For centuries during the first warm days of spring female turtles leave water’s edge and start up the shore to lay their eggs in many places along Riverview Road in Clifton Park to Rexford. Mature turtles of all sizes can be seen crossing the pavement on their way to higher ground with sandy soil, ideal for nurturing turtle eggs until the fry hatch. This can be dangerous for the turtles because drivers don’t always see them even in bright spring sunlight.
On May 25, 2017, Junior Girl Scout Troop 2158, in conjunction with the Town of Clifton Park, ended their very busy year with a Turtle Talk presentation at the Vischer Ferry Historic and Nature Preserve an important part of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway. With the installation of 7 new Turtle Crossing signs in the area of the Vischer Ferry Historic and Nature Preserve, the troop assisted in the unveiling signs along with town officials. The girls presented facts about painted and snapping turtles, both of which inhabit the area and are often seen crossing the roads. The troop helped to alert the public as to the importance of these reptiles and what to do if one is found in a life-threatening location such as the road.
Knowing that the turtles born this year could still be alive in 2047, the girls were enthusiastic about turtle preservation. As part of the initiative to help retain this natural, cultural, and scenic area, Troop 2158 is grateful for the opportunity to be part of it. Besides, the girls loved crossing the Whipple Bridge, walking the towpath, and seeing the turtles in the water!
Look for the new “turtle crossing” signs as you travel the Byway …and watch for the turtles!
-Contributed by Isabel Prescott