Looks forward to partnering with village, state on potential public uses
For Immediate Release
Riley Johndonnell, Director of Communications:
ATHENS (Greene County) — Providing the potential for exciting new river-based recreation in the Village of Athens, Scenic Hudson has acquired six acres of waterfront land. In addition to 1,000 feet of river frontage, the site contains an 8,000-square-foot warehouse that could be repurposed for uses that enhance people’s connection to the river.
For decades, the land has been an industrial site, including operations to distribute fuel oils and road salt. More recently, it had been proposed for a construction and demolition debris transfer facility. Scenic Hudson’s acquisition aligns with its long history of transforming formerly industrial land into public parks accessible to all.
“This land offers outstanding opportunities to enhance access to the Hudson in one of the valley’s most historic riverfront communities. Scenic Hudson looks forward to collaborating with the Village of Athens, New York State, and local partners as we explore ways to restore the land’s natural beauty and maximize the recreational and economic benefits it can provide,” said Seth McKee, executive director of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust, Inc. and Land Programs.
“The potential of turning this industrial site into a place for residents and visitors to connect with the Hudson River and the maritime history of our village is truly exciting, and I’m grateful to Scenic Hudson for making this feasible by acquiring the land. Thanks to the organization’s longtime commitment to collaboration, I’m also confident that community input will help guide its future plans for public access and enjoyment,” said Athens Mayor Amy Serrago.
Land adjoins state boat launch lacking direct river access
The land adjoins the Athens State Boat Launch, which is located on Murderers Creek, a Hudson River tributary. The launch has been targeted for improvement as part of the state’s Hudson Eagles Recreation Area, envisioned to increase communities’ connections to their waterfronts and create new destinations for visitors by expanding river access and enjoyment at six state boat launches between the cities of Rensselaer and Hudson.
The site also plays a role in sustaining wildlife and offering climate solutions. Tidal wetlands not only furnish irreplaceable habitat for fish and other animals, but buffer surrounding properties from rising sea levels and flooding from extreme storm events occurring with greater frequency.
The acquisition supports the federal goal of conserving 30% of the nation’s open land by 2030, helping to reverse the impacts of climate change and biodiversity decline, and to increase access to nature for communities. Scenic Hudson’s funding for the transaction came from its Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Hudson Valley Land Preservation Endowment.