TUPPER LAKE - The Wild Center has won $158,120 in grant funding for a maple syrup project it is embarking on with partners Paul Smith's College and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Bill Owens announced the grant through the Northern Border Regional Commission earlier this week in a press release. NBRC also awarded $123,500 to the Business Development Corporation for a Greater Massena to construct a rail spur on the existing CSX St. Lawrence Subdivision.
Funding for The Wild Center will be matched for a total project cost of $258,656. The money will be used to implement the Northern New York Maple project, in collaboration with the Cornell Sugar Maple Research and Extension program.
The Wild Center has partnered with Paul Smith's College VIC on the project, which will help train local maple producers, create maple sugaring demonstration sites and promote further growth in the industry.
NBRC estimates the project will create 40 jobs in the region.
Funding for the Business Development Corporation will be matched by state and local funds, for a total project cost of $548,500. The new CSX rail spur will serve an industrial park in support of the local forest products industry. NBRC estimates this will create seven jobs and retain 119.
"This project really builds on the region's natural assets," Wild Center Executive Director Stephanie Ratcliffe said in the release. "It promotes sustainable economic development through a region-wide encouragement of micro enterprises. Tourists want authentic experiences when they visit the northern forest area. The maple industry here has a rich and long tradition that this project will help highlight."
The NBRC was created by Congress to spur economic development in a 36 county region throughout New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. In New York, this region includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Cayuga and Seneca counties.