June 2011


Barnabas McHenry, Chair Greenway Council, Co-Chair National Heritage Area

Sara Griffen, Acting Chair Greenway Conservancy, Acting Co-Chair National Heritage Area

Mark Castiglione, Acting Executive Director Greenway, Acting Director National Heritage Area  


In This Issue

What's New?            Upcoming Grant Opportunities       Regional Events 

Heritage Spotlight                Did You Know?        Green Tip Of The Month 

What's New?WhatsNew


Greenway Board Meeting


The next meeting of the Joint Boards of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area will take place on June 9, 2011 at the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, NY, at 9:30am. The meeting will feature a presentation from the Kingston Land Trust. Read More...    


GHRP Logo with color background Great Hudson River Paddle Website Open for Events


The Great Hudson River Paddle website, www.greatHRpaddle.org, is ready for event entries from our partner organizations, and will be the go-to destination for paddling events this July. Building on the enthusiasm of ten highly successful years, the Hudson River Valley Greenway is changing the format of the Great Hudson River Paddle from a single end-to-end trip to a series of many types of partner run paddles. Read More... 


Heritage Weekend a Great Success!


Thank you to all of our partners who participated in New York Heritage Weekend. Over 160 events were held throughout New York to celebrate the history and culture of the state. The wide variety of events offered something for everyone, and even a little rain couldn't keep folks from coming out and experiencing New York history!


Ramble Website Now Open for Event Submission!


The Hudson River Valley Ramble highlights the scenic, natural, cultural and historic riches and resources that earned the region its designation as a National Heritage Area. The event series offers the opportunity to explore several Hudson River Valley National area themes in depth during September. This year we are partnered with National Public Lands Day. If you have an event that you would like to have included in the Hudson River Valley Ramble, please click on this link to submit your information online. Read More... 


Teaching the Hudson Valley Institute: Place and the Digital Native


This year's Summer Institute will examine the ways teachers and site staff can use emerging digital and social media tools (iPods, wikis, virtual tours, etc) to build community and teach about special places. The Institute will be held July 26th through 28th at the FDR Home and Presidential Library in Hyde Park, NY. Read More...


Second Annual Mighty Waters Conference


Congressman Tonko hosts this second annual conference at RPI. The conference will feature a series of presentations and breakout sessions discussing successful waterfront projects throughout Upstate New York and beyond. Participants will also discuss resources available to local government and other groups that enhance, promote and protect regional waterfront assets as well as the findings and recommendations of the Mighty Waters Task Force, which was appointed as a result of the enthusiasm generated by last year's conference. Read More... 

Mark Your Calendar for "River Day" 


On Saturday, June 4th 2011, the NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program will sponsor the third annual "River Day" featuring events up and down the river. Read More... 

GrantsUpcoming Grant Opportunities

Greenway Community Grants applications for the next round of Greenway Community Grants will be due September 9th for our October Board Meeting. The following due date for applications will be December 9th for our January Board Meeting. Read More... 


Conservation Treatment Grant Program for treatment procedures by professional conservators to aid in stabilizing and preserving objects in collections of museums, historical, and cultural organizations in New York State. Read More... (June 1) 


Federal Highway Administration Discretionary Grant Programs 11 categories including National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation; National Scenic Byways; Public Lands Highways; and Transportation, Community, and System Preservation. (June 3)


Clean Cities Community Readiness and Plannign for Plug-in Electric Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure Funding Opportunity to plan and implement policies, procedures, and incentives that facilitate that type of development. The planning and policy activities will prepare communities for successful deployment and implementation of plug-in electric drive vehicles. Read More... (June 13)


Hudson River Estuary Watershed Small Grants to advance the goals of the Hudson River Estuary Action Agenda. Contact swcuppet@gw.dec.state.ny.us. (June 17)


Rivers, Trails, & Conservation Assistance from the National Park Service for projects that create opportunities for outdoor recreation, connect youth with the outdoors, and connect communities to parks. Read More... (August 1)


Applications for the next round of grants from the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) for local park, trail, historic preservation, and heritage area projects will be available June 1.  Public workshops for potential applicants will take place across the state between June 13 and 23. Attendance at one of these workshops is highly recommended as competition for the grants will be fierce. For more information, visit the State Parks website. (June 1, September 1)  


Department of Environmental Conservation State Assistance Programs for waste reduction, recycling and household hazardous waste programs. Read More... (Ongoing)


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Technical Assistance Grants for community groups to increase public awareness and understanding of remedial activities taking place in their community Read More... (Ongoing)


Enterprise Green Communities to help cover costs of planning and implementing green components of affordable housing developments, as well as tracking their costs and benefits. Read More... (Ongoing)


BJ's Charitable Foundation to enhance and enrich community programs that primarily benefit children and families. Read More... (Ongoing)

EventsRegional Events

June 1 - October 30


Anton Otto Fischer: Enjoy this exhibit of works by noted marine artist and "Saturday Evening Post" illustrator at the Friends of Historic Kingston Gallery. 


June 1


History Kids at John Jay Homestead: Children are invited to learn how people lived 200 years ago, and what kids did for fun.  


June 3


Albany First Friday: Albany First Friday: Visit Center Square and downtown arts venues for exhibition openings, receptions, and events. 


June 4


Hudson River Day: Enjoy events along the river celebrating the themes of the Estuary's "Action Agenda" 


Beford Garden Club Centennial Festival at John Jay Homestead: Enjoy garden fair featuring lectures, plant sales, workshops, and hot air balloon rides.


New York State Tree Climbing Championship: Lyndhurst presents this exciting event promoting safe and efficient tree climbing techniques and free demonstrations.


Bridging the Nature Culture Divide: Learn about responsible stewardship of the cultural landscape at the Jay Heritage Center. This symposium explores sustainability and preservation with 6 nationally-known experts.


June 5


Rose Day: Enjoy Lyndhurst's Rose Garden in full bloom and visit with the knowledgeable rosarians. Live music and light refreshments will be provided.


June 8 


Second Annual Mighty Waters Conference: Join Congressman Paul Tonko at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to learn about successful waterfront projects throughout upstate New York and the resources available to promote and protect your waterfront.


Master Gardener Lecture at John Jay Homestead: Learn how to adapt the English-style cottage garden tradition to the climate of New York State. 


June 9


Greenway Joint Board Meeting at Hudson River Maritime Museum 


June 10


Friends of John Jay Homestead Annual Garden Party: Enjoy cocktails in the formal gardens of the Homestead.


June 11


The 7th Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Celebrate the date when the last slaves in America were freed. Enjoy music, entertainment, and educational information on Lark Street in Albany.


Catch of the Day Seining: Catch fish and other remarkable Hudson River creatures by wading into the river and dragging a net at Beczak.


June 12


Bronck Family Keeping House: Learn how the Bronck family kept a "clean" house and family duruing 1790-1850. 

Catch of the Day Seining: Catch fish and other remarkable Hudson River creatures by wading into the river and dragging a net at Beczak 


June 16


House and Garden Tours: Historic Albany hosts its annual House and Garden tour, showcasing historic buildings and their gardens in the Center Square, Hudson Park, and Pine Hills Neighborhoods.


June 18


River Talks: Discover the Hudson River''s heritage as the cradle of American steamboating at Beczak with Richard Anderson, President of the S.S. Columbia Project.


June 19


Children''s Day at the New Windsor Cantonment: Enjoy a day of family entertainment with a petting zoo and 18th century games.


June 21 


National Park Fee Free Days: The National Park Service waives admission fees on selected dates throughout 2011. This is the perfect opportunity to visit one of our national parks!


June 24


Troy Night Out: Visit the City of Troy for an Evening of arts and culture with music, food, shopping, and exhibits 



June 25


Catch of the Day Seining: Catch fish and other remarkable Hudson River creatures by wading into the river and dragging a net through the water at Beczak.


Opening Reception at Samuel Dorsky Museum: This exhibition features artists living and working in the mid Hudson Valley.




HeritageSpotlightHeritage Spotlight

New York Heritage Weekend

By John Dennehey 



Crailo State Historic Site

On May 14th and 15th, the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area sponsored "New York Heritage Weekend 2011." Our partners hosted over 160 events throughout New York State to coincide with National Preservation Month and the start of the summer tourism season. 


I decided to take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about our region so I invited my friend, Shomita, to join me in attending some of the events that were scheduled to take place. After reviewing the Heritage Weekend website and realizing it was impossible to see everything, our first challenge was in selecting which events to attend. Taking into account the weather and travel time, we decided to focus on some of the events taking place in the Capital District.


We kicked off our Heritage Weekend experience by attending the City of Watervliet's "Erie Canal Commemoration" where I was asked to say a few words. The commemoration was held just south of the historic Watervliet Arsenal where a narrow entrance between the canal and the Hudson River provided a short-cut for barges during the 19th century. This short-cut radically shaped the economics and character of Watervliet as well as those of the City of Troy, located directly across the Hudson River.


With financial assistance from the New York Main Street Program, Watervliet is currently undertaking an ambitious project to uncover sections of the canal. These sections have been buried for almost 100 years in a densely populated area of the city near Eighth Street and Third Avenue. When completed later this year, the "Erie Canal Park" will invite visitors to experience the canal first-hand as they walk along a re-created towpath, touch the original canal walls, and learn more about this engineering marvel through on-site interpretation.



Saint Paul's Episcopal Church 

Following the commemoration in Watervliet, we made our way to St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Troy to attend the "Louis Comfort Tiffany Interior Tours." Although we had already visited the church in the past, both Shomita and I knew this was our opportunity to ask questions, take photos, and learn more about this sacred space. In the 1890s, the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company was hired by St. Paul's Church to renovate and redecorate the interior following a series of structural changes to the 1827 building. In addition to the magnificent array of stained glass windows, Tiffany was responsible for extensive mosaic tiling, stenciling, gilded trusses, fresco murals, and decorative wood carvings throughout the building. Our tour guide explained to us that Tiffany relied greatly on symbolic elements to convey his message of the church as a sacred space. Part of this symbolism included the repetition of specific elements in windows, lighting, and wood treatments. 


After a brief lunch in downtown Troy, Shomita and I visited the Rensselaer County Historical Society's Open House. The exhibition spaces for the Historical Society are located in the historic Carr Building adjacent to the Hart-Cluett House. The Historical Society  presented several exhibitions including a timely exhibit about the past mayors of Troy and an ongoing exhibit about the history of the city itself. We were also invited to explore the research library which is not always open for visitors.


Our next stop was Crailo State Historic Site for "Native American Heritage Weekend" which included free admission to the museum as well as a variety of activities at Crailo's riverfront park. Crailo was originally constructed for Hendrick Van Rensselaer, the grandson of Kiliaen van Rensselaer who was the first patroon of Rensselaerswyck and whose landholdings encompassed much of present-day Albany and Rensselaer counties. Upon arrival at Crailo, we were greeted by a docent dressed in period Dutch clothing who told us about the museum and the weekend's events.


Since Shomita had never visited Crailo and I had not seen the latest round of renovations, we decided to begin our visit with a walk through the museum itself. Each of the rooms within the early 18th-century home features an exceptional array of exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of the Capital District's Dutch Colonial history. Many of these exhibits are designed to be interactive to encourage visitors to get involved and ask questions. Of particular interest was a display that asked visitors to match up artifacts from local excavations (pottery sherds, pieces of glass, etc) with items found in Dutch paintings of typical Colonial scenes.


Aarowhead Teaching at Crailo

Crailo State Historic Site

Crailo brought this theme of interactive learning out onto their riverfront park for the day's activities. A variety of items were on display to tell the story of the Native American culture and its history while demonstratons highlighted the skill that went into the production of these items. One individual was demonstrating how baskets were woven while another worked with children to show how arrowheads were made from pieces of flint. Along the waterfront, visitors were invited to participate in the games and recreational activities of the Native Americans.


With just enough time left for one more visit, Shomita and I concluded our day with Schuyler Mansion's "Concerts on the Grounds." Schuyler Mansion was the home of Philip van Rensselaer Schuyler, a descendant of one of Albany's most powerful Dutch founding families and one of the four men appointed major general at the onset of the Revolutionary War. It was here that Schuyler entertained a number of political figures including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and Benedict Arnold. The afternoon concert featured an ensemble performing popular melodies known throughout the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys during the 18th century. The pieces were played using a clavichord, cello, whistles and percussion instruments. Originally scheduled to take place on the lawn of Schuyler Mansion, the concerts were moved indoors to the upstairs salon due to the imminent threat of rain.

Heritage Weekend at Schuyler Mansion
Heritage Weekend at Schuyler Mansion


Upon entering Schuyler Mansion, the sounds of the 18th century welcomed us and added to the atmosphere of an afternoon gathering during the 1700s. The site manager, Heidi Hill, invited us in and told us briefly about the home and some of the latest projects that were underway. One of the projects which we found particularly interesting was the reproduction of the mansion's original wallpaper which is being produced for each room according to an inventory of the home contents from the mid 18th century. After touring the home, we stayed to enjoy the performance of 18th century music.



By the end of the day, we had visited only five sites. However, these five sites covered a combined span of approximately 500 years of New York State history and not one of these sites spoke about "heritage" from the same perspective. It is this diversity of perspectives and stories that continues to attract visitors to New York State to learn more about our local, regional, and national heritage. We look forward to next year's Heritage Weekend and we welcome everyone to come learn why this is truly the Empire State.



New York Heritage Weekend was funded in part by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor, National Trust for Historic Preservation and National Endowment for the Arts.  The celebration showcased numerous State Historic Sites managed by the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and is made possible with the cooperation of over 150 partner organizations hosting events throughout the state. Our special thanks to over 1,200 volunteers who helped make this event possible. 



St. Paul's Church is located at 58 Third Street in Troy (518) 273-7351

Rensselaer County Historical Society is located at 57 Second Street in Troy (518) 244-6846

Crailo State Historic Site is located at 9 1/2 Riverside Avenue in Rensselaer (518) 463-8738

Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site is located at 32 Catherine Street in Albany (518) 434-0834



Did You Know...

...Rensselaer County is the home of "Yankee Doodle"?


Spirit of 76In 1775, a British Army Surgeon named Dr. Richard Schackburg was visiting Crailo, the home of the Van Rensselaer family, to attend to a wounded prisoner of the French and Indian War. While camping there with his troop, Schackburg wrote "Yankee Doodle Dandy" to make fun of the "disheveled and disorganized" colonial soldiers.


The word "doodle" was a term for a "simpleton" or "fool." The word "macaroni" referred to a group of young British men who dressed in an affected manner and the joke was that the foolish Yankees believed that a feather in a hat was enough to make them the height of fashion.


Although the tune was intended to mock the colonial army, the words were changed and tune was reclaimed by the colonial army as they fought back against the British during the Revolutionary War. The song soon became a patriotic anthem for the American forces. Following the end of the Revolutionary War, the song continued to gain popularity as new lyrics were written and new adaptations created. Today the song has become synonymous with patriotism in the United States.

GreenTipGreen Tip Of The Month



This summer, raise your thermostat from 72 to 73 degrees. Each month would reduce your carbon footprint by about 40lbs of CO2. Over the summer months that comes to a savings of about 160lbs!


(All information courtesy of National Geographic's Green Guide)

The E-Newsletter is published monthly and emailed to friends of the Hudson River Valley


Editor: John Dennehey, Senior Planner
News: Beth Campochiaro, Trails Coordinator


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Email us or call (518) 473-3835


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Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area

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