Welcome and introductions
1. Dr. Kathleen Nolan, Senior Research Director, Catskill Mountainkeeper
Creating a County-Wide Trails Committee: Lessons from Ulster County
Dr. Kathy Nolan is a pediatrician who sees very clearly the correlation between good-health and access to walking and biking trails. As such, Kathy is a long-time trails advocate and a founding member of the Ulster County Trails Advisory Committee (UCTAC). Kathy joined us to share some lessons learned through her experiences working with the UCTAC over the last 10 years. As Dutchess County residents and stakeholders look to continue the momentum for local trail projects and develop a unified County-wide trail vision and implementation strategy, there are indeed many interesting lessons and a model for effectiveness to be taken from the work of those participating and collaborating with the UCTAC. Kathy’s presentation can be viewed HERE.
2. Karl Beard, National Park Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program
Organizing for Trails – some snapshots of who and why from around New York
Karl Beard is a mainstay in the trails work that occurs throughout our region. He sits on the Winnakee-Dutchess Trails Roundtable Steering Committee, The Hyde Park Trails Committee, advises the UCTAC, and has worked on trail planning and design/build projects all over New York State. Karl presented some details to the group that focused on organizing for trails in New York State, and what has worked effectively in accomplishing the goals of a statewide, regional and local trails framework. Karl’s presentation can be viewed HERE.
3. Open Discussion and Local Project Updates
• Discussion of prospect for Dutchess County to mirror the UCTAC model. How to approach County government and departments most effectively. When asked for a show of hands to indicate if Roundtable attendees thought it would be a good idea for Dutchess County to embrace a model similar to the UCTAC, unanimous consent was found among the 24 attendees – attendees included County department employees, land conservation and other not for profit representatives, elected Town officials, trail committee members and others.
• Dick Hermans announced the opening of an additional 1.5-mile section of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in the Town of Copake.
• Gregg Swanzey offered an update on Winnakee Land Trust’s trail work since the completion of the Northern Dutchess Trail Study. Winnakee has identified 19 priority projects in the Towns of Hyde Park, Rhinebeck and Red Hook. Grant applications and resolutions of Town support are currently being developed for the first few priority projects. More to come…
• Bob Lacolla, Town of Fishkill Supervisor, and Amy Kacala, Senior Planner at Scenic Hudson, provided an update on the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail which is steadily under construction. Bob also provided some insight into the role of the Beacon Rail Line in the Empire State Trail project. It appears NYS government only has its eyes on the section of the Beacon Line that would connect Putnam County to the existing Dutchess Rail Trail at Hopewell Junction, and that NYS is not yet looking at completing the connection between where the Beacon Line intersects the Dutchess Rail Trail at Hopewell Junction and the Town of Fishkill/City of Beacon.
• Ron Rosen shared news that one of ten priority landscape protection efforts along the Appalachian Trail will be in Dutchess County. For more details about the landscape protection efforts of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, follow this link.
4. 2017 Roundtable Meetings:
• Sept 21, 4pm – 5:30pm
• Dec 14, 4pm – 5:30pm
Details and location of upcoming trails roundtable meetings will be announced via the Roundtable mailing list. Stay tuned…
Thank you to our presenters and all who make the Trails Roundtable possible!