Ashokan Rail Trail Meeting Recap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ashokan Rail Trail, first proposed in 2012 by Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, getting closer and closer to construction. When completed in 2018, it will provide 11.5 miles of a world-class public recreational trail bordering the northern edge of the Ashokan Reservoir. While motorized vehicles will not be permitted, the trail will offer access for hikers, bikers, walkers and runners, nature enthusiasts, skiers, and snowshoe devotees. It will also provide outdoor opportunities for persons with limited mobility or other disabilities.

Ulster County executive Mike Hein. Photo courtesy of the Ulster County Executive’s Office.

To share current developments with community residents, the Ulster County Planning Department held a public information meeting on December 1, 2016 at Onteora High School in Boiceville. Chris White, deputy director commissioner of the department shared a timetable for the project:

  • Preliminary engineering design and environmental review began in June, 2016.
  • Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2017.
  • Grand opening anticipated in 2018.

Those who attended the meeting were overwhelmingly in favor of the project for many reasons. It will provide a variety of healthy outdoor activities close to home. In turn, the community at large will be healthier. It will enable everyone to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. And it will be a boost to the local economy, since it’s expected to attract an additional 140,000 visitors to the area each year.

Ulster & Delaware railroad tracks looking toward the Ashokan Reservoir from the Route 28A overpass at Boiceville, NY. Photo by Tony Adamis

The Ashokan Reservoir supplies drinking water to New York City and is strictly controlled by its Department of Environmental Protection. However, the trail will follow the former Ulster & Delaware railroad corridor that runs around the northern perimeter of the reservoir.

A packed house! About 344 people attended the Public Information Meeting on the Ashokan Rail Trail project on 12/1/16. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail.

Some attendees at the Onteora meeting were concerned about dismantling the railroad bed, but it has not been used for train service in forty years. White explained that the trail is being developed with the understanding that it could also be returned to a railroad bed if the need arose in the future.

The project is budgeted at $8.5 million dollars, funded from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the state DEC, and money from FEMA. It covers surfacing the trail with crushed stone, improving drainage and regarding the former rail bed. There will be signage, fencing, and other amenities as well as three new trailheads along the route. Boiceville trestle and Butternut Creek culvert will also be replaced.

Proponents of this project have worked tirelessly since Mike Hein first proposed it. With county residents behind it and the funding in place, it’s been five years in the planning.

And it’s almost here! We’ll keep you updated on future progress, but to get the info straight from the source, visit catskillmountainrailtrail.org, or follow @FriendsOfTheCatskillMountainRailTrail on Facebook.

#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.

Interview with Kevin Smith

CIC Opening Bike Ride w Joe Martens

Community ride with then-DEC Commissioner Joe Martens celebrating the Catskill Interpretive Center Grand Opening – Summer of 2015

No, this is not an interview with the creator of Silent Bob… Instead, this Kevin Smith is the chairman behind the Woodstock Land Conservancy, the non-profit organization committed to the protection and preservation of open lands, forests, wetlands and historic sites in and around the most famous town in our county… Woodstock, NY. Even with his full plate, Kevin made time to chat with us about all things he’s conserving in Woodstock!

How did you get involved initially with the Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC)?
One of my besties, Elizabeth Lesser, used to be on WLC’s board. She knew I was interested in protecting our environment, and around 2000 she told me about WLC. She said it was a community land conservation organization doing great work and invited me to a Board meeting as a guest. Noted Woodstock artist Jean Ludins had recently gifted WLC with a beautiful small meadow on Chestnut Hill, and the Board decided to hold the meeting there to celebrate the occasion. I showed up a bit late and everyone was sitting cross-legged in the hay field. I remember thinking, “It can’t get much more local or Woodstock than this . . . ”

What are your main duties as the WLC Board Chair?
In a small hard-working land trust like WLC (or KLT) it’s very much “all hands on deck” for all our Directors. No job is too big or too small for anyone – we all do whatever needs doing to help fulfill mission, complete projects, and support the organization. That said, as Board Chair I also work closely with my fellow Directors and especially Maxanne Resnick and Patty Goodwin (WLC Executive Director and Board President respectively) – to  provide direction and leadership. My other main formal responsibility is to be a spokesperson for WLC in the community and with partner organizations, agencies and stakeholders on conservation issues and strategic initiatives, things like the Comeau Conservation Easement granted by the Town of Woodstock to the Conservancy in 2009, WLC’s response to the Niagara Bottling Proposal in 2014, and our advocacy in support of the Ulster County Rail Trail Projects (Ashokan Rail Trail and Kingston Midtown Linear Park), the Kingston Greenline and County-Wide Rail Trail Network.

Muir Woods, Marin County CA

Muir Woods, Marin County CA

What would you like to accomplish during your tenure as the Board Chair?
I’d like to see the Ashokan Rail Trail, Kingston Linear Park, and other key Kingston Greenline and UC rail trail network connectors all move to construction. On the WLC front, I’m really excited about the public opening of our newest and largest public preserve in 2017, the 123-acre Israel Wittman Nature Sanctuary. It’s located at the “corner” of the Towns of Woodstock, Saugerties, and Ulster. I’d like to see the Town of Woodstock’s recently initiated comprehensive planning process create a blueprint that builds on the many assets Woodstock has, while addressing some real issues that have emerged in recent years as more and more people have rediscovered the Mid-Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

What is the difference between a Land Trust and a Land Conservancy?
OMG – trick questions! I use them interchangeably, And I think many organizations do these days.

How is it going with your national accreditation application with the Land Trust Alliance?
Thanks for asking! We’re not quite there but we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s now in the Accreditation Commission’s hands to review. When (WLC Executive Director) Maxanne announced at our last Board meeting that she’d just received confirmation from the Accreditation Commission that the voluminous application materials we submitted in late September are complete, I literally ran around our Board meeting and high-fived all our board and staff.

Accreditation is the culmination of nearly a decade of incremental work and planning – to adopt, integrate and begin to uphold best standards and practices (S&Ps) as defined by the Land Trust Alliance into all areas of WLC’s activities and work. Accreditation isn’t the sexiest part of our work but it’s a critically important ‘milestone’ for us as a professional land trust – especially for the part of our mission that involves accepting and holding conservation lands in the public trust and in compliance with all IRS regulations. So while we haven’t reached the finish line, I’m incredibly proud of the work our staff and board members have done over many years to get us to this point.

Continue reading Interview with Kevin Smith

Kingston Greenline Update

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The Kingston Greenline is an ambitious program of the Kingston Land Trust that aims to complete a network of area rail trails and complete streets to improve the quality of life of area residents. There has been some significant progress over the past few years to reach that goal.

The rail ties have been removed along the Kingston Point section of the trail beginning in Midtown and ending at Kingston Point. When that work was complete, there began weekend volunteer cleanup events to keep the trail open until construction of the paved trail could begin. This year also saw the roll-out of the Urban Trail Rangers program where every other week volunteers would meet to inspect or clear a section of the trail when necessary.

If all goes according to plan construction of the Kingston Point section of the trail should begin in the spring with a city meeting to discuss the future of Broadway as a complete street between now and then which could see the kickoff of that project as well. Already sharrows have been designated on Cornell St. and Foxhaul Ave to the trail-head behind Rondout Savings with bike route and Kingston Greenline signage.

It’s only going to get better from here, so hopefully we’ll see you at one of our Weekend Wanders so you can see the progress firsthand.

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Scott McIntosh is a mechanical design engineer, 10 year Kingston resident and Kingston Land Trust board member who enjoys everything the area has to offer more each day.

The Kingston O&W Rail Trail

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Did you know that there is a rail trail that starts in the City of Kingston and goes south to Stone Ridge and beyond?

You may have known about the Hurley Rail Trail that goes south but did you know that there is also a connection to Kingston? The trail-head in Kingston for the O&W Rail Trail is on Washington Avenue next to the Super 8 Motel parking lot behind the Daily Freeman building.

This rail trail has officially been there a long time as the D&H Canal Heritage Corridor Alliance signed license agreements as early 1993 that allowed for public use of the trail through the City of Kingston, Town of Ulster and Town of Hurley.

I started using the O&W trail between Kingston and Hurley in 1982 for bicycling when I got my first mountain bike. Over time the trail between Kingston and Hurley became progressively more overgrown and that hindered the use of the trail. Conditions got so bad by the early 2000s, that to preserve my own skin I started using a machete to keep the single track trail clear. Those trail conditions kept public utilization very low and the trail was not widely promoted. This is a shame as there is a lot of good wildlife habitat along the trail so there is a wide variety of wildlife to see.

Fast forward to April 22, 2012: It was on that date at the Super 8 Motel parking lot that I first met the Kingston Land Trust. I showed up there in response to a notice in the newspaper that there was going to be a trail cleanup on the O&W. From my perspective at the time I was delighted to have help clearing the trail!

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Cleaning up the trail

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A volunteer lending a hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things have changed a lot since that day in April 2012! Since then we have had volunteer help from myriad volunteer groups to clear the trail. The net result is that the brush and trees are now cut back and the grass mowed in the Kingston segment. O&W Trial signage is now being installed at access points along this section. With care, a casual rider can now ride just about any type of bicycle between Kingston and Hurley.

ow3w ow4wow2wow1wBut it gets even better! In the past year the O&W Municipal Coalition was formed to promote the trail from Ellenville to Kingston. Maps, signs, and brochures for the trail are in development now. Ulster County is also in the process of planning the development of the Kingston and Hurley section into a paved multi-use, ADA compliant, trail. It is anticipated that construction may start in 2017.

If you wish to use this section of the O&W Rail Trail there is trail head parking in Hurley on Route 209 by the Esopus Creek. In Kingston there is public parking on Hurley Avenue. Of course cycling or walking to the O&W trailheads is welcome and encouraged!

John Grossbohlin is a veteran long distance touring bicyclist who works on trail and Complete Streets projects with Kingston Land Trust, Friends of the Catskill Mountain Rail Trail, and Bike Friendly Kingston. He also represents the City of Kingston on the O&W Rail Trail Coalition of Municipalities committee, and serves on the city’s Complete Streets Advisory Council.

A Sharrowing Experience

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As a bike-commuting pastor my job takes me all over the city of Kingston on a regular basis as I travel to the Church building and visit church members in hospitals, nursing homes, and in their homes. Kingston is a very bike-able city. A little over three weeks ago some new road markings appeared on the roads (Cornell, Ten Broeck, Foxhall, and Jansen) that I travel to get to Redeemer Lutheran Church: sharrows, or Shared Lane Marking as Section 9C.07 of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) calls them. I was so excited I put a picture of one of them up on Instagram. I’ve lived in Kingston and served Redeemer Lutheran Church for six years now and because of my family’s commitment to being a single car family mostly for ecological reasons I do a lot of biking year round. Currently, I bike commute Sunday through Wednesday the 1.5 miles between our home and the Church building.

In these six years, I’ve had some unique interactions with fellow bicyclists and drivers; a bicyclist going against traffic instead of with it; a driver telling me to use the sidewalk because “that’s what they are there for.” I’ve had some close calls with the distracted driver or two and the occasional door opening into my path but for the most part my commuting has been safe. And I’ve also seen an increase in bike commuting. The range of people commuting by bike these days is impressive considering where it was when I moved here. People bike commute for various reasons ranging from the sheer love of riding a bike to the financial reason of not being able to afford car insurance because of their income.

That’s where investing in bike infrastructure comes in. For me, investing in bike infrastructure is  not just about my safety but about creating complete streets for everyone who uses them. One of the easiest ways for a community to invest in bike infrastructure is through sharrows. According to the MUTCD sharrows alert bicyclists and motorists to a shared lane environment; help bicyclist navigate through a municipality in a safer manner, reduces the incidents of sidewalk and wrong way bicycle riding; and advertises the presence of bike-way routes to all users. Anecdotally, over the past three weeks I have seen safety improvements on my bike commute.

Although sharrows are an investment in making our streets safe for all who use them, there is at least one recent study that suggests sharrows do not increase bicycle safety. Although sharrows are not perfect they do play a role in raising awareness about the presence of bicyclists and moving a community toward a more comprehensive complete streets plan. But of course, still the most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings as a bicyclist and a driver. Bike and drive defensively, safely, and graciously.

Jim Rowe is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kingston, NY and an avid biker, commuting most days and enjoying long rides into the Catskills on his days off. He starting biking 17 years ago as a freshman in college because of a young woman who later became his wife and hasn’t stopped biking since. He hopes to pass his love of biking onto his young daughter.

All about the Snowflake Festival

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All of Uptown Kingston will kick off the holiday season which includes something for everyone on Friday December 2nd from 6-8pm.

The Kingston Uptown Business Association (KUBA) presents the 4th Annual Snowflake Festival to be held in the Historic Stockade Business District of Uptown Kingston on Friday, December 2nd, from 6-8pm. The major sponsors for this year’s festival include Mainetti, Mainetti & O’Connor, WBPM 92.9 and Ulster Savings Bank.

Arriving in a historic fire truck, Santa will light the tree at the corner of Wall and North Front Street promptly at 6pm. Right behind Santa will be this year’s 2016 Light Of Uptown Award recipients Ed & Bill Ford who will be arriving in a vintage 1937 Ford.

The festival’s main stage, located at Wall and John St., will have FREE performances from Music Together, CCE’s Engery & Pook, Coleman HS Chorus, KHS Brass Band, and Ukraine Dancers, and a magician along with a bike raffle, all of which will begin promptly after the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Throughout the celebration in other parts of the Historic Stockade District The Ice-Man will be creating a magnificent snowflake display with dancing lights and music, and Mrs. Claus will be performing her holiday magic show (with puppets!), and The Heat-Miser will be juggling fire which was a crowd pleaser at last year’s Snowflake Festival. Victorian Carolers will stroll the streets filling air with music and holiday spirit.

Under the canopy, many shops and businesses will be joining in the festivities offering crafts, hot chocolate, cookies and even a photo booth to capture your holiday memories with family and friends.

Once again the Senate House will be a winter wonderland of lights and beauty where you can:

  • Stroll the grounds and tour the Loughran House so elegantly decorated for the season
  • Visit with Santa in the Yorker Barn then take a horse drawn carriage ride
  • Enjoy chestnuts roasting over an open fire and hot apple cider
  • Delight in Christmas Carolers singing holiday music

The Fireman’s Museum will also be open handing out treats and a place to warm up and learn about Kingston’s historic Fireman’s heritage and to register for their Power Wheels Raffle.

Make your reservations early for one of the many Uptown restaurants after a fun evening of holiday cheer.

Click here for more information.

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Interview with the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo founder, Danielle Bliss

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We love stationery, letterpress, the Hudson Valley and shopping locally! Put it all together and you have the personal and business philosophy of Ulster Co’s very own Danielle Bliss. We were thrilled to chat with Danielle to learn about her letterpress business and the Hudson Valley Hullabaloo, the annual shopping market now in its 4th year.

Tell us a bit about your business, Wishbone Letterpress.
Wishbone Letterpress is a custom graphic design and letterpress printing studio. Letterpress printing is a printing process that involves antique printing presses, cotton paper, and a raised printing plate. The printing process creates an impression that is pushed down into the paper. We do a lot of wedding invitations, business cards, and social stationery. My husband and I also have a sassy greeting card and product line that we sell to stores all over the world, and online. We write all of the copy, design and print all of our products.

What’s it like being a small business owner in Ulster Co?
It’s great, and can be difficult at times. Some of the companies that we rely on for press maintenance type things, don’t exist in this area. But other than that we have a really supportive business community and great local customers who appreciate what we do.

What made you start the Hullabaloo shopping event?
My husband and I traveled all over to sell our greeting cards at indie craft markets all over the North East. After participating in our first market ever in 2011, in Portland Maine, we asked ourselves why there wasn’t something like that event in Kingston? The market was hip and fun, there was music and food, and shoppers hung out all day. So while participating in markets for a few years, we took notes on what made for a good market, and organizationally what worked well, and came up with a plan for the Hullabaloo.

What’s your criteria for picking vendors?
When jurying the Hullabaloo I look for companies who are really engaged in their work and are committed to their craftsmanship. I look for high-quality, well-made, design-focused products that are unique, modern, and giftable. The curation process is really about finding a good mix of diverse vendors. We get a lot of applications from jewelers and ceramic artists.

Why do you think the local, hand-made quality of products is so important?
It’s important because first of all, local handmade products are usually better quality and are made to last. It’s something that you’re going to hold on to, and possibly pass down to future generations. But it’s also important to support small business, small businesses often buy their materials locally, supporting local farms and material suppliers. I think a lot of local small businesses, myself included, started businesses of their own because there is a lack of well paying jobs in this area outside of healthcare, and education. And now a lot of these small businesses are creating jobs.

How has Hullabaloo grown over the years?
The Hullabaloo has grown in size, we started out the first year with 47 vendors, each year we’ve grown a little, now we’re up to 75ish. And then there’s little things in terms of growth, more decorations, more special features, each year we hope to make the event a little more magical.

With everything from Hullabaloo to the Phoenicia Flea and Smorgasburg, where do you see the future of these hip, independent markets going?
I see the movement growing and hopefully working together to bring about more awareness about local makers in the area.

What part of the Kingston Greenline are you most excited about?
I’m excited for the Rondout section.

What are some of your fave outdoor activities in Ulster Co?
I’m a big fan of the swimming holes in the Catskills.

Where are some of your favorite places to explore in Kingston?
One of my favorite parts of Kingston is Midtown. There’s always something that you didn’t see before, an empty storefront or industrial building just waiting for a new life. I’m excited to see the eventual transformation of the area.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business.
Dream big and work hard, anything can be figured out.

SPEED ROUND:
Fave Color: Bright Yellow
Fave Movie: I don’t have a favorite.
Fave Song: “I’ll believe in Anything” by Sunset Rubdown, although that version only exists on youtube.
Fave Food: It’s a toss up between tacos and sushi
Fave Book: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

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Danielle and her husband Joe

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The Hudson Valley Hullabaloo