Tivoli Preserve Vision
Tivoli is one of the largest natural areas in the City of Albany. At approximately 72-acres, the Preserve offers a dynamic landscape including Tivoli Lake, riparian wetlands, upland forests and meadows, and a wide variety of flora and fauna. In addition, the historic Patroon Creek, a local tributary to the Hudson River, runs along its northern border.
In the Spring of 2014, the City of Albany began assessing opportunities to improve Tivoli Lake Preserve (Tivoli), a natural resource project that aligns with goals set in the City’s Albany 2030: Comprehensive Plan. Creating a Visioning Plan that would redevelop Tivoli and bring out its full potential required extensive community and stakeholder outreach and engagement in order to gather ideas, address concerns, form recommendations and prioritize future improvements. It was clear from the beginning that residents, the City, and other interested parties were passionate about the Preserve and strongly supported actions that would make it both a local and regional destination. Tivoli, located in the West Hill Neighborhood, is a unique property with immense potential. The result of the project were the Tivoli Lake Preserve Visioning Plan.
Invasive Species Mitigation
The Visioning Plan identified the invasive species Phragmites Australis, known as common reed, as a “core hurdle” to the preserve reaching its full potential. Phragmites australis is a tall, reed-like plant with a feathery seed head at its top. In 2017 the City of Albany partnered with Dr. Gary Kleppel, a biologist at SUNY Albany to author an invasive species management plan that uses sheep to cut down and limit the amount of common reed in the Preserve. Dr.Kleppel trained and mentored Melissa Parade, the first shepherd at the Tivoli Lake Preserve. The sheep focused on grazing Phragmites Australis to help improve the visibility and clear dense spaces in the Preserve. When fenced in densely and managed with rotational grazing, sheep will eat phragmites and clear space for native species to return. From 2017-2019 the sheep spent the spring, summer, and fall in the Preserve. The sheep are currently managed by the Friends of Tivoli Lake Preserve and Farm (https://friendsoftivoli.org/)
The project is the design and construction of a loop trail system to connect the Tivoli Lake Preserve entrances and provide access to the Preserve’s extensive secondary trail network and Tivoli Lake. This trail will need to be designed and constructed for consistency with the 2014 Tivoli Lake Preserve Visioning Plan and includes additional improvements to the parking lot at Livingston Avenue and Judson Street.
Hudson River Estuary Program, New York State Department of Environmental
Conservation, with support from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, in cooperation with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission
Northeast ADA Center