4/19: Premiere of “Comida y tierra”, a Spanish Conversation Series on Food and Land


The Kingston Land Trust is pleased to announce its “Comida y tierra” program, an exciting collaboration with the Kingston YMCA Farm Project.  Our organizations will be hosting facilitated conversations in Spanish around land and food issues. Each session will take place once a month at one of the seven Latin restaurants along the Broadway corridor. This immersive experience will bring together native Spanish speakers and those who are learning and want to practice Spanish over a meal (not included). Our goal is to build community and awareness about the issues that affect our city in order for us all to be included and more active in developing Kingston in an environmentally responsible and socially equitable way.

Our first conversation will be held on Wednesday, April 19th from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm at Pupusería Mi Ranchito located at 614 Broadway in Kingston, NY.  Our next conversation will take place on Tuesday, May 16th at Just For You, from 6-7pm.  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Kingston Land Trust Executive Director Julia Farr at julia@kingstonlandtrust.org or call 845-877-5263

VIEW our event on Facebook.


Jessica Carolina, Waitress at Pupusería Mi Ranchito

El Kingston Land Trust (Fideicomiso de Tierras de Kingston) se complace en anunciar su programa “Comida y tierra”, una emocionante colaboración con el Kingston YMCA Farm Project. Nuestras organizaciones estarán organizando conversaciones facilitadas en español sobre temas de comida y tierra. Cada sesión se realizará una vez al mes en uno de los siete restaurantes latinos a lo largo del corredor de Broadway. Esta experiencia de inmersión en español reunirá a hablantes nativos de español y aquellos que están aprendiendo o quieren practicar su español durante una comida (no incluída). La meta es crear comunidad y conciencia sobre los temas que nos afectan para que todos seamos incluidos y más activos en desarrollar Kingston en una manera que es socialmente y ecológicamente responsable y equitativa.

Nuestra primera conversación se llevará a cabo el miércoles, 19 de abril de 6pm a 7pm en Pupusería Mi Ranchito, ubicado en 614 Broadway en Kingston, NY. Se añadirán fechas y ubicaciones adicionales. Para más información y para RSVP, por favor contacte a la directora ejecutiva del Kingston Land Trust, Julia Farr, en julia@kingstonlandtrust.org o llame al 845-877-5263

An Edible Landscape

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Notes from a Foraging Lesson

Spend just two hours observing the plant systems that surround us- experience in-depth plant identification, smell, touch, imagine, taste- and you will begin to see the entire world in a new way. You may notice a “basal rosette” interrupting a ruddy lawn, begin connecting scent with edibility and feel significantly more attuned to and part of the natural environment. Such connection to one’s natural environment is often taken for granted, but in the same way that a painter working on a house, sanding and touching up trim, begins to notice the detail and imperfections in other structures, a forager begins to see the patterns and variations of flora in their environment.

Part of it is learning the facts, like how black raspberries, “tiproot,” meaning the, “canes,” or stalks bend down to re-root in the earth thereby creating a new incarnation of the plant. And that the canes live for only two years, the first to establish itself as an adolescent and the second to create fruit before dying back in the third year, making way for the newly matured canes to fruit and continue the cycle.

The other part is just actually spending one on one time with your materials, in this case, vegetation. This means observation over time, touch, attuning oneself to the subtle differences in species that make one edible and one toxic, knowing when in the plant’s life cycle it should be harvested or how different stages and plant parts can yield different tastes and types of food. Only through time does one recognize patterns within a species, a similar leaf shape for example can inform us that Ox Eye Daisy (found in most yards this time of year) is related to the common Chrysanthemum and what medicinal use could come of that. Leaf structure, flower shape, seeding ritual-it all plays a role in plant identification and use and because the nature of life in general is impermanent and subject to irregularities, mutation and adaptation; it is a never-ending puzzle.

Thus, foraging becomes a symbol of life in general, and a fertile one at that, for it actually results in food and nourishment and connects the individual to ancient human knowledge that has been almost bred out of existence. But it is there, and there are people who have inherited that knowledge and wisdom and can share it with others.


A recent foraging walk in Accord, NY led by Dina Falconi.

On a recent walk with local foraging guru and author, Dina Falconi, I joined several other women (with some babies in tow) for a two-hour outdoor wild edibles course in Accord, NY. Dina has been studying the local flora of the Hudson Valley for 30 years and her expertise and style of educating is unparalleled. She urged us to get close to the plants and engage all of our senses when taking notes. She also warned against jumping to conclusions when identifying something and suggested observing a plant’s life cycle and growing patterns over several months, returning to certain locations over time when necessary to confirm edibility before harvesting. Some areas should be avoided altogether, for example, along major roads and the foundations of buildings.

We can learn a lot from foraging-patience, sensitivity, resourcefulness-to name a few. The most astonishing aspect of eating wild plants is how over time you can begin to link certain plants, especially the native ones, to seasonal medicinal use. Just as local honey can cure local allergies, certain plants offer particular health benefits especially at the time at which they come into season.

For more information, visit Dina Falconi’s website, www.botanicalartspress.com, where you can email her with questions, view information from her amazingly illustrated book, find recipes featuring local wild edibles and request to schedule a class or walk. When it comes to something like foraging it is really helpful to learn about what is growing and going on in the Hudson Valley (in our own backyards!), from someone who lives here. Right now, for example, we could be preparing to harvest the abundant wild grape leaves that grow and climb all over the area and are just reaching their tender peak.

Join us Wednesday, July 29th 2015 for an evening at Kingston Wine Co. with Dina Falconi and the Kingston Land Trust! Copies of Dina’s book, Foraging and Feasting will be available along with samples of some wildly-infused cocktails. Come with your foraging questions!

The Kingston Land Trust Rail Trail Committee Sponsor “Kingston Rail Trail History Walk” as part of the Hudson Valley Ramble.

The Kingston Land Trust (KLT) is sponsoring a guided walk on the northern end Walkill Valley Rail Trail this Saturday, September 22 at 9 a.m. The walk will be led by members of the KLT Rail Trail Committee, and by railroad historian Steve Ladin. Mr. Ladin will talk about the history of this railroad line and how Kingston’s fortunes were tied to this transportation corridor in the past. Members of the KLT will also speak about their plans to create a rail trail hub in Kingston where the county’s railroad lines formerly intersected.

The trailhead is on Rockwell Terrace, near the intersection of Route 32. (Look for cars parked along the road). This trail has been a mainstay of recreation between Rosendale and Gardiner since 1993. The length of the trail was nearly doubled in 2009 when Open Space Institute purchased this railroad right-of-way beginning at the Rosendale trestle and heading north to Kingston. The trestle is currently being repaired to connect these two sections of the trail. There is also a swath of the trail that crosses through the former William’s Lake property that is currently restricted, but the property owners are working with the Walkill Valley Land Trust to create a passable trail through that area. The trail runs south through Rosendale, New Paltz, and ends in Gardiner. In the near future this will amount to a 23-mile linear park, beginning in Kingston, for bicycling, running and walking.

Participants are urged to wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather. The trail is flat and mostly cleared with some muddy patches. This will be a gentle three mile walk appropriate to all ages. For more information visit this LINK on the Kingston Land Trust “Kingston Rail Trail History” Walk on the Hudson Valley Ramble website or, kingstonlandtrust@gmail.com

Wolf Pack Troop 103 Visit the Mt. Zion African-American Burial Ground in Kingston


Kingston resident Janai McDonough hosted a trip for Wolf Pack Troop 103 to the Mt. Zion African-American Burial Ground in Kingston. We were so pleased to learn of their interest and are happy to share her experience.

“Here are a few pics from my scouts field trip to Mt. Zion on 3/4. We are the Wolf Pack of troop 103 as part of our scout training and development we need to visit a historical site. The city of Kingston offers many such places for us to visit but during recent meetings we had discussed how the Mt Zion cemetary had been rededicated and a few of the boys had learned about it during a school presentation. Since this was fresh in their minds we figured visiting the cemetery would be a great way to actually see in person what we had discussed.

The scouts informed each other about the history of Mt. Zion and were very impressed by the soldiers who fought in the civil war. A few were excited to find they shared first and some last names with men who lived so long ago and they each picked a headstone that called to them and did a rubbing to take home.”

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.

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.

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.

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

The Kingston Land Trust Celebrates Black History Month with the Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery Rededication Film.

Clergy waits to be led to the ceremony.

In celebration of Black History Month, The Kingston Land Trust and the KLT African-American History Committee present the Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery Re-dedication film to Elementary school students in the Kingston School District in February. The cemetery, the second African-American Cemetery in Kingston, represents the key component of the history of the African-American Community in Kingston from the mid 19th Century and onwards.

Kingston – In honor of Black History Month, the Kingston Land Trust and the KLT African-American History Committee will present a film capturing the Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery Rededication Ceremony that took place last year on June 5th, 2011. Close to 200 people were in attendance that included family members who drove as far away as Washington DC to take part in this historic event. With the help of filmmaker Liz Joyce, The Kingston Land Trust successfully documented the afternoon.

Dedicated to outreach and education, the committee will present the film in Kingston’s Community Centers (Rondout Neighborhood Center) and to Elementary School students at St. Joseph School, Kingston in collaboration with schools in the Kingston City School district such as the GW Elementary School and Zena Elementary School. Youth will have the opportunity to view the film and participate in a short panel discussion with family members who have generations of family buried at the Mt. Zion Cemetery, the film maker, and Pastor Kenneth Walsh of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston to discuss their statement of reconciliation, an apology to the African-American community for ” our history of dehumanizing racism that allowed for the enslavement and subsequent segregation of our sisters and brothers of African descent.”

Although these events are not open to the public, if your organization or school wish to host the film in 2012, please contact Rebecca Martin, Executive Director of the Kingston Land Trust at kingstonlandtrust@gmail.com or call 845-877-LAND (5263) for more information.


About the Kingston Land Trust African-American History Committee: The Kingston Land Trust African-American History Committee is charged to uphold the integrity, accomplishments and contributions made by African-Americans who lived or are living in the City of Kingston, NY.

About the Mt. Zion African-American Cemetery in Kingston, NY: The Zion African-American Cemetery, the second African American Cemetery in Kingston, represents the key component of the history of the African American community in Kingston from the mid 19th Century onwards. The earliest documented grave is believed to date to circa 1856 while the latest is believed to be 1967, the approximate period of significance although the cemetery has been said to date back earlier. The property appears to have been deeded to the Village of Kingston in 1858. Mt. Zion Cemetery Association was formed in 1891 with the Kingston Common Council approving preparation of a deed that same year. A list of approx 90 persons known to be buried here was drawn up from research in the 1980’s. The cemetery contains names of many of Kingston’s early African American families and includes Dutch and French Huguenot surnames of Ulster County families for whom their family members had likely once served as slaves and as such forms a vital visible legacy for Kingston’s African American community. In addition, a notable number of veterans are buried in this cemetery including numerous Civil War veterans who served in the US Colored Troops, 20th Regiment. The direct association with the 20th Regiment connects the cemetery to Civil War events in and around New Orleans and Port Hudson, Louisiana which are among the places the regiment was stationed and to the Chalmette National Cemetery just outside New Orleans where some local members of the 20th Regiment who passed away while in service are buried. The cemetery has the potential and probability of illustrating lifestyle and traditions of Kingston’s African American community and encompassing important information relevant to the study of the material culture and social history of this community over an extended period and thereby reflecting historic associations from Kingston’s early period of settlement through the end of the period of significance, as well as containing the graves of members of the USCT 20th Regiment whose activities helped determine the course of events in national history during the Civil War.