May 4, 2022
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) reports that a section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail will remain closed for the time being in Rosendale.
NEW PALTZ — Climate change that impacts open spaces and trails has been significant in the past few years — and especially in recent months. Due to the latest severe storms, a section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Rosendale remains closed until further notice.
The damage also spotlights the fundraising needs of the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) for maintaining its 22-mile Rail Trail and open spaces
“Ice storms, severe flooding, and windstorms affect trail conditions every year, but in the past few months the impact has been most severe,” said Christie DeBoer, Executive Director of the non-profit WVLT. “Which is why we’re making a special plea to the public to make donations to support our work. From stewarding easements to managing our properties, which are open to the public, you can help with the growing needs.”
Donations can be mailed to Wallkill Valley Land Trust, PO Box 208, New Paltz, N.Y. 12561 or made online via the button below.
DeBoer noted that the ice storm, which came through the Hudson Valley in early February of 2022, left hundreds of downed trees across all of the WVLT’s open spaces and trails in its wake. Specifically, the initial clearing of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail was estimated to take several weeks and WVLT is still managing the clean-up.
Another serious weather event, a massive rainstorm on April 7, 2022, also impacted the Rail Trail. In a short period of time, 5 inches of rain fell. By the next day, not only were there many small washouts all over the 13 miles of the recently improved trail surface, but massive erosion along a section of the Rail Trail in Rosendale.
The flood water poured down the middle of the Rail Trail for over a week in a 500 foot-long portion starting from the Binnewater Road and the Breezy Hill intersection south to the Binnewater Kiln Parking Lot Access Trail, carving out a deep cut that is 5 to 6 feet wide and in some areas up to three feet deep.
“As the floodwaters continue to recede, repairs will take some time,” DeBoer noted.
The Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Rosendale between Breezy Hill & the Binnewater parking lot will be closed until further notice. Rail Trail users can easily detour the closure by following Binnewater Road, but please exercise caution while traveling on the road.
The community can be a part of the restoration and repair work in several ways. First, donations to WVLT help with the repairs and clean-up from these recent serious weather events, as well as the continued need to keep our open spaces and trails open and safe for everyone to enjoy.
Supporters can also volunteer and help during workdays scheduled throughout the year. Aside from repairs, volunteers can help with habitat management work, which is key to mitigating climate change impacts by removing invasive plants and replacing them with native species. Visit the WVLT website and sign up for the organization’s newsletter for further details about events and volunteer opportunities.
“Managing our trails and open spaces is year-round work, and we need a constant flow of support and donations to continue.” DeBoer said. “Without the help of donors, volunteers, and business patrons, we couldn’t do the work we do. Please consider helping us today.”