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Munter Trails at Clarkson dedicated

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POTSDAM — John Munter had mixed feelings Saturday about the Raquette River recreational trails on the Clarkson University campus being named after him.

“It’d be better if it could be named for everybody,” said Mr. Munter, 74, a Saratoga County construction company owner and Clarkson class of 1959 alumnus.

By “everybody,” Mr. Munter meant the two dozen contractors, businesses and government agencies that helped in the two years of planning and construction of the 2-mile Munter Trails, which opened in July.

“My task was very easy,” Mr. Munter said. “I went out and got the Clarkson alumni to help. I didn’t get any negative responses. We had an unbelievable positive response.”

At Saturday’s dedication ceremony, Clarkson President Anthony G. Collins insisted that his friend was selling himself and his efforts way too short.

“I never thought it would get done,” Mr. Collins said.

Mr. Collins went on to tell stories about Mr. Munter’s determination to get the trail built. Mr. Munter drove one of his construction company’s bulldozers to clear woods for the trail and also knocked on doors in Potsdam to solicit support.

It worked. “You can’t say no to John,” Mr. Collins said, laughing. “It’s easier to say yes than to put up with him.”

Potsdam Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis applauded the Munter Trails’ symbol of community cooperation. “It’s something that’s going to be a legacy,” he said.

The trails already are a big hit with Clarkson students and Potsdam residents.

“Clarkson is really uniquely fortunate to have this riverfront area,” said Outing Club President Christopher R. McKinney, class of 2013.

Potsdam resident Joanne J. Ackermann said she and her husband, Norbert L., walk the trails with their dogs every day.

“Even in the rain,” Mrs. Ackermann said. “It’s wonderful. It’s peaceful.”

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