December 2020
Barnabas McHenry, Chairman Greenway Council, Co-Chair National Heritage Area
Kevin M. Burke, Chairman, Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley,
Co-Chair National Heritage Area
Scott Keller, Executive Director Greenway,
Director National Heritage Area 
Monthly News, Events, & Grant
Important Reminders

  • Heritage Development Grant Applications are Due February 5, 2021. More details.

  • Wear a Mask, Social Distance, Wash Your Hands. Learn more.

HRVNHA Approves $30,000 for GHHN's 2021 Practicum Series

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area approved $30,000 for the Greater Hudson Heritage Network (GHHN) to present Transformative Tools, a virtual training series. The dramatic shift into a virtually dependent society caused by COVID-19 has created challenges for museums of all sizes. GHHN will present training virtually to shine a light on some of the most user-friendly, low-cost and creative tools available today. This comprehensive training curriculum will educate and engage sites with the skills and knowledge needed to produce online digital programming and engagement. The practicum has three main arms: a Digital Capacity Environmental Scan, Online Class Series, and the Digital Showcase. Learn more about GHHN's Transformative Tools virtual training series.
Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has Released the Draft 2020 NYS Greenway Trails Plan

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (OPRHP) has prepared the draft Statewide Greenway Trails Plan to help shape future development of New York's system of non-motorized, multi-use trails. A website and mapping application were also created to provide the public an opportunity to review and comment on the trail inventory collected during the planning process.  

This draft plan follows a survey conducted earlier this year by OPRHP and Parks and Trails New York to shed some light on how New Yorkers use greenways. The survey received over 2,400 responses from New Yorkers across the state.

  • Over 80% of respondents consider closing trail gaps, expanding trails, and increasing greenway trail funding to be important or very important
  • Over 1,800 respondents said that they would use greenway trails more frequently if there were more trails in their area
  • The majority of respondents use greenway trails for exercise

Newly Expanded National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Opened on Veterans Day

The completion of a major $17 million expansion of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor (NPHHH) in Orange County came to fruition this past Veterans Day when the 7,000-square-foot National Purple Heart Hall of Honor re-opened its doors to the public. The new museum features improved visitor access and new and refurbished exhibit space, with an increased emphasis on stories of individual award recipients.

Director of the NPHHH, Anita Pidala, said, "... the increased gallery space also has allowed us to increase not only the number of artifacts we can display, but also has allowed us to represent a wider range of topics through these displays."

Program Director of the NPHHH, Peter Bedrossian, said the changes, "... gives us the opportunity to let visitors experience the entire Purple Heart Journey: from the entry in to service, to the day of the incident, to care and treatment, through the road to recovery..."

Learn more about the NPHHH's redesign and expansion.
New Arboretum Opens at WWW / Zofnass Family Preserve

Westchester Land Trust (WLT) is thrilled to announce the opening of a three-acre arboretum adjacent to WLT's 125-acre Westchester Wilderness Walk / Zofnass Family Preserve in Pound Ridge. The arboretum was donated to WLT by the Preserve’s founding family, Paul Zofnass and Renee Ring, who created the trails, plantings, and signage over the past 10 years.

The arboretum is now open to the public and visitors are welcome to explore its 1/3-mile meandering paths and carefully laid out areas that allow for easy viewing of grasses, wildflowers, trees, and shrubs. The parcel also includes maples, oaks, and lilacs, and a whimsical stone fort at the pinnacle of the arboretum path. Watch this video to learn more. More info.
NYSDEC is Looking for Comments on a Draft Statewide Deer Management Plan

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the release of a draft Deer Management Plan for New York State for public review and comment. The plan builds upon the progress made by DEC's first deer management plan, released in 2011, and will guide DEC's deer management actions to balance natural resource protection, public safety, and recreational and economic interests for the next 10 years. The draft plan is available on DEC's website and public comments will be accepted through December 28, 2020.

The draft plan details a new method for setting deer population objectives that integrates an assessment of deer impacts on forests with public preferences for deer population changes. It emphasizes new and adaptive approaches for harvesting antlerless deer by recommending strategic hunting season and tag changes in rural landscapes where additional harvest is needed and developing new opportunities for community-based deer management in suburban and urban landscapes. Read more.
19th Annual Pace Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference

The Land Use Law Center at Pace Law School are hosting their virtual 19th annual Alfred B. DelBello Land Use and Sustainable Development Conference from December 7-10th, 2020. This year's theme is entitled, Making Progress in an Altered Landscape. Sessions will include:

  • Ethics in Land Use: Guiding Principles for Attorneys and Land Use Board Members
  • The Pandemic and the Future of Land Use Policy, Planning, and Law
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
  • Lessons from Luminaries of Land Law: Latest and Greatest Decisions. 

Participation in the conference will provide two hours each day, except for December 9th, which will provide one hour of training time for planning and zoning board of appeals members. Learn more.
News From Our Partners at the Hudson River Estuary Program
Important Reminders

  • Report Spotted Lanternfly Masses this Winter. More details.

  • NYSDEC Annual Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster Contest Deadline is December 31, 2020. Learn more.
Women In Science Winter Speaker Series

Join the Hudson River Estuary Program (HREP) for the Women in Science Winter Speaker Series. This virtual speaker series allows participants to meet and learn from scientists, community leaders, and environmental educators who work at the intersection of climate, research, health, and environmental justice. Participants will be able to engage in discussions about climate health, fisheries research, microplastics, marine navigation, environmental heroes, and overcoming barriers and challenges in the field of science and education. Sessions will include:

  • The Role of Education in Climate Justice on December 9, 2020
  • Not All Engineers Wear Pocket Protectors and Not All Teachers Are In The Classroom on December 16, 2020
  • Not All Inventors Are Engineers on January 6, 2021
  • Not All Scientists Wear Lab Coats on January 26, 2021
  • Not All Role Models Are Recognized and Equity in STEM for Underserved Communities on a TBD date in February 2021

Learn more about HREP's Women in Science Winter Speaker Series.
Upcoming Events

*Please note that, while many heritage sites in the Hudson Valley have begun to reopen cautiously due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, some sites are still closed or have reduced hours. Please call the individual sites directly to inquire their current status. New York State Parks remain open. While enjoying the outdoors, please follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19.

Download the Hudson River Train Tour App
Between New York City and Albany, a world of history, nature, and culture awaits you. And there’s no better way to experience it all than by riding a train through the Hudson Valley. With the new, free Hudson River Train Tour app, you’ll discover what’s out that train window…and beyond. Learn more.

The Arts Council of Rockland's The Long View Exhibition
The Arts Council of Rockland (ACOR) announced its next virtual exhibition, "The Long View," which is available for online viewing December 1st to January 31st, and will feature the artwork of some of the area's most talented artists. Find out more.

New York State Archives Hiking and the Outdoors in New York State Virtual Exhibit
This exhibit features one of the best activities for experiencing New York’s natural beauty – hiking! Images illustrate efforts to conserve, educate and promote the beauty of New York’s trail system. Check it out.

Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy's Virtual Hikes and Lessons from the Field
Navigating through these times of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic is difficult. Many of us are dealing with increased stress as the stability of our daily routines has been uprooted. So MHLC has reached out to hike leaders and Preserve Stewards to create a series of virtual experiences to keep you connected to nature. Check it out.

Residential Water Quality Practices (WEBINAR)
December 2: Learn how common sense practices can help keep our water clean, reduce flooding and erosion, and attract wildlife to your home. Learn more.

Making The Most Of Your Legacy Webinar Series: Part Five (WEBINAR)
December 2: If you’ve been wondering about your charitable giving options, NYNJTC invites you to participate in our new webinar series. Find out more.

Olana After Hours (WEBINAR)
December 3: Join Heather Bruegl and Joe Baker for a virtual conversation about the indigenous histories of the Hudson River and the surrounding region. More info.

Mayflower Voyage Quadricentennial (WEBINAR)
December 5: A panel discussion to commemorate 2020’s quadricentennial of the Mayflower’s arrival on the shores of Massachusetts. More details.

A Whale of a Tale: Acoustic Monitoring in the Upper and Lower New York Bay (WEBINAR)
December 7: This webinar will discuss findings and implications for conservation of cetaceans in the Upper and Lower Bay, as well as in the context of current and emerging issues in the wider New York Bight. Learn more.

National Trails: A Look at Trail Designations within the National Trail System (WEBINAR)
December 8: A panel will discuss the attributes of each designation including the purpose of the designation, the designation process, protections afforded thru designation and opportunities for volunteer stewards and advocates. Read more.

Introduction to Planning, Zoning and Land Use (WEBINAR)
December 8: Participation in the webinar will provide one-hour of training time towards your 4-hour State mandated training hours. Register now.

Historic Preservation for Real Estate Professionals (WEBINAR)
December 9: The Preservation League is pleased to partner with the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions to bring their virtual CAMP training for Real Estate professionals to New York State. More details.

The Role of Education in Climate Justice (WEBINAR)
December 9: Join Taylor Morton, to explore the intersection of traditional education, and environmental health & justice. More info.

Agricultural Water Quality Practices (WEBINAR)
December 9: Water quality and conservation practices might just help you solve flooding, erosion, and herd health problems on your farm. Learn more.

An Open Conversation on Environmental Issues (WEBINAR)
December 9: Westchester County Executive George Latimer invites you to share your thoughts. Find out more.

Risk and Reward - How Carnivores Survive in Dynamic Urban Environments (WEBINAR)
December 10: Dr. Nyeema Harris will discuss trophic ecology and behavior in mammalian carnivores occupying these dynamic habitats, underscoring strategies employed to promote their coexistence and persistence with human populations. Register now.

Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association Monthly Star Party, Lake Taghkanic State Park, Ancram, NY
December 11: The Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association hosts a monthly stargazing party in the West Beach parking lot. More details.

Water Justice Confluence (WEBINAR)
December 11-12: Water Justice Lab in North Troy, NY hosts “confluence” virtual gatherings with youth environmental justice advocates throughout communities in the Hudson River Watershed. Find out more.

The Winter Hunt: Bears, Stars, and Snow, Historic Huguenot Street, New Paltz, NY
December 12: Join Historic Huguenot Street for a seasonal walk with guide Justin Wexler to learn all about local native people and their relationship with the environment. Read more.

How's My Waterway (WEBINAR)
December 15: HMW provides a comprehensive overview of water quality data and information in the U.S. on three different scales: community, state and national. Join this webcast to view a live demo of the recently enhanced version of HMW. Learn more.

Celebrate the Winter Solstice, Hart Cluett Museum, Troy, NY
December 16: Join the Hart Cluett Museum for their December 16th Drinking History Event: Celebrate the Winter Solstice! More details.

Not All Engineers Wear Pocket Protectors & Not All Teachers Are In The Classroom (WEBINAR)
December 16: Join Sloop Clearwater Captain Amy and educator Amali as they share their experiences working a 106 ft. replica sloop and how they inspire, educate, and activate a new generation of environmental leaders for a sustainable future. Register now.

Virtual Tour and Discussion-Innovations in Museum Practice: Tang Teaching Museum (WEBINAR)
December 17: Join us for a tour and a discussion at The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Find out more.

Green Growth Toolbox Live Q & A Online Session (WEBINAR)
December 18: Participants will be able to ask any questions they have about this planning approach and the Toolbox resources. Learn more.

Wassail, Wassail all over the Town, Knox's Headquarters State Historic Site, Vails Gate, NY
December 19: Tour the beautifully decorated house, serenaded by carolers, and watch the Continental artillery celebrate the holiday with a bang by firing their cannon. More info.

When Christmas Comes to Town, Main Street Historic District, Whitehall, NY
December 19: Help Whitehall light up the town with a special Christmas Parade. More details.

Guided Snoeshoe, Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar, NY
December 26: Join a Five Rivers educator for a bit of exercise on snowshoes as you follow this wide and flat trail and look for signs of animals along the way. Read more.

Hike to Echo Rock, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Kerhonkson, NY
December 27: Head out for an approximately four-mile round trip walk along two carriage roads to reach the picturesque Echo Rock. Learn more.

Sunset and Nearly Full Moon Hike, Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville, NY
December 31: Go out for a very special New Year's Eve sunset and nearly full moon hike. More details.
Heritage Spotlight: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor (NPHHH) honors the men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart, by collecting, preserving and sharing their stories. The award is made to those members of the Armed Forces who have been wounded or killed by enemy action. The NPHHH is located here to commemorate the 1932 ceremony awarding of the Purple Heart to 136 local World War I veterans on these grounds. Exhibits begin with a visual timeline of America’s 20th-21st century conflicts and is complemented by a timeline interactive display providing information on conflicts from the Civil War to today, reflecting the range of conflicts for which the Purple Heart has been available. 

Throughout NPHHH's galleries there are Purple Heart Journey Interactive stations which follow featured recipients throughout their Journey: From entering service, to the day of the incident, during care and treatment, on the road to recovery, or to the ultimate sacrifice. Visitors will experience this journey through stories, letters, documents, images, audio and video clips of Purple Heart recipients sharing their stories. In addition, there are Personal Story cases highlighting six extraordinary Purple Heart recipients. The Roll of Honor database is available for visitors to search for Purple Heart recipients. The museum is open and free to the public from Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM and Sunday 1 PM - 5 PM. Learn more.
Project Spotlight: Comprehensive Plan Update for the Town of Durham

The Town of Durham received a Greenway Community Planning Grant to update their 2008 Comprehensive Plan. In recent years, the Town of Durham has experienced an increase in home purchases by individuals and families from New York City and other urban areas. With that there have some shifts in current interests. For example, the Town has seen a resurgence of agriculture by non-generational farmers, which include many young farmers. There are also increasing interests in a motocross track, a shooting range, and in solar farms. Updating the 2008 Comprehensive Plan allows to the Town to review, revise, and update their plan to better meet the needs and interests of their community, while taking into account the economic development and natural, cultural, scenic, and historic preservation goals of the region and State. Learn more about the Town of Durham.
Seal Those Windows!

Improperly sealed or caulked windows can account for up to 25% of total heat loss from a house. Learn more.
Grant and Funding Opportunities

Heritage Development Grants
This annual grant program offers funding for programming, interpretation, and marketing projects that support the mutual goals of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) and applicants. Grants will typically range from $1,000 to $5,000. Grant program guidelines and applications are available on the HRVNHA's websiteOne notable departure for this round is that staff time is eligible to be reimbursed, but only if that staff time is for the direct development of programming or interpretation, as identified in the grant application. We will be accepting applications with a February 5, 2021 submittal deadline, particularly focused on creating virtual tours and programming. Please note, that there is a new budget form with the application packet. Applicants should not use an older version of the budget form.

National Heritage Area Sponsorships Available
The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) will partner with various organizations to sponsor programs and events that reinforce the Heritage Area’s mission. While complementing the mission of the Heritage Area, cultural, heritage and recreational events deliver significant tourism and economic benefits to communities, and encourage local and regional partnerships. Sponsorship's will have an additional focus on events promoting the 19th Amendment and/or Women's in History in the Hudson Valley for the year 2020. Municipalities and nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations located within the HRVNHA are eligible to apply. For more information, please contact Dan Jeanson at or 518-473-3835.

Collaborative Research Program
The Collaborative Research program aims to advance humanistic knowledge through sustained collaboration between two or more scholars. Collaborators may be drawn from a single institution or several institutions across the United States; up to half of the collaborators may be based outside of the U.S. The program encourages projects that propose diverse approaches to topics, incorporate multiple points of view, and explore new avenues of inquiry in the humanities. Deadline: December 2, 2020. More info.

2020 Fall Short Story Contest
Submit your very best fictional short story in 2,000 words or less to The Writer Magazine. Any theme, subject, or genre is fair game, as long as it falls under 2,000 words. Deadline: December 8, 2020. Read more.

Community Connect Program
The purpose of the Community Connect Program is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to eligible applicants that will provide, on a “community -oriented connectivity” basis, broadband service that fosters economic growth and delivers enhanced educational, health care, and public safety benefits.
Deadline: December 23, 2020. Learn more.

Leadership in Community Resilience Grant
The Leadership in Community Resilience (LCR) grant program supports and enhances local capacity among elected leaders and staff, communities, and community-based organizations as they pursue coordinated climate resilience efforts. Cities and towns with a population of at least 5,000 people are encouraged to apply for $10,000 in funding, which may go toward most costs associated with virtual events, convenings, and workshops, including community engagement programs or processes, trainings for city staff or elected officials, and regional convenings. Deadline: December 23, 2020. Read more.

Marine Fisheries COVID-19 Relief Funding
Funding is available to eligible New York State residents who hold a valid marine permit or license issued by DEC for 2020 and the previous five years, with some exceptions considered as outlined in the spend plan. Eligible fishery sectors include commercial harvesters, for-hire fishing operations, marine aquaculture, and seafood distribution. Deadline: December 31, 2020. Find out more.

NYSDEC Annual Arbor Day Original Artwork Poster Contest
Each year, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Urban and Community Forestry Program commemorates Arbor Day with a poster contest that invites the public to submit original photos and artwork that celebrate the immeasurable value of trees-ecologically, environmentally, aesthetically, and socially. Photos and artwork must feature trees within New York State and should be sent to Participants will be limited to five submissions and each submission should include a completed artist information form available on DEC's website. Deadline: December 31, 2020. More info.

Archival Workers Emergency Fund
The Society of American Archivists Foundation announces the creation of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF) to support archival workers experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis. Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to financially vulnerable and at-risk workers. All U.S.-based archival workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply to the fund. Due to the unpredictability of the crisis and times of acute need, applications to the fund will be considered on a rolling basis up to December 31, 2020. Find out more.

Farm to School Grants
The Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA) establishes a Farm to School Program in order to assist eligible entities, through grants and technical assistance, in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in eligible schools. Deadline: January 8, 2021. More details.

Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions
Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their significant humanities collections. These may include special collections of books and journals, archives and manuscripts, prints and photographs, moving images, sound recordings, architectural and cartographic records, decorative and fine art objects, textiles, archaeological and ethnographic artifacts, furniture, historical objects, and digital materials. Deadline: January 14, 2021. Read more.

Digital Humanities Advancement Grants
The Digital Humanities Advancement Grants program (DHAG) supports innovative, experimental, and/or computationally challenging digital projects at different stages of their lifecycles, from early start-up phases through implementation and sustainability. Deadline: January 15, 2021. Read more.

"Why I Hunt" and "Why I Trap" Photo Essay Contest
Participating hunters and trappers may submit photos and essays in one of four categories, which include youth (under 17, non-first year), first-year hunters (youth), first-year hunters (adult), or adults (non first-year). Each contestant may submit up to two photos with their essay entry. DEC staff will select the best photo/essay in each category. Winners' essays and photos will appear in the 2021-2022 New York Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide, which is read by more than half a million people each year. Deadline: January 31, 2020. Find out more.

ECNHC's Event and Festival Sponsorship Program
Cultural, heritage, and recreational events within the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor deliver $1.3 billion in economic benefits to communities. In partnership with NYS Canal Corporation, we are offering competitive sponsorships up to $500 for events or festivals taking place from May through November. Municipalities or nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations are eligible. Next round of applications: February 20, 2021. More info.

Center for Research on African American Children and Families RFP
The Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is considering soliciting applications for a Center for Research on African American Children and Families, to lead and support research on the needs of African American populations served by ACF and promising approaches to promote social and economic well-being among low-income African American populations. Deadline: May 20, 2021. Learn more.

Artist Emergency Fund (Columbia and Greene Counties Only)
CREATE Council on the Arts is facilitating an emergency fund for artists living in our region (Greene and Columbia County) who have been financially impacted by the Coronavirus and require immediate support. Grants of $50 will be administered to artists who have lost income due to the virus in order to supplement costs of basic necessities including groceries and rent. Find out more.

Food Waste Reduction and Diversion Reimbursement Program
The Food Waste Reduction and Diversion Reimbursement Program is an innovative partnership between New York State and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) focused on incentivizing the reduction of food waste in the state. The program provides reimbursement to New York State businesses, municipalities, or not-for-profits that generate, haul or recycle large amounts of food waste to offset the cost of select technologies and equipment that promise to reduce or divert that food waste from landfill or incineration. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis. More details.

Chronogram Media Community Grant Program for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses
This grant program aims to support marketing programs for a variety of Hudson Valley minority and women-owned small businesses, virtual events, and regional nonprofits. Applicants are evaluated based on financial need, commitment to social change, and alignment with Chronogram Media’s values. Accepted partners will receive a number of benefits and increased exposure through Chronogram Media's various platforms. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis. More info.

Extreme Terrain’s Clean Trail Grant Program
This program will provide eligible groups the opportunity to apply for a grant to fund their next trail improvement related project, which could range from trail clean-up, trail restoration, trail expansion, to name a few. Learn more.

Tree City USA
The Tree City USA program has been greening up cities and towns across America since 1976. It is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. Applications for 2020 Tree City USA awards are open and you can submit yours through the Arbor Day Foundation's portal. Read more.

The Nature Conservancy Seeks an Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator
The Nature Conservancy is seeking an experienced professional with a strong interest in shaping the Conservancy’s aquatic invasive species work in New York’s Adirondack Park. The Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator is a lead member of the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program who works in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to protect the Adirondack region from the negative impacts of invasive species. Find out more.

New York State Assembly Grants Action News 
State, federal, and private grant information from the New York State Assembly. More info.