December 2021

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

  • Greenway Planning, Greenway Trail, and Heritage Development Grant Applications are Due February 4, 2022. More details.

  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets is Requesting the Public’s Help in Combating the Spotted Lanternfly. Use the reporting tool.
Empire State Trail Printed Map is Now Available to Order!

The newly designed printed map of the Empire State Trail is now available. This printed map showcases the 750-mile Empire State Trail and many of New York’s special places, diverse history, and iconic landscapes along the route.

You can order this free large format, printed Empire State Trail map by submitting an email with your name and mailing address on the Contact Us page on the Empire State Trail's website. Order now.
Hudson River Valley Greenway and OPRHP Announce Empire State Trail Improvements in Waterford & Cohoes

This November, the Hudson River Valley Greenway (HRVG) and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) announced two projects to improve a total of 4.2 miles of the Empire State Trail (EST) in Waterford and Cohoes.

In Waterford, 1.2-miles of the Champlain Canalway Trail were rehabilitated through a partnership between the HRVG and Saratoga County. This 20-year-old trail section runs north from Route 32 in the Village and Town of Waterford. Saratoga County constructed a new stonedust surface, safety fencing, and enhanced trailheads were incorporated to facilitate the publics' use. The HRVG provided $275,000 through a cooperative agreement with Saratoga County to fund the project, which began in September.

In Albany County, a 3-mile section of trail in the City of Cohoes running northwest to the Town of Colonie is being repaved by the OPRHP. OPRHP will also update safety fencing, signage, and road crossings. This segment of the trail is part of the Erie Canalway Trail and is also referred to as the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. The $710,000 project began in November and will be completed in the spring of 2022. Read the full press release.
Empire State Development Awarded the Thomas Cole National Historic Site $360,000 to Implement the Site’s Master Infrastructure Plan

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site (TCNHS) has announced a major grant award of $360,000 from Empire State Development. With this critical support from the Thomas Cole Site can now implement its Master Plan for site-wide improvements to expand further its cultural, educational, and economic impact.

The grant enables the TCNHS to implement a $1.8 million Master Plan to enhance the Site’s six-acre campus, preserve its history, and expand its impact. The Master Plan will result in a new building to welcome visitors and host special events; a new outdoor program and event space adjacent to the visitor center with a complete view of the historic campus and the Catskill Mountains; a dedicated indoor education space for expanding K-12 student and public programming; infrastructure and energy-efficiency improvements to the iconic historic buildings, the 1815 Main House and 1839 Old Studio; and restoration of the rural nature of the historic property. Read the full press release.
Orange County Needs Your Help to Update it's New Open Space Plan

The Orange County Planning Department and Orange County Land Trust with funding support from the Hudson River Valley Greenway are updating the Countywide Open Space Plan. The overall goal is to promote continued awareness of the County’s valuable open space resources, identify where and how these spaces are currently protected and where there is a need to preserve additional lands, and improve public access points.

A brand new project page was created using ArcGIS Hub that allows community members to follow along in the process, learn more about the project, and provide their input through a series of public surveys based on topics of the Plan. Get involved!
News From Our Partners at the Hudson River Estuary Program
Important Reminders

  • Register for a Webinar on Protecting Wildlife Habitat Through Land Use Planning on December 7th. Register now.

WLT Partners With NYSDEC and Town of North Castle to Permanently Protect 63 Acres

Westchester Land Trust (WLT) announced in November the permanent protection of 63 acres in North Castle. WLT worked in partnership with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Town of North Castle to conserve this property, which will eventually be opened to the public as a nature preserve.

The property is part of a significant forest block that includes The Nature Conservancy’s Eugene and Agnes Meyer Nature Preserve and Butler Memorial Sanctuary, as well as the drinking water supply lands of Byram Lake Reservoir owned by Mount Kisco. Read more.
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 about 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.

Audio Walking Tour, Copake Iron Works Historic Site, Copake Falls, NY
October 1 - December 31: Use this 15-stop audio walking tour to explore the Copake Iron Works Historic District, located within and around Taconic State Park. Read more.

Tell Your Story and Make Your Case, Peebles Island State Park, Cohoes, NY
December 2: This free workshop is focused on building grant writing skills. More info.

Monthly Star Party, Lake Taghkanic State Park, Ancram, NY
December 3: The Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association hosts a monthly stargazing party in the West Beach parking lot. Find out more.

Holiday Craft Bazaar, Thacher Park, Voorheesville, NY
December 5: Shop for unique hand-crafted gifts made by local artisans and crafters. Learn more.

Protecting Wildlife Habitat through Land Use Planning (WEBINAR)
December 7: Presenters will draw on two decades of socio-ecological research experience to discuss best practices for protecting wildlife and habitat through conservation and land-use planning. Register now.

Researching and Writing About The Life of Disability Rights Activist Lucy Gwin (WEBINAR)
December 7: Hear the amazing story of author, advocacy journalist, disability rights activist, feminist, and founder of Rochester’s Mouth magazine, Lucy Gwin. Read more.

Invasives Removal, Harriman State Park, Southfields, NY
December 11: Join the Trail Conference's Invasives Strike Force to remove invasive plants from the park. More details.

Porch Performances: All My Boyfriends Are Dead, Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown, NY
December 12: Janet Livingston Montgomery visits her childhood home to share stories about her life at Clermont and to try and answer that age-old question: Did she have a love curse on her? More info.

Our Future Main Streets: Flexibility, Inclusion, Experience (WEBINAR)
December 14: In this webinar, you’ll hear from a range of folks involved in the design of our future Main Streets. Learn more.

Classical Biological Control of Weeds – About Misconceptions and Untapped Opportunities (WEBINAR)
December 15: Dr. Urs Schaffner will elaborate on key questions that should be raised in public and scientific debates on the potential risks and benefits of releasing exotic organisms to control exotic invasive weeds. Find out more.

Luminary Full Moon Walk, Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton, NY
December 17: Get in the holiday spirit at the first-ever luminary full moon walk at Grafton! More details.

Flag Changing Ceremony, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, Highland, NY
December 19: The American Legion Post 739 organize and present monthly Flag Changing Ceremonies on the Walkway to honor our region's veterans and their service to our country. Read more.

Winter Solstice Walk, Sheldrake Environmental Center, Larchmont, NY
December 21: This walk on the trail will go around the pond while taking in the beauty of nature and usher in the winter season. More info.

Deck the Halls: Female Abolitionist Societies and the Evolution of Christmas (WEBINAR)
December 21: Historic New England's Ken Turino narrates the history of female abolitionists in America and their contributions to the development of modern American Christmas celebrations. Learn more.

Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Loop, Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, Tarrytown, NY
December 22: Enjoy an easy 5-mile loop walk along the Aqueduct Trail, including the Pocantico/Sleepy Hollow Weir, exploring history and nature. More details.

Sunset Hike at Rockwood Hall, Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville, NY
December 30: Join a ~3-mile sunset hike at Rockwood Hall and enjoy a spectacular view over the Hudson and the Tappan Zee Bridge. Read more.

First Day Hike, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Kerhonkson, NY
January 1: Begin 2022 with a First Day Hike at Minnewaska! This two-mile snowshoe will explore the the Peter's Kill Area. More info.
Heritage Spotlight: St. Paul's Church National Historic Site, Mount Vernon, Westchester County

The Georgian-style church, built of stone with brick quoins, was begun in 1763 but was not finished at the onset of the Revolutionary War. Located in the “neutral ground” in Mount Vernon in Westchester County between British and American lines, the building served throughout the war as a hospital, supply depot, and barracks for both armies. Church services began here in 1787 even though the building was not completely finished until 1805. The church’s interior, with its high box pews, looks much as it did in the 18th century. Its original bell, cast at the same London foundry as the Liberty Bell, still peals occasionally, while the 19th-century organ is regularly played at recitals. The picturesque cemetery, with stones dating back to 1704, contains excellent examples of gravestone carvings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Learn more.
Project Spotlight: Town of Halfmoon Vosburgh Road Preserve

The Town of Halfmoon in Saratoga County received a Greenway Community Planning Grant to establish the Vosburgh Road Preserve. This grant provided funding to create trail signage, amenities, and minor drainage treatments. These improvements helped ensure a safe and stimulating experience for all users of the Preserve. The newly acquired preserve also helped conserve and protect valuable woodlands and former agricultural lands from development while also providing critical connections for the Town's trail networks. Learn more about the Town of Halfmoon and the Vosburgh Preserve.
Stay Warm with a Reusable Mug!

Choose to use a reusable mug to warm up with your favorite hot beverage and keep its contents warm in the blustery weather. You might even get a discount at the local store if you use a reusable mug. Learn more.
Grant and Funding Opportunities

Hudson River Valley Greenway Community Grant Program
Matching grants are available for Greenway Communities and Greenway Compact Communities. Deadline: February 4, 2022More info.

Heritage Development Grants
This grant program offers funding for programming, interpretation, and marketing projects that support the mutual goals of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area 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 4, 2022 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.

Greenway Conservancy Trail Grant Program
This grant program is dedicated to funding recreational trail projects. Special consideration is given to projects that seek to implement the goals of the Greenway Trail Program. Applications are due February 4, 2022. More details.

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 complimenting 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. Sponsorships 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.

Hudson River Fish Advisory Outreach Project Grants
In 2008, the Hudson River Fish Advisory Outreach Project began a twenty-year initiative with a goal that all Hudson fish and crab consumers know about, understand and follow the NYSDOH Hudson River fish advisories. Through a Request for Applications "Local Hudson River Fish Advisory Outreach Initiatives", Health Research, Incorporated (HRI) and the New York State Department of Health announce the availability of a total of $90,000 per year to develop partnerships with local groups. The maximum amount per applicant is $15,000 per year. The project area extends 192 miles along the Hudson River from Baker’s Falls in Hudson Falls (Washington County) to the southern tip of the Manhattan Battery in New York City. Deadline: December 1, 2021. Read more.

Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Research Fellowship
The two-year Margaret A. Davidson fellowship brings a graduate student to conduct research at the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (the Reserve) to address a key coastal management question. The annual stipend for a Margaret A. Davidson fellow is $41,000 for research and travel, and an additional equipment and supply budget of approximately $7,000. The research that is conducted at the Reserve is intended to be a substantial part of the fellow’s degree research. Deadline: December 10, 2021. More details.

USDA Forest Service Community Forest Program
The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program) of the Forest Service offers a unique opportunity for communities to acquire and conserve forests that provide public access and recreational opportunities, protect vital water supplies and wildlife habitat, serve as demonstration sites for private forest landowners, and provide economic benefits from timber and non-timber products. Deadline: January 10, 2022. Read more.

Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Program
Through the Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, EDA is focused on accelerating the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation sectors. $750 million of EDA’s American Rescue Plan funds are allocated to support the following efforts: State Tourism Grants: $510 million in non-competitive awards to help states quickly invest in marketing, infrastructure, workforce, and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business, and international travel. The state tourism grants are accepted on a rolling basis. Competitive Grants: $240 million to help communities that have been hardest hit by challenges facing the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors to invest in infrastructure, workforce or other projects to support the recovery of the industry and economic resilience of the community in the future. Deadline: March 15, 2022. More info.

Economic Adjustment Assistance Program
The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. A wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and public works and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding under this program. Deadline: March 15, 2022. Find out more.

Build Back Better Regional Challenge
The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. Phase 2: EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25 million to $75 million, and up to $100 million, to implement those projects. Deadline: March 15, 2022. Learn more.

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.

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