By REBECCA ISENHART
NISKAYUNA — On Monday morning at Glencliff Elementary, students celebrated the upcoming installation of a brand-new map for the hiking trails at their school, hand-painted by three high school students who volunteered for the project.
Niskayuna High School students Veronica Liu, Elieen Ofori and Nick Paquin worked together with Glencliff art teacher Sheree Komp to paint the 4-foot-square sign.
“We worked many hours after school,” Komp said. Sometimes they would meet at 3 p.m. and paint for four hours. To protect the sign, Komp says she will coat it in a light-protecting sealant. Unlike the previous sign, which was hung in 1995, the new one will be protected by a wooden kiosk and a sheet of plexiglass, to be installed later this summer.
“It should hopefully last 10 years,” Komp said.
Two students from each elementary classroom were selected to celebrate the outdoor upgrade. They waved brightly colored trail markers that will teach hikers about the types of trees on the paths, which were created by parents and elementary students together during after-school enrichment programming.
“We wanted to reconnect the school with the natural environment around us,” principal Shelley Baldwin-Nye said.
The celebration was part of a number of updates to the nature area funded by a grant from the Niskayuna Community Foundation, including a work day in the fall that drew more than 50 volunteers to repair bridges, neaten trails and simply make the wooded areas safer and more inviting.