The Great Swamp Conservancy is taking a giant leap forward, merging green energy and nature conservation in Canastota. The GSC announced the recent installation of six electric vehicle charging stations at its Museum and Events Barn, at 8375 N. Main St. The Green Team, a local commercial LED lighting and EVSE operation, is helping the GSC make great strides to becoming even greener, too.
The GSC, Madison County’s only nature center, has been a part of the CNY community for 24 years. With many acres of restored wetlands, grasslands, early successional habitat and hardwood forests, everyone can connect with nature. These diverse habitats have entitled the properties to be designated as an ‘Important Bird Area’ by the Audubon Society and as a ‘Watchable Wildlife’ site by state, federal and international agencies.
This wetland complex is a resource and home for many wildlife species.
“A greener future is here, and with these six new EV charging stations we are finally able to participate in new ways that will attract new people,” said Brianne Wilcox, GSC conservation educator. “We invite all EV owners to stop by and charge their vehicles. You can charge up, step out of your car to get a breath of fresh air, and walk the miles of unique trails or enjoy one of the many other great things we have to offer.”
“Get charged up in more than one way while visiting the Great Swamp Conservancy,” said GSC founder and President Michael Patane.
Electric vehicle charging stations are becoming more prevalent in communities across Central New York, thanks to the rollout of new incentive programs through National Grid’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Make-Ready Program and the Charge Ready NY Program administered by the state Energy Research and Development Authority.
“To support our customers, communities and businesses in the private and the public sectors reduce the impact of carbon, National Grid is helping make electric vehicles and the charging stations that power them more accessible, and the Great Swamp Conservancy is helping make this a reality in Madison County,” said Alberto Bianchetti, National Grid’s CNY Regional Director. “Through the company’s Electric Vehicle Charging Station Make-Ready Program, we’re promoting the installation of public and workplace charging in communities, businesses, schools and public transportation to provide a network of EV charging that increases EV adoption to meet our state’s clean energy goals.”
In addition to project funding, National Grid provided a pole, meter and upgraded electricity service, ensuring a good future for the GSC’s electrical system.
Launched by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2018, Charge Ready NY provides $4,000 per vehicle charging port for public or private employers, building owners, municipalities and non-profit organizations to install level-two charging stations, with an additional $500 per port available in disadvantaged communities. NYSERDA is providing $17 million for this initiative to add 4,250 new charging ports throughout the state.
This effort complements New York state’s climate and clean energy goals as outlined in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act to lower greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050. Charge Ready NY works together with other programs, such as the “Make-Ready” Program to amplify the number of charging ports statewide to 50,000 and connect access to meet New York’s goal of deploying 850,000 zero-emission vehicles by the end of 2025.
The GSC’s driving organizational goals include habitat conservation, endangered species preservation, wetland conservation and enhancement, water pollution abatement, environmental education and outreach and fostering a greater understanding of local history. With this in mind, moving into the green energy world only makes sense. With six charging ports, the GSC invites all of those with electric vehicles to stop by for a charge. The GSC is located three miles from the I-90 corridor, Canastota, Exit 34, just about halfway between Syracuse and Utica.