January 2021
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.

Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of 750-Mile Empire State Trail

On December 30, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the completion of the Empire State Trail, now the nation's longest multi-use state trail, which officially opened on December 31st. The trail spans 750-miles in total, 75 percent of which is off-road trails ideal for cyclists, hikers, runners, cross-country skiers, and snow-shoers. The new recreational trail, which runs from New York City through the Hudson and Champlain Valleys to Canada, and from Albany to Buffalo along the Erie Canal, will provide a safe and scenic pathway for New Yorkers and tourists to experience New York State's varied landscapes. The Empire State Trail is expected to draw 8.6 million residents and tourists annually.

"Nearly four years ago, we announced plans to build the Empire State Trail and I am excited to announce it's been completed on time and will open on New Year's Eve," Governor Cuomo said. "There's no trail like it in the nation - 750 miles of multi-use trail literally from Manhattan to the Canadian Border, from Buffalo to Albany. Not only does it provide an opportunity to experience the natural beauty and history of New York, but it also gives New Yorkers from every corner of the state a safe outlet for recreation as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach the holiday weekend, there is no better time than now to put on your mask and experience it for yourself."

Hudson River Valley Greenway Executive Director Scott Keller said, "Governor Cuomo's Empire State Trail announcement completes New York State's vision to create a Greenway trail between New York City and the Erie Canal, and it caps the efforts of communities up and down the Hudson Valley to develop an iconic multi-use trail."

The Empire State Trail in the Hudson Valley overlays the now completed Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail. The Greenway Trail was completed twenty-nine years to the day after Governor Mario M. Cuomo created the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

The Governor also announced the Greenway completed the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail (AHET), a 36-mile portion of the Empire State Trail from the City of Rensselaer in Rensselaer County to the Town of Greenport in Columbia County. Read the latest update on the AHET.

Read the full press release or for more information about the Empire State Trail, including a map, visit www.empiretrail.ny.gov.
Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Announces $21,975 in Grants

At its December meeting, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area approved four matching grant awards totaling $21,975. The funded projects include:

  • $4,975 to Columbia County Historical Society, for Early Heritage: A Cultural Legacy in Columbia County, NY.
  • $5,000 to Friends of Griffins Tavern/Friends of Fishkill Supply Depot, for Washington-Rochambeau Traveling Trunk Exhibit.
  • $5,000 to New Netherland Institute, for Dutch-American Heritage Sites Story Map.
  • $2,000 to Village of Kinderhook, for GeoTourist Digital App: Historic Kinderhook Village: A Walking & Bicycling Tour.
  • $5,000 to Revolutionary Westchester 250, for Discover Revolutionary Westchester: “Visit” with Local Patriots and Loyalists

The next round of Heritage Development Grant applications are due February 5, 2021. Information and guidelines are available here.
Virtual Winnakee-Dutchess Trails Roundtable With EST Presentation by Andy Beers

The next Winnakee-Duchess Trails Roundtable will be held virtually on February 25, 2021. The roundtable will include a presentation by Andy Beers, the Empire State Trail Director on trails in Dutchess and Ulster Counties, as well as the entire Empire State Trail. Before the presentation, there will be an opportunity to share news and updates on local trail projects, network, and brainstorm with other community trail groups. The Winnakee-Dutchess Trails Roundtable holds quarterly meetings to promote trail development and connections across the county. The meetings serve as a regular forum for cross-municipal coordination, access to services and expertise, and supporting complementary projects. Find out more.
Virtual Landmarks Workshop for Teachers in July 2021

In July 2021, Historic Hudson Valley will present a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History Workshop for K-12 teachers, exploring slavery in the colonial North through historic sites of the Hudson River Valley and New York City. Participants in the workshop will examine the decisions that institutions (historic sites, museums, archives, and municipalities) have made about preservation and interpretation, and consider what this means for how we understand the history and legacy of slavery in America today.

This workshop will use virtual visits to historic sites as texts for our content exploration, and participating teachers will work with leading scholars as well as museum professionals to explore these resources together. The program of study will be centered around Historic Hudson Valley’s award-winning interactive documentary People Not Property: Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North, which provides historic context and models an interpretive approach centered on the stories of enslaved individuals. More info.
Final Work on Harlem Valley Rail Trail Complete

The final, small piece of the much-anticipated 8-mile extension of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail has been completed and is now open! There are now 23 miles of continuous trail from the Wassaic Train Station in Amenia to the Copake Falls area of the Taconic State Park in Columbia County. See a map

County Executive Marc Molinaro said, "This long-awaited project has been a collaborative effort between our municipal partners in North East, Millerton, and Ancram; as well as our partners at the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association, New York State Parks, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and many others. We are proud of the incredible work that has been done to expand and open this trail section through some of the most beautiful parts of Dutchess and Columbia counties. We opened parts of the extension a few weeks ago and are thrilled to announce the final piece is now complete and open. I invite runners, walkers, bikers, and outdoors and park enthusiasts of all ages to bundle up and come explore this part of our community."

All 23-miles of this trail are part of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail. 

News From Our Partners at the Hudson River Estuary Program
Important Reminders

  • Woman In Science Winter Speaker Series Webinars in January & February. Learn more.
Creating and Maintaining Hudson River Views: Handbook Now Available

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released the Creating and Maintaining Hudson River Views: A Handbook for Landowners. The handbook is designed to help historic sites, land trusts, and owners of other large properties along the Hudson create engaging river views using best practices for environmental stewardship. These practices include methods of creating and maintaining scenic vistas that balance aesthetic and historic goals with the protection of habitat and natural areas. Throughout the development of this handbook, input and guidance was received from a group of stakeholders, including representatives from state agencies, historic properties, environmental groups, municipalities, educators, and design professionals.

To illustrate these practices in the field, Saratoga Associates created two new views of the Hudson River that will serve as demonstration sites of best practices for creating scenic vistas. These scenic vistas are located at The Point at Mills-Norrie State Park in Staatsburg and at the Blithewood Estate on the Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson. Saratoga Associates also produced a three-part training series, which is now available for streaming on YouTube. View the Creating and Maintaining Hudson River Views: A Handbook for Landowners now.
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.

Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy's 20 Preserve Challenge
Celebrate the opening of MHLC's 20th preserve with a new hiking challenge! Visit all 20 MHLC Preserves to receive a limited edition sticker. Check it out.

Guided Holiday Tours, Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, Yonkers, NY
January 2: Learn about the Manor Hall and the Dutch traditions that the Philipse family observed during the holidays in the 1700s. More details.

CLAYFEST, Saratoga Clay Arts Center, Schuylerville, NY
January 4-9 &: Enjoy a compilation of incredible functional and decorative works by clay artists from across the country. Find out more.

Not All Inventors Are Engineers (WEBINAR)
January 6: Join the Sloop Clearwater Captain Amy as she shares her experiences working on a 106 ft replica sloop and how she inspires, educates, and activates a new generation of environmental leaders for a sustainable future. Read more.

Sacred Geographies: Frederic Church, the Holy Land, and the Hudson Valley (WEBINAR)
January 6: Tune into a webinar as they investigate how Frederic Church’s travels through the Middle East and his paintings of Jerusalem and Petra shaped his Hudson Valley home and masterpiece, Olana. More info.

Staatsburgh in Winter, Staatsburgh State Historic Site, Staatsburgh, NY
January 9: Follow staff on a guided walk, completing a scavenger hunt activity along the way, and discussing the winter-time fun from the turn of the century. Learn more.

Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society Conference (WEBINAR)
January 12-14: The Northeast Aquatic Plant Management Society (NEAPMS) will be holding Its 22nd annual meeting online. Find out more.

Steve Stanne – “Of Time and Rivers Flowing: The Physical Hudson” (WEBINAR)
January 13: Fresh and saltwater; ebb and flood currents; high and low tides; depths dark as night and shallows full of sun – this talk will explore the dynamic forces influencing life in this arm of the sea. Read more.

Homeowner Historic Tax Credits (WEBINAR)
January 13: The purpose of this program is to educate planning professionals on the Homeowner Historic Tax Credit Program available in New York State. More details.

Nature Detectives, Teatown Lake Reservation, Ossining, NY
January 13-27: Winter is here! Be a detective and help solve the mystery of the tracks in the snow, investigate melting ice, and uncover how animals and trees survive the chilly weather. More details.

Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association Monthly Star Party, Lake Taghkanic State Park, Ancram NY
January 15: The Mid-Hudson Astronomical Association hosts a monthly stargazing party in the West Beach parking lot. More info.

36th Annual Ice Fishing Contest, Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton, NY
January 16: Grafton Lakes State Park will host its 36th annual Ice Fishing Contest. More info.

Children's Walk, Clermont State Historic Site, Germantown, NY
January 17: Follow in the footsteps of the Livingston sisters, Janet and Honoria, as we explore some of the girls' favorite places to play and explore. A gentle walk for families with treats. Read more.

Protecting Birds from Window Collisions (WEBINAR)
January 19: Join local experts on this issue and our guest presenters the Audubon Society of the Capital Region to learn more about this problem and how you can make a difference! More details.

Find and Follow a Fox Day, Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center, Cropseyville, NY
January 20: Spend 1.5 hours attempting to find the tracks of a fox and following them to gain insight into their seasonal behavior. Find out more.

Northeast Regional Invasive Species & Climate Change Management Symposium (WEBINAR)
January 20-21: This symposium will bring together natural resource managers, scientists, and the invasive species community to discuss challenges and solutions to incorporating climate change into invasive species management. Learn more.

How to Solar Now Virtual Conference (WEBINAR)
January 21: Tune in to this conference for a detailed demonstration of the mapping tool and discussion with colleagues about how the Hudson Valley can confront the opportunities and challenges of siting solar energy. Register now.

Virtual Meet-Up: Where Are We Now? (WEBINAR)
January 22: Join MANY as they look at where our museums are now post-2020 and where they go from here. Find out more.

Technical Talks: Researching Historic Houses (WEBINAR)
January 25: The purpose of this program is to educate planning professionals on advanced research methods that can be used to gather important data about historic homes/buildings. More details.

Not All Scientists Wear Lab Coats (WEBINAR)
January 26: Join the Sloop Clearwater Educator Amali as she shares her experiences working on a 106 ft replica sloop and how she inspires, educates, and activates a new generation of environmental leaders for a sustainable future. Read more.

Community Friendly Lighting in our Downtowns and Developments (WEBINAR)
January 27: The webinar will begin with the fundamentals and introduce new lighting technology and new approaches to using lighting as a tool within our communities. Learn more.

Brian Forist – “Tales and Tails From School: Reflections on Teaching About Hudson River Fish” (WEBINAR)
January 27: This talk will focus on a Clearwater educator’s time teaching about the 200+ species of fish in the river, lessons they taught, and lessons we still need to learn. Learn more.

The Stewardship Network Conference (WEBINAR)
January 27-29: The Stewardship Network Conference is where theory meets practice and curiosity leads to solutions. More info.

Full Moon Hike, Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville, NY
January 28: Every month Rockefeller State Park Preserve gives hikers an opportunity to experience the Preserve after dark in our "Full Moon Hike" series. More details.

Drop-In Snowshoe Lessons at Sam’s Point Preserve, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Cragsmoor, NY
January 30: This session will be run by a Sam's Point employee who will provide instruction on how to properly wear and adjust the snowshoes, as well as work with you until you are ready to head out on your favorite trail with confidence. Find out more.
Heritage Spotlight: Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (Vassar College)

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, designed by architect Cesar Pelli, opened in 1993. The entrance pavilion (a hexagonal glass atrium) and glass-enclosed walkway afford views across campus lawns. The rectangular brick building housing the galleries features numerous skylights, allowing natural light to filter into the spacious rooms. The objects in the collection— which was begun at the college’s inception in 1861— are displayed in multiple galleries. Highlights include Greek and Egyptian sculptures, as well as paintings by Cézanne, Picasso, and Pollock. Matthew Vassar purchased one of the very first collections of Hudson River paintings from the Reverend Elias Magoon in 1864; these works by Church, Cole, Cropsey, Gifford, and others are on display. An enclosed outdoor sculpture garden includes a variety of unusual trees and vines as well as modern works. Please note the Loeb will reopen for public weekend hours on January 2, 2021. The museum is open to the general public on Saturdays from 10a-5p and Sundays from 1p-5p. Learn more.
Project Spotlight: Interpreting the Watervliet Shaker Community

The Shaker Heritage Society (SHS) received a Heritage Development Grant to produce and install ten interpretive panels at the site of the first Shaker community. Four of the panels introduce the origins of the Shakers, the story
of what happened to the site after it was sold to Albany County in 1926, the Shaker Heritage Society, and Watervliet Shaker National Historic District. The remaining six panels describe the nine surviving Shaker buildings on the site: Meeting House, Trustees Office, Brethren’s Workshop, Ministry, Drying House, Washhouse, Garage, and Barn Complex. The signs describe their historic uses, and how each structure illuminates the values, creativity, and unique lifestyle of the Shakers through their design and function. These interpretive panels are a valuable new educational resource for visitors interested in learning a little more about the amazing history of this site. Learn more.
Store Food Wisely

Many fruits give off natural gases as they ripen, making other nearby produce spoil faster. Store bananas, apples, and tomatoes by themselves, and store fruits and vegetables in different bins. 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 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 daniel.jeanson@hudsongreenway.ny.gov or 518-473-3835.

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.

The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
The Community Forest Program (CFP) is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests that provide community benefits through fee simple acquisition of private forest land. Deadline: January 11, 2021. Find out more.

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.

African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund provides grants ranging from $50,000 to $150,000. The Action Fund supports projects focused on African American cultural heritage and can include: Capital Projects, Organizational Capacity Building, Project Planning, and Programming and Interpretation. Deadline: January 15, 2021. More info.

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.

USGS National-Ground Water Monitoring Network
The United States Geological Survey is offering a two-year cooperative agreement opportunity to state and local water resource agencies that collect groundwater data to participate in the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network. The award ceiling is $300,000 with a 1:1 in-kind match suggestion. Deadline: January 21, 2021. Find out more.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grants
The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds, and the species and habitats they support. Deadline: January 28, 2021. Learn more.

Building Resilient Infrastructures and Communities Grant
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes federal funds available through the new Building Resilient Infrastructures and Communities (BRIC) grant program to states, local communities, tribes, and territories (SLTTs) for pre-disaster mitigation activities. FEMA has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the BRIC grant program. The Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) BRIC NOFO can be accessed via this website. FEMA encourages reviewing the BRIC NOFO before applying, as it provides detailed program information and other grant application and administration requirements. Deadline: January 29, 2021. More info.

FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant
FEMA has posted a Notice of Funding Opportunity available through the Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program to states, local communities, tribes, and territories to reduce or eliminate the risk of repetitive flood damage to buildings and structures insured under the National Flood Insurance Program. Deadline: January 29, 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, 2021. Find out more.

Hudson River Environmental Society McKeon Research Grant
The McKeon Research Grant is available for High School, Undergraduate, and Graduate student research on environmental issues in the Hudson Valley. Grants of up to $1,000 will be given to help defray the cost of summer fieldwork. Deadline: February 8, 2021. More details.

DEC/EFC Wastewater Infrastructure Engineering Planning Grant
The EPG funds production of an engineering report for eligible Clean Water State Revolving Fund water quality projects. For full program details and requirements, view the EPG Round 10 Program Overview (PDF). DEC offers this opportunity in partnership with the Environmental Facilities Corporation. Deadline: February 12, 2021. Read more.

EFC's Green Innovation Grant Program
The GIGP provides grants for projects that improve water quality and mitigate the effects of climate change through the implementation of green infrastructure, energy efficiency and/or water efficiency practices. Deadline: February 12, 2021. Learn 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 promoting 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.

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