Ecology programs at VIC bolstered by New York State grant

The Paul Smith's College VIC has won a three-year grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The award, worth up to $45,000, will help the VIC support its Butterfly House, trails and other programs that showcase the ecology of the Adirondacks. The VIC will receive $15,000 in the first year of the grant.

The grant was given through the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Program, a $10.25 million initiative that is supported by the state's Environmental Protection Fund. The program supports institutions such as arboretums, natural science museums and nature centers that educate the public about living plants and animals.

"The VIC plays an important role in our community and we're very pleased that New York State has recognized that throughthis award," said Brian McDonnell, director of the Paul Smith's College VIC. "This grant will help the VIC continue its mission to maintain these trails and habitats as a valuable community resource."

Since summer 2011, visitor totals at the VIC have grown by about 25 percent annually. In addition to providing more than 25 miles of trails on 3,000 acres, the VIC is also a local hub of art, music, culture and recreation, showcasing trail runs and other athletic contests, exhibits, concerts and more.

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