Winnakee Receives Greenway Grant

Winnakee receives Greenway Grant and launches the Northern Dutchess Trail Project 

Marist College Students Clearing Trails

Rhinebeck, NY, December 13, 2016: Winnakee Land Trust is pleased to announce the Northern Dutchess Trail Project and receipt of a grant in the amount of $14,800 from the 2016 Greenway Conservancy Trail Grant Program. The grant, announced by Governor Cuomo in October, was one of 22 received in the Mid-Hudson Valley and Capital Region. The Greenway Conservancy Trail Grant Program, funded by NYS Environmental Protection Fund, supports the Greenway’s goal to establish the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail, a contiguous trail linking cultural and historic sites, parks, open spaces, and community centers from New York City to the Adirondacks.

The Northern Dutchess Trail Project will lay the groundwork for greatly increased connectivity in the Town of Rhinebeck between existing parks, schools, and village center as well as the establishment of bike/pedestrian infrastructure within Northern Dutchess County with Rhinebeck as a hub where several trails would converge. It will be matched with a $10,000 grant from the Thomas Thompson Trust and additional funds from the Land Trust Alliance Conservation Partnership Program. This project, currently underway, will enhance the experience for residents and visitors to the area by connecting them to a regional network as well as improve safety for school children walking or biking to school or to the local parks.

“Funding from Greenway Conservancy will be transformative for Rhinebeck and instrumental in increasing the connectivity of the Northern Dutchess area in general and within Rhinebeck specifically by enabling us to generate a broad-based feasibility study and individual planning documents for specific trail projects that are identified as priorities and that are doable. It will provide additional resources for contracted services for survey mapping and legal advice,” said Gregg Swanzey, Executive Director of the Winnakee Land Trust.

Winnakee owns the land at Drayton Grant Park at Burger Hill and maintains trails there through a large troupe of active volunteers. In addition to this, Winnakee has been building connections from the riverfront trail we have helped to establish in Hyde Park, now connecting as far northward as Norrie Point State Park with the potential to get to the Rhinebeck town line, and ultimately to attain a connection to the two and a half miles of trails at the Thompson-Mazzarella Park.

“At this juncture, Winnakee would like to work toward a regional trail vision that articulates how communities are connected, but with a heightened focus on the Town of Rhinebeck,” said Sally Mazzarella, President of the Winnakee Land Trust Board of Directors. “It is a vision that would see the Village of Rhinebeck connected to the neighboring hamlet of Rhinecliff – and, as such, Rhinecliff’s Hudson River waterfront and Amtrak train station – as well as look at trail connectivity potentials to remove discontinuities in the network with the Town of Red Hook, including Bard College and Tivoli, to the north and Staatsburg and Hyde Park to the South.”

Winnakee Land Trust, incorporated in 1989, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of natural, agricultural, and scenic land and the connection of trails in northern Dutchess County and beyond. At the heart of the Winnakee’s mission is a deep regard for the history and natural beauty of northern Dutchess County.

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