Ulster County Transportation Council (UCTC), in partnership with the Village of New Paltz, Wallkill Valley Land Trust, and Historic Huguenot Street, is pleased to announce the beginning of a planning and community engagement process addressing the future use and design of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in the Village of New Paltz.
The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Community Opportunity Plan will develop options to optimize multimodal active transport, open space and recreational enhancement on the heavily used part of the trail within the heart of the Village of New Paltz. The Plan will focus on how to reimagine this important regional trail hub and community asset.
UCTC has hired trail and park planning experts Weintraub/Diaz to lead the planning and design process. The W/D team focuses on “integrating natural systems using a sustainable, restorative, holistic, and comprehensive design approach.” The firm will be guided by a local advisory committee consisting of key stakeholders from the community.
The plan will examine the WVRT from Plains Road north to Huguenot Street, approximately 1.5 miles, with a focus on the area from Plains Road to Mulberry Street.
Key components of the project include a thorough inventory and analysis of the study area, including existing characteristics such as land use, drainage, natural resources, trail surface, traffic conditions and access to adjoining land uses. The public engagement process will include a multi-day planning and visioning session that includes a trail walk with the project team to identify opportunities and concerns. A second workshop series to be scheduled in the summer will present the corridor vision and concept for additional feedback. The final outcome will be a plan for the study area that will guide local stakeholders toward successful implementation.
The entire project is scheduled to be completed within 11 months.
Project Info Meeting: Thursday June 6th 6:00 – 8:00pm • New Paltz Community Center
Trail Walk: Sunday June 9 (11:00am) • Sojourner Truth Park, Plains Road
Workshops: Tuesday June 18th (2 sessions, 4:00-6:00 pm & 7:00-9:00pm) • New Paltz Community Center
Contact: Brian C. Slack, Principal Transportation Planner, UCTC
The 2019 tour explored the fascinating early history and industrial and cultural heritage of Rosendale and surrounding hamlets - High Falls, Cottekill, Binnewater, Lawrenceville, Bloomington, and Eddyville - from its early agrarian Dutch settlements through its evolution into a prosperous industrialboom-town in the 19th century, to its recent resurgence as a thriving artistic community. The building of the D & H Canal to transport coal from Pennsylvania to the Hudson River and the discovery of natural “Rosendale” cement, prized for its exceptional durability, and later the Wallkill Valley Railroad, shaped the town and brought international prominence to the area.
The day began with registration and a tour of the beautiful St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Among the other great historic sites open for tour-goers were Century House’s Colonial Revival interiors, a first in years, along with the Historical Society’s Museum, Carriage House and the Widow Jane Mine, as well as the DePuy Canal House, future home of the Historical Society’s D&H
Canal Museum. Featured houses were among the area’s most important and interesting vernacular treasures dating from the early 18th to 20th centuries. Highlighted were stone farmhouses, the Greek Revival aesthetic, and Italianate and Colonial Revival expressions of prestige and wealth.
All proceeds benefited WVLT's land preservation efforts.
Join Professor Alex Bartholomew of SUNY New Paltz for a guided geology and mining history walk up Joppenbergh Mountain in Rosendale, NY. Learn about the bedrock, the mining history, and whether or not Joppenbergh is actually part of the Shawangunks! Alex is not only a wealth of information on the local geology, but he also strives to learn about the complete ecosystem. Knowing this, we can be sure to get distracted by other natural features, creatures, and views found on Joppenbergh Mountain.
Our special guest, Dr. Alex Bartholomew is an Associate Professor of Stratigraphy and Paleontology at SUNY New Paltz. He did his undergraduate degree at Union College in Schenectady NY and his MS and PhD at the University of Cincinnati. He grew up in the northern Catskills in Schoharie County and now lives in New Paltz with his wife Amy who teaches Astronomy at SUNY, their daughter Annabeth and a new baby girl due in July.
Please wear sturdy hiking shoes, long sleeves and pants and bug spray for this Walk & Talk. Hike level: Moderate+
Take a leisurely walk with Lynn Bowdery along the meadow and woods paths, noticing the flowering plants along the way. Of course, we can look at and discuss other things that catch our attention. Binoculars can be useful to look at plants as well as birds and insects, so bring them if you wish. Depending on the weather, the paths can be wet or muddy, so wear appropriate shoes and bring your insect repellant of choice. Rain cancels.
Lynn Bowdery has always been fascinated with the outdoor world, slowly learning about plants and animals by walking around looking at things, reading field guides, going on field trips, talking to people, reading magazine articles, looking things up, and generally paying attention. She has for many years done nature-oriented volunteer work for Mohonk Preserve and is a member and volunteer of the John Burroughs Natural History Society. Lynn served WVLT as Land Steward for 13 years, which enabled her to explore many wonderful conserved properties in the course of creating baseline documentation for conservation easements and monitoring those easements.
What bird is making that sound? Are there ways to tell birds apart just by looking at how they fly? Join science teacher and long-time avid birder Chrissy Guarino to learn bird calls, as well as tools for identifying resident and migrating songbirds and waterfowl in the oxbow lake. Bring binoculars if you have them! (Please no pets and no children under seven.) Space is very limited for this walk.
Chrissy has been birding somewhat seriously since about 2004 when her folks brought her on a birding trip to Arizona that she didn’t think she’d find particularly interesting. She didn't expect to see a hummingbird banding station where they let you hold tiny buzzing hummingbirds until they fly off with their shiny new tinfoil bracelets. Soon after, she stumbled and bumbled into a (rare for our area) Sedge Wren in the Harcourt-Nyquist Sanctuary and became hooked on learning all about birds and what's around us! The best part is, she’s happy to say, that she’ll never run out of things to learn from the natural world.
So what are lichens, anyway? Explore some lichens and lichen habitats on Joppenbergh with Lynn Bowdery. Lynn has been trying to learn how to identify some of the lichens common in our region. She will try to share what she has learned about these intriguing creatures found on soil, rocks and trees. We might go off the paths depending on what we want to look at. Wear suitable shoes, and bring a strong magnifier or loupe if you have one. Some can be provided. Rain cancels. (Lynn will also be leading the Wildflowers Walk & Talk on 8/24. You can find her bio, above ^.)
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Thank you, Sponsors, for standing with conservation!
ULSTER COUNTY, NY (March 2, 2018)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) are announcing the kick-off of improvement work along a 12-mile section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the celebrated multi-use recreational trail and linear park connecting Wallkill to Kingston. The initial work will include clearing of overgrown hazard trees and shrubs along the rail trail corridor. The overall improvements will set the stage for including it in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s transformative Empire State Trail, to open in 2020.
Commencing by the in 2019, the clearing work will be donated by volunteers, organizations, local businesses and the Town of Rosendale Highway Department along the Rail Trail in the towns of Rosendale and Ulster, excluding a small quarter-mile section by Williams Lake. Later improvements will be funded by a 2013 NYS Recreational Trails Program grant and a 2017 NYS Environmental Protection Fund grant, both secured by OSI in partnership with WVLT. Private fundraising efforts will provide additional support toward the $750,000 project.