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Songs, stories begin Adirondack series in Niskayuna

Thursday, September 6, 2012
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Union College's Adirondack Resource Center  is located in the historic Schaefer Home on St. David's Lane in Niskayuna.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Union College's Adirondack Resource Center is located in the historic Schaefer Home on St. David's Lane in Niskayuna.

— Stories and songs of the Adirondacks — performed where a man who worked to protect the wilderness called home — are on tap tonight for the public.

Union College is hosting the inaugural event for its Adirondack Center lecture and concert series today at 5:45 p.m. Singing and telling stories of the Adirondacks will be award-winning musician and educator Dan Berggren.

The event is also the first formal one for the center under the auspices of Union College. The college purchased the former home of Adirondacks advocate Paul Schaefer last year from the advocacy group Protect the Adirondacks!

What’s ahead?

Upcoming events in the Adirondack concert/lecture series:

• Oct. 25, 5:30 p.m., Nott Memorial: Marty Podskoch, lecturer, author, historian

• Early November, Adirondack photo exhibit by Matt Milless

• Jan. 17, 5:30 p.m., Adirondack Center: Bill Weber, “Out of Africa and into the Adirondacks: A Conservation Journey”

The college has held small events at the site, said Edward Summers, chief of staff to Union College’s president, but tonight is the real kickoff.

“We thought this was a great way to open up the academic year, with an event of Adirondack songs and stories,” Summers said.

The event and center are also part of a larger approach by college present Stephen C. Ainlay to better connect the college to the community and region, Summers said.

The concert is free and open to the public. Parking at the St. David’s Lane site is limited, but shuttles will pick people up from Old Chapel Circle at Union and run throughout the event. A light reception follows.

Berggren is owner of Sleeping Giant Records, which has produced 15 albums. He has entertained for 30 years, drawing on his experiences of being raised in the Adirondacks, according to the college.

The college purchased the site with the help of aid from an anonymous donor. The advocacy group decided to sell the property after it had to lay off most of its paid staff.

As part of the deal, the contents of the Adirondack Research Library will remain on loan to the college but officially will continue to be owned by Protect the Adirondacks!

The library also remains open to the public on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays from 1 to 4 p.m., and by appointment.

Schaefer was an influential environmental activist and member of the Association for Protection of the Adirondacks. He fought to block construction of dams on Adirondack rivers and persuaded the state not to take the Northway through what is now Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. The organization bought the home from Schaefer’s children after his death in 1996. The association later became Protect the Adirondacks!

The library’s collection includes more than 15,000 books as well as maps, photographs, documents and personal papers. It includes a floor-to-ceiling relief map of the Adirondack Park.

 
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