Healthy Heart Network donates $9K for Saranac Lake signage plan

SARANAC LAKE – The North Country Healthy Heart Network has chipped in $9,000 to help improve signage for pedestrians and bicyclists in the village.

The money comes from the network’s Creating Healthy Places in Franklin County program, which is funded by a grant from the state Department of Health. A check for $9,000 was presented to village officials last week.

Village Community Development Director Jeremy Evans said the money will help support the planning and installation of wayfinding signage around the community, one of the many recommendations in the village’s recently adopted Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Master Plan. The signs will direct people to trails and points of interest.

“We’ll have some larger signs with a map of the community with different trails and destinations on it, and room for other information,” he said. “Then we’ll have a number of different wayfinding signs that list a location or destination and an arrow: Baker Mountain, Dewey Mountain, downtown, the beach, Mount Pisgah. We have a whole bunch of destinations we want to help people, primarily pedestrians and bicyclists, get to.”

Jamie Konkoski, program manager for the Creating Healthy Places grant, said the signage will be helpful for tourists, but it’s also meant to give local residents “a little nudge on the places where they could go to be active.

“You might notice a trail system you don’t know about,” she said. “Like the Turtle Pond trails. I’ve mentioned those, and people have no idea where that is or what that is or that they could walk their dog there or ride their bike there. You might learn about a new spot.”

Evans said the signs won’t be huge; they’ll be scaled for pedestrians and bicyclists. The design and the number of signs are being finalized now. Evans said he hopes the first group will go up this fall.

The $9,000 will be used to pay Alta Planning and Design, with which the village has been working with on the wayfinding signage plan. The village has also budgeted roughly the same amount of money for the project, Evans said.

“The Healthy Heart Network is basically doubling what we’re going to be able to do up front,” Evans said. “Half of what we’ll be seeing out there over the next few months will be because of their donation. We’ve got a good start. We’ll be working to find money, either through the village budget, through grants, through a sponsorship program we’re hoping to implement, to add (more signage) over time until we complete it.”

Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or