Years before the demolition of the Edgewood State Hospital, many modelers from the area flew behind the complex. Once the building was demolished, several interested parties who wished to use this area pursued a formal venue to establish the Edgewood Flyers. A small group approached the Department of Environmental Conservation. We explained our purpose and who we were. The DEC gave us a section to utilize. When it came time to set up a runway, we looked around and there was nothing but sand, construction material, pieces of coal residue and debris. We finally decided to bring in 300 yards of topsoil.
For many years this property had been neglected. It was a dumping ground for many. It was not a safe place. Vandals and illegal activity were prominent.
The Edgewood Flyers family oriented activity and cleanup efforts started to change things. Our presence became a deterrent for illegal activity and dumping. We helped the DEC in their efforts to catch many.
Over the years, we have seen a more family orientated area. We see families walking, joggers, biking, and many others. The Edgewood Flyers have been the longest user of the preserve. The Edgewood Flyers are, also, by far the largest group as well as the biggest user of the preserve.
Our club and activity has been written into the use of the preserve by the DEC. We have been good neighbors and Albany has recognized that. However, we do not take this for granted. We are active within the community sponsoring special events with the Scouts, have field cleanup days, and promote the outdoor activity of model flying in a family setting.
“Model Aviators provide long-term stewardship. They care for the areas they use.
— United States Environmental Protection Agency.
WHAT WE'VE ACHIEVED
The Edgewood Flyers were the first group to successfully initiate the largest undertaking at the Edgewood Preserve for the removal of invasive plant species
Major cleanups at the preserve and surrounding areas several times a year.
Monitoring, data logging and compilation for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
Maintain a clean and safe environment for our educational and recreational activities
Community Days offering fun for the entire community
Teach children about science and nature
Fostered educational advancement in model aeronautics through fun and fellowship
Continues to provide the family-oriented activity of model aviation in harmony with the environment