in person. For example, carefully prepared home-cooked meals are being brought to any who need them, according to a press release from The Rev. John Thompson, rector.

During the pandemic crisis Sunday service is held at 10 a.m. on Zoom. Contact for details, 518-329-3674, 261 State Route 344, P.O. Box 180, Copake Falls 12517.

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