Press Event in Kingston on June 2nd to Inaugurate Expansion of World-Renowned Hudson River School Art Trail.


WHAT:      On Saturday June 2nd, the world-renowned Hudson River School Art Trail will expand from eight sites in New York to 17 sites in New York, two in New Hampshire, two in Wyoming, and one in Massachusetts. The Hudson River School Art Trail, launched in 2005, provides a series of hiking and driving trails that lead visitors to the places that inspired America’s first great landscape paintings, in the 19th century. The artists who created those paintings – including Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, Asher B. Durand, Sanford Gifford and many others – were part of the art movement now known as the Hudson River School and created sublime landscape images throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond.

WHO:        Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Hasbrouck Park in Kingston, one of the new sites on the Art Trail, will be:

  • Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo
  • Ulster County Executive Mike Hein (invited)
  • Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (invited)
  • Congressman Maurice Hinchey
  • Barnabas McHenry, Co-Chair of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
  • Elizabeth Jacks, Director of the Thomas Cole National Historic Site
  • Sara Griffen, President of the Olana Partnership and Acting Chair of the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley
  • Mark Castiglione, Acting Director of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area


WHEN:      Saturday, June 2nd               12:30 pm

WHERE:    Hasbrouck Park, Delaware Avenue, Kingston, NY

Contacts:           Henry Miller or Brooke Botsford, Goodman Media International, (212) 576-2700,,


Kingston Gardens in May

It’s an exciting time of year with garden projects just getting underway.   This year the Kingston Land Trust is proud to share the progress of several we’ve been working on in particular.


The Dig Kids – An Urban Farming Program

What’s new this season with the Dig Kids?  An added neighborhood ‘community’ garden that’s what!  Last year, five youth were successful in planting out and maintaining the Everette Hodge Children’s garden on Franklin Street.  Under the guidance of first generation organic farmer Jesica Clark, we have been able to successfully get the community to think of gardening as more of a lifestyle then a hobby.


The Everette Hodge Children's Garden in 2012 after it being planted out by the Dig Kids - a program of the Kingston Land Trust. Strawberries in the middle from last season were already harvested this spring.


We were fortunate enough to work out the details and to partner with the city of Kingston’s Park and Recreation Department to add three new raised beds to our program that existed, abandoned at the Van Buren Street Playground in Midtown. With the help of our partners at Croswell Enterprises  the youth have had the opportunity to use the highest quality soil for growing healthy vegetables.  Over the past two weeks, the existing soil was removed and replaced with the most artfully crafted and locally made compost.  With a few helpful hands, a fence was placed around the gardens to keep the critters out – and the youth did its first planting of vegetables and flowers.

Our Dig Kids have been joined by over a dozen neighborhood children all wanting to participate.  With the help of our newly added program coordinator Valerie Linet, Kingston Cares and the KLT, we are adding new programming on site that includes seedling plantings, cleaning of the playground equipment and even a new flower garden to accommodate our little friends.  Stop by when you have some time and offer to volunteer if you’d like.  The Dig Kids are there on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s in the afternoon.


The Van Buren Street Playground Raised Bed garden planted by the Dig Kids, a program of the Kingston Land Trust.


The Galley Community Garden

Last season, the Kingston Land Trust with the help of the Queens Galley worked to transform a small garden plot on their front lawn (that had been expertly gardened originally by Billiam van Roestenberg with a Learn and Serve Grant award) into four raised beds. With local family interest, the new project got underway.


The Galley Community Garden adopted by Mudita Yoga Studios this season.


Now in it’s second year, the Mudita Yoga Studio has adopted the beds to offer plots to their community – growing food for the Queens Galley and their families. It’s a great garden project with exciting new partnerships that include Creating Healthy Places and Cornell Cooperative Extension.


Partnerships are key.


To find out more on gardens in Kingston, visit KINGSTONCITYGARDENS.ORG

Vision for Kingston Rail Trail Becomes a Reality in the Poughkeepsie Journal

Vision for Kingston Rail Trail Becomes a Reality 
The Poughkeepsie Journal

The first rail trail in America was built way back in 1965. It was the Elroy-Sparta bike trail in Wisconsin, and it was constructed on the newly abandoned Chicago and North Western Railway.

The 32-mile Elroy-Sparta rail trail was a model for what to do with abandoned rail beds, a growing occurrence in America in the 1960s. That trend continued into the 1970s as trucks took more and more goods and services to market, and railroads streamlined and consolidated. The rail trail movement, though, was relativity slow to catch on.

By the time the national advocacy group Rails-to-Trails Conservancy began in 1986, there were only 200 rail trails in America. Today, there are more than 1,600 rail trails in the country, including several locally, with more proposed, including a big push for rail trails in the City of Kingston.

Mayor Shayne Gallo has been in office for just under six months, and both during his campaign and after he took the oath of office he has made rail trails in Kingston a centerpiece of his effort to redefine the city. Gallo envisions a rail trail hub in midtown Kingston that will connect, via a proposed rail trail on Washington Avenue in uptown Kingston, to the Hurley rail trail along Route 209. In addition, Gallo sees an eventual link to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Rosendale from the midtown hub and from there to the Hudson Valley Rail in Highland and on to the Walkway Over the Hudson and the Dutchess County Rail Trail.

Carrying the banner with Gallo for rail trails in Kingston is the Kingston Land Trust. Greg Swanzey is on the board of directors for the group and is the newly appointed director of economic development and strategic partnerships for the City of Kingston.

I asked him what the midtown rail trail hub will do for Kingston.

“It’s in the middle of the city, which is good for Kingston and certainly good for how we change our view of midtown,” Swanzey said.

Changing the view of midtown Kingston is an issue many in the city feel strongly about.

Indeed, a section of rail trail from Kingston Point to East Chester Street in midtown is already far along in the planning stage and has won widespread support from the business community and the public.

And how about the process of building a rail trail?

“In some cases when the railroad left town, they pulled up the rails,” Swanzey said. In other cases, drainage issues and culverts need to be built and the surface needs to be resolved with a variety of choices available.

“What we are looking at in Kingston is, through the Kingston Land Trust, the formation of a friends group,” Swanzey said.

He sees the group coming up with policy and operating the rail trail.

Jimmy Buff is program director and afternoon host for Radio Woodstock 100.1 WDST and is an outdoor enthusiast. Reach him at “The Green Life” is a column about local environmental issues and living a more sustainable life.

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program is Awarded Funding through Community Development Block Grant

The Dig Kids in 2012 get oriented.

The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program of the Kingston Land Trust is awarded funding from the City of Kingston’s Community Development Block Grant in 2012 .   Kingston youth have been selected this season that include Farm Assistants, Garden Mentors and Jr. Gardeners who will practice urban farming methods at two midtown locations two days a week from May through late August.

Kingston – ‘The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program”  is charged in working with Kingston youth to grow food, learn farming practices, encourage entrepreneurship, beautification, pride and good health through hands on farming experiences. Created by the Kingston Land Trust in partnership with Kingston Cares (a program of Family of Woodstock), The South Pine Street City Farm and with support from the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department and sponsored by Croswell Enterprises,  the Kingston Land Trust welcomes its youth participants in 2012.

Garden Mentors (14-21 of age) were selected during an application process and will be paid an educational stipend that include Kingston residents Jehan Senai Worthy,  Jamel Keyes,  Robert FitzgeraldDeon Edmond and Shannon Cowgill.   As part of the program’s mission, Jr. Gardeners (13 or younger) were also selected and will be mentored by the Dig Kids. 

Two Dig Kids from last season, Matthew Brownlee and Brenda Olivo were promoted as “Farmer Assistants” to the Dig Kids Program Coordinator, first generation organic farmer and founder of the South Pine Street City Farm Jesica Clark.  Clark will be joined this year by Valerie Linet of Boiceville, also a Coordinator of the program. 

“Creating opportunities for youth to get practical farming experience through the Dig Kids is key.  Last year, we found that two of our Dig Kids developed a real interest in the work and we were able to promote them to Farm Assistants in 2012,”  says Rebecca Martin, Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust. “I’m proud that our program can accommodate youth interest in this way, as it helps to illustrate the possibilities to young, budding farmers.”

Partial funding for “The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program” was awarded to the Kingston Land Trust by the City of Kingston through the Community Development Block Grant, a program that is designed to develop viable urban communities through housing, economic development, elimination of slums and blight, expansion of community services and neighborhood revitalization. 

If you are interested in “The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program” or any other of the initiatives of the Kingston Land Trust Urban Agriculture Committee visit or contact Rebecca Martin, Executive Director at 845/877-LAND or 845/750-7295.


About the Kingston Land Trust – An urban trust, the Kingston Land Trust is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to theprotection and preservation of open space, historic sites, wetlands, scenic areas, and forests in the City of Kingston and thesurrounding region to include the Town of Ulster and the Town of

About Kingston Cares –  Kingston Cares is a community collaborative sponsored by Family of Woodstock, Inc. and funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration through a Drug Free Communities grant. For more information, visit:LINK

About The South Pine Street City Farm –  The South Pine Street City Farm is dedicated to serve as a model of urban agriculture for the City of Kingston and beyond.  This small scale market garden will show that agriculture can thrive in an urban environment while also providing important educational components to encourage other farm projects throughout urban areas in the Hudson Valley.  The farm and its growers will work in partnerships with individuals and organizations in the community to achieve a farm and food based network.   With support from Binnewater Ice, Co. and the Kingston Land Trust.  For more, visit LINK

About Croswell Enterprises, Inc.-   Croswell Enterprises, LTD’s philosophy is simple: provide high quality bulk landscaping materials with old fashioned service. While their website provides a wealth of information, they welcome your calls to discuss and make recommendations for your individual project. Their products include: Dynagro Garden Soil, Dynagro Topsoil, Dynamulch, Landscape Mulch, Dynagro Super Rich Compost, Gravel and Round River Stone. Dynagro Garden Soil and Dynamulch are their most popular products. Dynagro Garden Soil is a custom blended soil,ready to plant!  Rich in organic material with a light texture and balanced ph, this soil is perfect for flower and vegetable growing. Dynamulch TM is a compost enriched mulch which can be used as a mulch or as a soil conditioner. For more information, feel free to contact their office at (845) 331-4232, visit them at or friend them on FACEBOOK

About the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department – Led by Director Kevin Gilfeather, the Kingston Parks and Recreation Department oversees Kingston’s park system and organizes many programs for residents and tourists that include boating, kayaking, youth, adult and senior programs, environmental education, adult sports and more.


The Dig Kids – an Urban Farming Program Featured in Visit Vortex Hudson Valley

The Dig Kids were featured in “Visit Vortex Hudson Valley ” this month! READ THE FULL ARTICLE

A Down to Earth Community Youth Program

Throughout the five-month, May to September, program five youth Garden Mentors are paid a stipend to work after school each week—totaling 10 hours a month at their main garden site at the Everette Hodge Center on Kingston’s Franklin Street. Youths must be 14 to 19 years to participate—and each selected Dig Kid can choose a Junior Gardener 13 years or younger to mentor throughout the program. ??Martin noted that teenagers are typically expected to do something for nothing and although it’s important to let youths know the value of volunteering, she said, “Paying the teenagers is more than an incentive; it’s also a way for them to learn to take care of themselves as many teens today work to help pay their family’s bills.”

Family of Woodstock’s “Kingston Cares” Joins the Effort

According to Martin, The Dig Kids got off the ground with the assistance of Megan Weiss, coordinator of Kingston Cares, a Family of Woodstock program. Weiss located the five teenage gardeners who live in Midtown. Weiss said that she loves her connection with the Kingston Land Trust and this program. Giving much credit to Weiss, Martin said that Weiss was instrumental in introducing The Dig Kids program to the community youth, working with families to ensure youth participation, and assisting with planning, supervision, and transportation. ??“When I first started working at the Everette Hodge Center six years ago, the current garden area was covered in weeds and was not being used at all,” said Weiss. “The first year, I worked with a few children to remove the weeds and plant a few flowers and continued to spruce up the area, but never would have realized the potential of that small garden area without the collaboration with the Kingston Land Trust.”? READ THE ARTICLE

The Kingston Land Trust and the KLT Rail Trail Committee Chooses Engineering Firm to Perform a Study of the Proposed Kingston Point Rail Trail.

The Kingston Land Trust and the Kingston Land Trust Rail Trail Committee chooses engineering firm to perform a study of the proposed Kingston Point Rail Trail.  ALTA Planning and Design were selected through competitive bidding process and will begin their work in May. 

Kingston – The Kingston Land Trust and the Kingston Land Trust Rail Trail Committee is pleased to announce the selection of ALTA Planning & Design to perform an engineering study of the the proposed Kingston Point Rail Trail, a 1.5 mile stretch of un-used former Ulster and Delaware rail bed extending from Midtown, Kingston to the Rondout waterfront as a shared use trail.   

Selected after a competitive bidding process, the firm will perform six thorough tasks on the proposed Kingston Point Rail Trail to begin in May that include a project kick off, engineering and environmental assessment, draft Kingston Point Rail Trail corridor plan, implementation plan, public involvement and a master plan of the rail bed for the Kingston Land Trust, the KLT Rail Trail Committee and its partners to utilize. 

“This study represents an exciting step toward the creation of a multi-use trail linking the Rondout and Mid-Town,” explains Tim Weidemann, Kingston Land Trust director and member of the Rail Trail Committee. “ALTA has been involved in similar studies locally, nationally and even internationally, including the Walkway Over the Hudson. They share our Committee’s conviction that trails add to the health and vitality of a community, so we’re eager to tap into their experience and knowledge. The study will help us understand how we can transform the vacant rail bed into a vibrant recreation asset that benefits the entire community.”

Funding for this project was awarded to the Kingston Land Trust by the City of Kingston through the Community Development Block Grant in support of the completion of an engineering study for converting the 1.5 mile ROW into a shared-use trail. In addition, the KLT used these funds as a match to secure funding from Hudson River Valley Greenway. In total, the KLT has secured $20,000.00 to allocate toward the development of an engineering and environmental assessment for the Kingston Point Rail Trail (KPRT). 

For more information, contact Rebecca Martin at 845/750-7295 or email:


About the Kingston Land Trust – The Kingston Land Trust (the KLT) is a 501c3 non-profit organization committed to the protection and preservation of open space, historic sites, wetlands, scenic areas, and forests in the City of Kingston and the surrounding region to include the Town of Ulster and the Town of Kingston.

About the KLT Rail Trail Committee – The Kingston Land Trust Rail Trail Committee (RTC) is a committee of the Kingston Land Trust, composed of KLT Board Members, city residents and other important stakeholders dedicated to planning, developing, utilizing, and properly maintaining rail trails and other non-motorized linkages in the City of Kingston. The Committee’s guiding vision is that the people of the City of Kingston will benefit from a network of trails, bike paths, and complete streets that connect rail trails from the Wallkill Valley, Rondout Valley, Catskill Mountains and Rondout Waterfront/Kingston Point to a Midtown Hub along the Broadway Corridor creating more opportunities for residents, families and visitors to connect with places in the city that are special to them and to interact with nature.

About Alta Planning & Design – Alta Planning & Design was formed in 1996 with the specific goal of offering the best possible services in the areas of sustainable transportation and recreation. Today, Alta has over 60 staff in 14 offices nationwide and an international workload. On any given day, most staff walk, bike, or take transit to work. They are committed to transforming communities, one trip at a time, one step at a time, and one street, path, intersection, and park at a time.