The Kingston Land Trust Hosts Viewing of the Mt. Zion Cemetery Rededication Film with Kingston Students.

Students prepare to view film

The Kingston Land Trust and the Kingston Land Trust African-American History Committee organized a viewing today of the Mt. Zion African-American Rededication Ceremony film for Elementary School Students at St. Joesph School in Kingston. Joining the population at St. Joseph were Elementary School students from the George Washington Elementary School as well as students from Maple Ridge Bruderhoff (Maple Ridge School).

The hour-long presentation included the film and guest speakers Terri Gittens (a committee member of the KLT African-American History Committee as well as the president of CARE IJN/Cultural Awareness Restores Equality), Renee Van Dyke (a resident of Kingston with at least five generations of family members buried at the Mt. Zion Cemetery now living in Washington DC), Pastor Kenneth Walsh (of the Old Dutch Church who read the Statement of Reconciliation), and Liz Joyce (film maker).

The presentation closed with Principal of St. Joseph School Jeanne Dolamore with her violin for the group to sing “Kumbaya” and a closing prayer.

St. Joseph Jeanne M. P. Dolamore sings Kumbaya with the students to close the event.


Over 100 students were in attendance and sat attentively throughout.

The Kingston Land Trust thanks the administration of St. Joseph Church in their interest in sharing African-American history in the City of Kingston.

Special thanks to Vinnie Manginelli, Jeanne Dolamore, Valerie Hannum, Maple Ridge Bruderhoff, Renee Van Dyke, Terri Gittens, Pastor Kenneth Walsh, Liz Joyce, Ismail Shabazz, Lydia Newcombe, Kevin McEvoy and Barbara Epstein for their participation today.




KLT African-American History Committee member Terri Gittens talks to the Children.

Pastor Kenneth Walsh of the Old Dutch Church reads the children their Statement of Reconciliation and discusses the importance of healing through taking responsibility and issuing an apology at any time.

Kingston resident Renee Van Dyke shares her family history and connection to the Mt. Zion Cemetery.

Closing Prayer.

KLT Rail Trail Committee Profiles: The Heritage Rail Trail

 As the Kingston Land Trust’s Rail Trail Committee works toward the creation of a network of rail trail connections within the City, examples of the benefits of urban trails abound.

The Kingston Land Trust’s Rail Trail Committee profiles successful urban trails that provide inspiration for Kingston

A peaceful oasis, encounters with nature, a scenic stroll through the woods – these aren’t always the images that come to mind when you think of life in the City of Kingston. But why not? As the Kingston Land Trust’s Rail Trail Committee explores ways of connecting the community through linear parks and multi-use pathways, we’re gaining a new appreciation of all that a “rail trail” can be. We’ve learned that the idea of an urban rail trail isn’t unique. In fact, across the country, more and more cities are realizing the rewards that come from a strong network of trails and pathways. Why not Kingston, too?

From time to time, we’ll be collecting and sharing some examples of successful urban trails as a way of expanding our own horizons, and yours, too. These are the success-stories that our Rail Trail Committee turns to, time after time, as we reflect on our own goals. And they’re a living representation of the vision we have for Kingston that makes us excited for all that our community is and can be, with a little elbow grease and cooperation.



March 2012 Trail Profile

The Heritage Rail Trail – Connecting Past and Present

Located in York county, PA, the Heritage Rail-Trail is a 21 mile multi-use trail. The largely crushed stone trail runs adjacent to the intact and still operating Northern Central Railroad. The first mile of trail travels through urban conditions before venturing into more rural landscapes between the city of York and the Maryland state line. The Northern Central Railroad grew to become a vital link between Washington D.C., Harrisburg, PA, upstate New York and Lake Ontario during the 19th century. During the battle of Gettysburg, Rebel troops destroyed telegraph lines and bridges along the line to isolate Washington D.C. from the Union. After the bloody battle, President Lincoln traveled this railroad to present the Gettysburg Address. The rail trail also provides economic benefits for the towns along the trail. Ed Hughes, a man who had been out of work for over a year in New Freedom, PA, opened a bike shop when he heard news of the developing Heritage rail-trail. The former farmer took the opportunity to learn a new business, taking advantage of the possible economic boost made possible by the future rail-trail. His business jumped from an original 100 customers to 8,000 in 2004, a span of ten years.

To learn more about the Heritage Rail-Trail, visit either the site or

Next month’s feature: The GAP, where trail development is economic development…

The Kingston Land Trust Board of Directors Retreat and Walk Their Properties in February

The stellar Board of Directors at the Kingston Land Trust. (L-R) Tim Weidemann, Gregg Swanzey, Andi Turco-Levin, Beth Roessler, Scarlet Duba, Steve Noble, Barbara Epstein, Kevin McEvoy, Brad Will and Matt Gillis.


The Kingston Land Trust Board of Directors met today to walk their properties and view their other projects as well as to have a relaxing afternoon together.

Here, the group looks closely at their parcel on Yoemans Street in historic Ponckhockie.


We were conveyed this lot by the City of Kingston in 2010 with hopes of working with the neighbors in the Ponckhockie section to create a small garden at the south end of the parcel that is mostly level and receives sunlight. The north end that connects to Yeomans Street has steep slopes, difficult terrain, is shaded and covered with poison ivy. The lot is a demapped street once connecting Yeomans Street to East Union St. The East Union frontage was conveyed by the City sometime ago so the parcel has only frontage on Yeomans Street. At the time of the conveyance we were made aware of an underground drainage easement to be retained by the City referred to as Tunnel Street. The demapped street appears on 1854 map for George North and Walter B. Crane who owned and subdivided the area at that time and had grading of slopes performed including the grading of the Revolutionary militia battleworks believed to have been located in this area which is discussed in Schoonmakers’s History of Kingston.

Originally it was thought that this steep north section of the parcel might have been the east slope of the Revolutionary battleworks site where the local Ulster County militia was stationed in October 16, 1777 when the British arrived to burn Kingston. Besides Schoonmakers’s History of Kingston, the battleworks have been discussed with a drawing depicting the general area in 1849 prior to North & Crane’s grading in Lossing’s Fieldbook of the Revolution and have been the subject of discussions with City Historian Ed Ford and military historian Col. James Johnson. As part of a separate National Historic Register nomination concerning another site in Ponckhockie, I reviewed and documented possible and known roads in 1777 and possible locations of the militia battleworks.

KLT Executive Director Rebecca Martin at the South Pine Street City Farm in Kingston. Photo by Andi Turco-Levin

After taking title, our executive director Rebecca Martin inspected the site, met the adjoining neighbors and was made aware by them of the significance of Tunnel Street. While there may be Revolutionary significance yet to be determined, the name Tunnel Street refers to a Tunnel entrance located on the site now sealed shut which leads into the former Newark Lime & Cement Company quarries in nearby Hasbrouck Park.

Kevin McEvoy, Vice Chair – The Kingston Land Trust


The Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery Rededication Ceremony Film is now Available with Worksheet

We are pleased to present the Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery Rededication Ceremony film online for the community to share, enjoy and remember.

Also, the Kingston Land Trust has created this terrific classroom worksheet to allow activities and thoughtful discussion for students after viewing the film. Click on this link for a copy:   Mt. Zion Cemetery Worksheet

A very special thanks to Liz Joyce for her wonderful film, Mark Marshall for his web support and guidance and KLT Board Director Scarlet Duba for her assistance in the worksheet layout.


You can also enjoy “Memories and Stories” hosted by the lovely Terri Gittens – interviewing several family members who have a family connection at that Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery.

YMCA and South Pine Street City Farm Team Up to Build Community Greenhouse in Kingston

YMCA and South Pine Street City Farm team up to build community greenhouse  Innovative urban farm project receives funding from SARE

KINGSTON, NY – This season the South Pine Street City Farm and the YMCA are partnering on a new greenhouse at the YMCA Community Garden in mid-town Kingston.  The 12′ x 20′ greenhouse will be used for seedlings and winter production for South Pine Street City Farm, but will also be open to community gardeners and others wanting to participate in growing their own seedlings.

The idea of a city greenhouse was initiated by Jesica Clark, farmer at South Pine Street City Farm, out of her desire to grow seedlings for the farm and for community use in Kingston.  In addition, Mrs. Clark applied for and was awarded funding from Sustainable Agriculture Reseach and Education (SARE) to conduct an innovative projectdesigned to heat the greenhouse without electricity or fossil fuels, using compost made from used coffee grounds and yard waste such as leaves and chipped branches.

“I’m so excited to be able to grow seedlings sustainably in Kingston.  What an opportunity for those who want to grow food from seed, but find that their sunny window is just not enough,” says farmer Clark.

Lee Anne Albritton, Child Care Director at the YMCA of Kingston and Ed Blouin, Site Steward for the YMCA Community Garden, picked up on the project and suggested the YMCA Garden, located in the playground on Summer Street, as an ideal place for the greenhouse.  The site is accessible to many neighborhoods in Kingston and project will draw attention to the burgeoning garden space created for the community and the youth that participate in YMCA programs.  The YMCA Community Garden will again be expanding this year to accommodate more families who want to garden, but do not have the space or resources at their home.

Ms. Albritton comments, “This is such an exciting collaboration, using Farmer Clark’s expertise and experience to help the YMCA mission of social responsibility to expand our community gardens and to bring accessible gardening and food production to our members and their families. Participating in this “groundbreaking” program will be especially stimulating for our after-school youth gardening curriculum, as well as for our new program to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients with seeds, tools and garden space to provide real food for their families.”

The greenhouse is scheduled to be in place by the end of this year and will be ready for seedling production in 2013.

For more information about the greenhouse or South Pine Street City Farm – A program sponsored by The Queens Galley in partnership with The Kingston Land Trust and Binnewater Ice Company, please contact Jesica Clark at  For information about the YMCA and their gardening programs, please contact Lee Anne Albritton at

It’s A Family Affair: The Kingston Land Trust African-American History Committee Hosts Potluck

Scenes from the Mt. Zion African-American Burial Ground Rededication Event

It’s a Family Affair.
Pot Luck, Family and the Mt. Zion Cemetery

Tuesday, February 28th at 6:00pm

Everett Hodge Center
15-21 Franklin Street
Kingston, NY




Come with a dish, visit friends and enjoy a free showing of the Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery Rededication Film.

Tuesday, February 28th at 6:00pm

Everett Hodge Center
15-21 Franklin Street
Kingston, NY

Hosted by the Kingston Land Trust African-American History Committee

Please bring a dish and enjoy the stories of those with families buried at the Mt. Zion African-American Burial Ground on South Wall Street in Kingston.

Help us in our effort to protect this and other significant African-American sites in the city of Kingston. This event will be filmed with permission.

For more information, contact Rebecca Martin, Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust at 845/750-7295.

The Kingston Land Trust Celebrates Board Director Gregg Swanzey

The Kingston Land Trust is thrilled to announce and congratulate Board Director and Chair of the Kingston Land Trust Rail Trail Committee Gregg Swanzey who is now the City of Kingston’s new Director of Economic Development and Strategic Partnerships.

Gregg, who lives in Kingston’s Rondout, spent years at sea aboard sailing research and education ships including a Humpback whale research program aboard a barkentine in Arctic waters off Greenland and as captain for a Soviet-American cultural exchange transAtlantic from Leningrad to New York via Iceland and Newfoundland.  He logged tens of thousands of miles at sea and now still regularly finds his way out onto tidal waters in a kayak launched from the docks at the Strand.

Gregg’s background includes grants management and corporate relations for Mohonk Preserve, Executive Director for a gubernatorially appointed commission in Massachusetts, and Executive Director for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. He has served as advisor to The Boston Foundation, Massachusetts Environmental Trust, and the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts and has extensive background in maritime preservation, education, and management of public and private organizations. Today, he serves on the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council, Complete Streets Advisory Council, and the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee.

Gregg holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and an MBA from UMASS Dartmouth.

It is a privilege to work with Gregg who has helped the Kingston Land Trust secure grants working towards a Midtown Hub Rail Trail system from the Land Trust Alliance,  PTNY (Parks & Trails NY), the Hudson Valley Greenway, National Park Service and CDBG (Community Development Block Grant).

The City of Kingston is fortunate to have this Kingston resident at their service in this way, and we expect to see great things in the future with his expertise.


* In Today’s Daily Freeman:  Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo names new head of Economic Development.


VIEW: Kingston Land Trust Powerpoint from the Ulster County Trail Conference November 5th, 2011


Now you can view the powerpoint presentation from last year’s Ulster County Trail Conference where the Kingston Land Trust and the KLT Rail Trail Committee shared the efforts currently taking place on the Rail Trail front in Kingston.

Click on the photo to the right and enjoy.






2011 City of Kingston Environmental Program Annual Report


Since 2005, the City of Kingston’s environmental education staff has helped the City become a leader in environmental awareness and stewardship. Kingston is one of only a few small communities in the country to focus this creative energy to solving environmental issues, while also developing unique programs designed to save taxpayer dollars and leverage public and private investments, while educating the public about the local environment. Kingston’s environmental program strives to make Kingston a sustainable and healthy community for its citizens and visitors and has grown to include programs and activities in the areas of environmental education and environmental services. Each of these areas are detailed in the following report.

VIEW:  2011 Kingston Environmental Report

Kingston Land Trust Partner in Kingston Parks “Movies Under the Stars”

The Kingston Land Trust along with the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department and many volunteers is working to help create “Movies Under the Stars” an eight week movie series that will be held in a different City of Kingston park in 2012.  The groups fundraising efforts will continue all throughout the Spring.

Movies Under the Stars Logo by Karina Pacheco.


Dress up like the “Big Lebowski,” show off your “Kingpin” style,  join in the fun!  Kingston Parks Movies Under the Stars will be hosting a day at the bowling alley to support bringing an 8-week movie series to city parks this summer.

The event will be held at Mid-City Lanes on Cedar Street in Kingston, NY on Saturday, February 25th from 2pm-5pm.  Refreshments, all-you-can-bowl, and lots of fun!  Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the door or in advance.  All proceeds go towards the purchase of a portable, professional grade movie projector, screen and sound system with appropriate film copyrights for public screenings.

Please RSVP to Jen Fuentes at 845.332.6600 or via email at

Find out more about Kingston Parks Movies Under the Stars, a special project of the Friends of Kingston Parks and Recreation by visiting: We’ll see you at the Movies!

Kingston Parks Movies Under the Stars is a Special Project of the Friends of Kingston Parks and Recreation with support from the Kingston Land Trust, Kingston Cares, and a dedicated group of volunteers.


Kingston Parks Movies Under the Stars Schedule 2012

   Friday, June 29th, Gallo Park, Sunset 8:36

 Saturday, July 7, Academy Green, Sunset 8:30

  Friday, July 13, Kingston Point Beach, Sunset 8:27

  Friday, July 20, Cornell Park, Sunset 8:22

  Friday, July 27, Forsyth Park, Sunset 8:16

  Friday, August 3, Loughran Park, Sunset 8:09

 Friday, August 10, Hasbrouck Park, Sunset 8:00

Friday, August 17, Former Kings Inn Site, Sunset 7:50*  Ending Celebration

Movies will begin approximately 15 minutes after sunset.  Events will begin 1 hour prior to sunset.  We are still working on events that may accompany each movie night, such as music, entertainment and food vendors.