The Friends of Clark Reservation have been awarded a $ 350 Holiday Match Grant from Stewart's Shops, a family-owned and operated chain of convenience stores and gas stations in New York and Vermont. The company is based in Saratoga Springs, NY. From Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Day, Stewart’s Shops customers donated to the grant program, and the donations were then matched by Stewart’s Shops and made available by application to 501©3 organizations for educational programs for children under 18 years of age.
The grant will go toward educational programming for children at Clark Reservation State Park. The Friends of Clark Reservation plans to partner with a traveling petting zoo to offer children the chance to interact with animals native to central New York. The Friends will host three programs this coming season which will allow children to learn about and interact with a variety of animals. The programs will occur once a month from June through August of 2019, with different themes each month (e.g., reptiles, nocturnal animals, etc.), and they will be free of charge.
The Friends group seeks to increase the number of educational programs offered to children at Clark Reservation State Park in the future. The Stewart's Shops Holiday Match Grant allows the group to host a petting zoo at Clark Reservation for the first time, and they hope to be able to offer similar programming in the future.
“We are thankful to have received the Stewart's Holiday Match grant,” said Tina Redmond, who chairs the Friends of Clark Reservation board. “We are a small organization with limited funds. Winning this grant will enable us to put on two events for children that we would have been unable to do otherwise. Thank you so much to Stewart's and their patrons for helping us teach children more about nature and the environment.”