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Conservancy pursuing Theresa hiking trail project

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THERESA — The Indian River Lakes Conservancy hopes to turn a 54-acre field into a handicapped-accessible hiking trail and kayak launch near Boyd Pond, off County Route 21 and Cottage Road in the town of Theresa.

The Redwood conservancy purchased the land in 2012 from Kenneth R. Boyd for $80,000. Plans call for completing two trails, one that heads to a 24-acre pond and kayak/canoe launch and another that leads to an overlook deck. Two small parking lots also will be built.

If all goes well, the $250,000 project would start in 2015. It depends on obtaining funding from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. If the funding fails to come through this year, the organization intends to apply again for the grant next year, board member Mark A. Scarlett said.

Last year, the conservancy was awarded a $39,250 grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to help develop the project.

Plans were discussed at the Jefferson County Planning Board meeting Tuesday; the board needed only to review the project but was not required to take any action.

However, the project needs a special use permit from the Town Council because it would be on water, town officials said. The town Planning Board needs to act on the project before it proceeds.

The organization has been working on the project for a couple of years.

Mr. Scarlett said the project’s design will allow for complete handicapped accessibility for hikers and kayakers.

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