News From Vale

May 12, 2015

Saturday, May 16th at 8:30am ornithologist Neal Reilly leads a FREE guided bird walk in the 100 Acre Urban Greenspace and Wildlife Preserve. Both experienced and beginning bird watchers are welcomed. See the migratory species and year round native habitat birds. Meet at the caretaker’s house at 907 State St., Schenectady.

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May 12, 2015

Vale will observe Memorial Day at 10:30 a.m., May 25th with a formal ceremony. Taps, a flag raising, and the National Anthem will be on the program. Veterans’ groups representing all military branches will participate. Local dignitaries will speak briefly at the Veterans’ Plot. Participants will assemble at Vale’s main entrance at 907 State St.

Since 1866 we have honoured the memories of our loved ones who have served in all the wars and most especially, those who made the ultimate sacrifice to our country. It is also a time to remember departed friends and family.

Again this year, Vale is offering to plant potted red geraniums (three plants per pot) on specified graves, which will last through the summer. The FIRST POT purchase is $35 and each additional pot is $25. The price includes the planting and careful maintenance of the entire plot. Two or more plots are recommended.

More information and downloadable order form.

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November 7, 2014

This year’s eight public tours, from April to November, were well attended. The bus provided by Union College was always filled to capacity and the overflow was accommodated by Vale’s own 25-passenger bus. (Incidentally, the vintage 1989 bus is in need of re-pair. Anyone with mechanical skills would be most welcome to tackle the project.)

2014 Presenters

This year’s presenters were: Amy Reilly Veino, Sue McLane (two tours), Tom Kelly, Laura Linder, Frank Taormina, Scott Haeffner, and Paul Tracy. Topics

Their topics included: a nature walk, "Notable Women," "Victorian Lady in Mourning," WWI com-memoration, Dutch settlers, Under-ground Railroad, the Revolutionary War, and epitaphs and cenotaphs.

Tour advertising expenses ex-ceeded donations from the tours this year, but those attending ap-preciate Vale’s history and the cemetery’s beauty, often leaving with a new opinion of Vale as a community asset that is safe and a good place to honor the memory of loved ones.

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October 20, 2014

Solar panels

The Vale Crematory is the source of 95 per-cent of funds necessary for the cemetery operation. The crematory operates uses liquid propane fuel at a cost of approximately $72,000 per year.

Savings from Natural Gas

Converting the crematory to natural gas would result in a saving of more than $30,000 annually. This change requires bringing a gas line in from Mynderse Street. However, the proposed line is a long distance and the cost would be significant, estimated at $100,000. Financial contributions are needed for this project.


Preliminary research is underway to deter-mine if solar power would be feasible in supplying some of Vale’s electric power needs. Solar panels could be installed on the large flat roof of the crematory’s garage. This location is approximately a half mile from State Street and not visible to passing traffic.

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October 7, 2014

Urban farmers at Vale

For a few years, the unused land at the Brandywine Ave. section was used as a vegetable garden for the organization Roots & Wisdom. In a grant-supported program, youths were taught agriculture, food production and nutrition. The youths participating in the program came from urban minority neighborhoods and suburban affluent neighborhoods alike.

Produce grown was sold at a Fehr Avenue stand to program subscribers. However, Roots & Wisdom ended the Vale garden due to reduction in grant support.

Transitions is now gardening in Vale. The Vale Urban Farm has an innovative model whereby people contribute eight hours per month of garden work for a percentage of what is grown. A 10 foot by 10 foot community garden plot is available to people contributing two hours of volunteer work to the large garden plot.

Produce from the garden is contributed to the Schenectady Day Nursery and City Mission's meal program. Crops grown included tomatoes, cabbage', collard, peppers, radishes, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, and arugula.
Cathy Winter is the project coordinator. For details, visit

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