#friendraisers

Having a great time at our final 2016 Gather at The Beverly!

MARCH – IT’S TIME TO GATHER!

This year, we’re holding four Gathers – March, May, August and November – and they’re always a great time! Date, time and place are still being firmed up for our first KLT Gather of 2017 so we’ll follow up with details soon. We hope you’ll come on out and have some fun with us!

Gathers are held at local restaurants/bars and are open to the public. They’re a great way to find out more about what we do. We’re grateful for any donations that come to us at these social gatherings… We call them friend-raisers because you’ll meet some really great new people, reconnect with friends, and get to know Kingston’s community leaders.

If you own a venue, and you’d like to host a Gather, we’d love to hear from you. We attract a really nice crowd of people of all ages. People order from your regular menu and Gathers are a wonderful way to expand your clientele in exchange for the generosity of offering your space and a contribution (normally 10% of your bar register).

Kingston Mayor Steve Noble with Andi Turco-Levin (KLT Board Chair) and Kevin McEvoy (KLT Board member)

Tim Weidemann (KLT advisor) and Kristen Wilson (KLT Board member)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WE APPRECIATE OUR DONORS

In December, we held our annual Donor Appreciation event at the beautiful Shadow Lawn in High Falls, and it was, once again, a very special way to celebrate the end of another year. These festive social occasions allow us to deepen our relationships with people who are already supportive of our work and to thank them for their generosity. Over the past couple of years, these events have attracted three new Board members and numerous volunteers who have joined our committees. At our invitation-only event this year, a new KLT supporter contributed an in-kind donation of office space and conference room facilities for a year.

David Cavallero has been a Board member for two years and is active on the KLT Events Committee. He and his partner, Dan Giessinger, own Shadow Lawn, which is normally reserved for weddings and special occasions – so they know how to throw a great party! “It’s a really fun evening, and especially enjoyable to share it with so many people with shared values,” says Cavallero. “This year, we made a decision to forego having a formal presentation like we did in 2015 and instead, set up tables around the room with materials about the work of the Kingston Land Trust so people could browse at their leisure. It was much more social and festive – and the food was awesome. We also held it at an earlier time so everyone could accept invitations to other holiday parties that evening.”

Volunteers helping to keep the trail clean and beautiful.

Clean Sweep… A great group of volunteers getting the job done.

CONTRIBUTIONS ACCEPTED, ANYTIME

As a small non-profit organization, we especially appreciate contributions for general operating support. Nearly all of our grants are dedicated to restricted uses, and we also need to raise matching funds for some funding sources, so please keep us in mind when you’re making your decisions about organizations to support.

2017 is already shaping up to be a very exciting, fast-moving year for us. This time of year, we’re planning and strategizing but it will be spring before long and that means trail clean up and tilling the soil at South Pine Street Farm. We anticipate another banner year of delicious crops, and hope to host a summer event there so you can have a taste and take a look.

We hope you’ll become a friend of the Kingston Land Trust and make a donation today. It’s easy and you can send a one-time contribution or commit to a recurring monthly donation.

You can be a Protector ($25), a Connector ($50), an Activator ($100), a Sustainer ($250) or contribute any other amount. And, if you are interested in becoming a Corporate Sponsor, we’d be happy to discuss the how you can contribute to our work in exchange for publicity as one of our corporate supporters.

Thank you for all you do to support the Kingston Land Trust. We look forward to seeing you in March at our first Gather of 2017!

Debra Bresnan joined the KLT Board of Directors in April 2014, and is active on the Fundraising Committee. She’s a self-employed writer and editor who loves listening to live music, taking photographs, walking along the Rondout Promenade, gardening and traveling when she’s not fascinated by her computer screen.

Walking on Sunshine: A Walkable Neighborhood

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you enjoy living where you do? Is it because of the nearby amenities and conveniences? Perhaps you prefer to be out in the country because you love the outdoors and live an active lifestyle. The reasons can be as unique the individual but the fact is real estate values increase when there are trails nearby. Trails add so much to the community if you think about it. They are important on many levels which include recreation, transportation routes, and scenic beauty, not to mention the healthy lifestyle benefits. One of the best examples of how a trail can impact the transition of a neighborhood is New York City’s High Line on the far west side of Manhattan. The conversion of an old abandoned railroad bed turned into a pedestrian path transformed an entire neighborhood from a desolate and far removed area into a thriving enclave with new apartment buildings, restaurants, and pocket parks with trees, green space, and a connection to the Hudson River. Real estate prices have skyrocketed since the High Line’s completion and the reason for that is simple. People want convenience and an active lifestyle is a common thread from Baby-Boomers to Millennials. Having this amenity nearby is something that adds value.

The High Line, an aerial greenway, at 20th Street looking downtown; the vegetation was chosen to pay homage to the wild plants that had colonized the abandoned railway before it was repurposed

Right here in our own backyard we are seeing momentum grow as we build the Kingston Greenline. Re-purposing old industrial railroad lines that have been defunct for 40 years or more into bike and pedestrian friendly paths that will connect our neighborhoods, schools, parks, and waterfront will be a very good reason that new families and businesses will want to come here. What will follow will most certainly have an effect on real estate values. The National Association of Realtors recognizes the importance of “Walkable Communities” and how they play a vital role in economic development overall. Their most recent issue of On Common Ground is devoted to urban trails and the impacts they have. This magazine is all about “Smart Growth” and overall community planning. Of course realtors are on the front line and they recognize the impact these trails have.

The Kingston Greenline rail trail at Kingston Point / Hudson River

People travel from around the globe for the opportunity to stand over the Hudson River for world class views from the Walkway Over The Hudson, or to ride through stunning scenery along the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. Soon, for the first time in over 100 years, private lands will be available to the public on the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail that will run through the Ashokan Reservoir lands with views that have inspired many artists over the centuries.  Wouldn’t you like to have all this right out your back door?

Make sure to check out the amazing Kingston Greenline Project Status Map.

Click here to read our recent interview with Andi Turco-Levin.

Kingston On The Move

Kingston Greenline project status as of August 2017.

Kingston Greenline project status as of August 2017.

The seeds were sown for the Kingston Greenline in 2013 when the Kingston Land Trust commissioned the Kingston Point Rail Trail Feasibility Study with support of the City of Kingston and the Hudson River Valley Greenway. This study described the options for a trail from Jansen Avenue to Kingston Point Park. Not long after in 2014, the KLT commissioned another plan, the Kingston Greenline Conceptual Plan again with support of the City of Kingston and the Land Trust Alliance. This plan outlines the concept of a rail trail hub for the county and the region in the City of Kingston. The idea of the Kingston Greenline has captured the hearts and the minds of many Kingstonians and people in the region, and the City of Kingston and Ulster County have secured funding to make pieces of it a reality. Just recently at the State of the State Address, we learned that parts of the Kingston Greenline will be part of the Governor’s Empire State Trail Plan.

But how do all the sections of the Greenline fit together and what will happen when? Folks who have been involved since the beginning are patiently (or impatiently) awaiting the construction of the first section. How can project managers clearly communicate the progress of the construction projects and what the public can expect when?

Enter the new City of Kingston’s “Kingston On The Move” webpage where you can find a great new project map and status updates for each of the sections of the Kingston Greenline. Getting a project from concept to funding to construction is no easy task. Several of the projects have multiple funders, each with their own administrative requirements and timelines. And some of the projects still need more funding, so while managing existing funds project managers continue to seek new funders and partners. In my first year as the grants manager at the City, I have discovered that managing these projects is like being at a contra dance where you change hands with new partners and often come back to your original partners too. And somehow someone has to keep the end goal in mind, a symphony of movement forward to create something beautiful and to also enjoy ourselves along the way. To communicate about all the interactions that happen along the way would be impossible, but our new website aims to communicate the essence of how and when we are moving these projects forward. It also aims to bring a new level of transparency about project status to the public.

Kingston’s Mayor Steve Noble delivering his State of the City speech on January 10, 2017

Kingston On The Move is this administration’s new vision for transportation that Mayor Steve Noble unveiled at the State of the City Address on January 10th, 2017. In the past the City has not had a comprehensive vision and action plan for improving transportation to guide the maintenance, development, and build out of our transportation system. We’ve had lots of great new and current projects such as the Safe Routes to School project, the Greenkill Bridge, the Uptown Parking Lots, and all the Kingston Greenline projects, but how do these fit into a long-term vision for a better transportation system in Kingston? City staff are working with a strategic transportation planning sub-committee of the Complete Streets Advisory Council, to create this vision and a three-year prioritized action plan to guide our system’s development.  On the City webpage, within the next quarter, you’ll find an inventory of all the transportation-related plans and the City’s action plan. This group and the City will continually be looking at how we can make transportation stress-free, safe, and seamless from walking and biking to a bus to your motor vehicle. The Kingston Greenline is a significant piece of this puzzle, the spine for the future non-motorized sections of our transportation system.

So check out our new Kingston Greenline Project Status Map and the City’s Kingston On The Move website. Dig in and learn how we are moving forward. If you have a question about one of the projects or feel the project status updates are missing information, contact me at 845-334-3962 or kwilson@kingston-ny.gov or the project managers listed on the website. And remember, there are so many ways you can get involved in transportation planning. Maybe join the Kingston Land Trust Kingston Greenline Committee, the Complete Streets Advisory Council, or one of our other partners such as Bike Friendly Kingston. Or attend public meetings that will be held by the City about one of the specific projects. Together we can create a great system that works for all and have some fun dancing along the way.

For more information on the progress of the Kingston Greenline, be sure to check out the Kingston On The Move site.