KINGSTON, New York — Thanks to a grant from the Open Space Institute
(OSI), the Kingston Land Trust has protected a key property that will enhance local
quality of life and aid in beautification. Located near the bustling
waterfront, land will be a catalyst for the Kingston Land Trust to improve
sustainability in the community as it grows.
The Kingston Land Trust purchased the property, located at 61-81 Gross
Street, from Ulster Habitat for Humanity. The property will serve as a base for
cleanups and plantings along the Kingston Greenline — a system of trails,
linear parks, and streets that will be a part of the future Empire State Trail.
“The acquisition of this property is a resounding win for the community
of Kingston, today and for future generations,” said Kim Elliman, president of
CEO of OSI. “OSI is delighted to continue our commitment to this beautiful and
growing Hudson Valley hub. We applaud the commitment of Kingston Land Trust to improving
the local community.”
This newly-protected land is located in the Rondout neighborhood of
Kingston, situated between the City of Kingston’s Hasbrouck Park on its east
side and, on its west side, a section of the Kingston Greenline that will open
to the public this summer.
John F Kennedy Elementary School and Rondout Gardens Public Housing are
to the north and south, respectively, and a paved walkway called “Pathway to
Knowledge,” that connects the two, passes through the property.
To the west of the site is Iglesia Evangélica Amigos, a Hispanic church
whose youth group has already participated in a program hosted by the Kingston
Land Trust at which they tapped sugar maple trees on the property and along the
City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble has indicated he plans to work
together with the Kingston Land Trust to provide pedestrian access through this
site from the Greenline to Hasbrouck Park. Some other ideas for using this
property, that have arisen through brainstorming with partner organizations, include
a garden area, a fitness station, a bike-fixing station, interpretive signage,
outdoor education, and a covered meeting area.
Finally, the Kingston Land Trust will also steward forests on the property
to help the land transition from a successional forest on historically
disturbed land to a more stable and mature upland hardwood forest. The parcels
will act as an ecological buffer for the adjacent upland hardwood forest and
calcareous crest, ledge, talus, and cave habitat, increasing connectivity of
this biologically important corridor.