HFM to create new opportunities

JOHNSTOWN — The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services is getting closer to creating some new learning opportunities on campus for students in the conservation program.

During June 15’s Fulton-Montgomery Community College Board of Trustee’s meeting, college President Dustin Swanger spoke with trustees about the plan that was presented by HFM.

Swanger said the college signed an agreement with BOCES which allowed them to use college land to create educational areas.

Swanger said HFM is looking to create a retention pond shaped like a backwards E. He said the students would stock the pond with fish and perform water tests. The pond would be surrounded by a fence and be accessible by a gate and have an aerator. It would be eight feet at its deepest and have a gradual slope.

A nature path would be constructed, along with a tree farm and a few other ponds over a five-year period.

The projects would be for the benefit of BOCES’ conservation program.

“We are at peace with that plan, given the curriculum and the things that they would like to do,” Swanger said.

The board had no objections or concerns about the plan.

The two entities have had a long relationship of working together on projects, including land sharing.

HFM and FMCC have an agreement that allows HFM students in the construction and environmental conversation programs to allow the students to practice their craft in creating ponds, planning parks and logging timber.

The students must present their ideas to a mock planning board that includes Swanger.

The FMCC board approved a new insurance agreement that protects the college from liability should any students get hurt while working on a project while on FMCC property.

Kerry Minor can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.

By Patricia Older

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