Connecting residents to the outdoors and a rich history.
Indigenous people built the first settlements along the Hudson River here. From the 18th through the early 20th centuries, Kingston’s location at the mouth of Rondout Creek made it an important shipping and industrial hub.
Today, we’re collaborating with groups like the Kingston Land Trust, RUPCO, My Kingston Kids, Humanamente Kingston, Wild Earth, the Business Alliance of Kingston, and the Hudson River Maritime Museum to increase access to open space and the waterfront, reach and educate more city youth about environmental issues, and improve residents’ quality of life.
With New York State and local partners, we are engaging the public to create a vision for transforming 520 formerly industrial acres on the riverfront into a state park to be called Hudson Cliffs State Park (formerly known as Quarry Waters). It has the potential to redefine the city’s relationship with the land and the Hudson River and create a sense of ownership for the entire community. It also hosts a segment of the 750-mile Empire State Trail. Along with outstanding opportunities for recreation — including hiking, fishing and paddling — the property offers excellent potential for education, from firsthand nature studies to a learning laboratory focused on restoration of degraded landscapes. Creation of the park builds upon Scenic Hudson’s ongoing work in the City of Kingston to enhance residents’ quality of life and boost the local economy.
We are also collaborating with the Kingston Land Trust and its partner organization, Harambee, on urban land conservation strategies, like the acquisition of the Pine Street African Burial Ground, a long-overlooked final resting place for hundreds of enslaved people who lived in the area between roughly 1750 and 1860.
Additionally, we are:
- Managing an interpretive trail honoring Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and pioneering advocate for civil and women’s rights. The trail is located on nearby Shaupeneak Ridge, close to the route Truth took to escape 29 years of enslavement. Along with informing visitors about Truth’s life and work, the trail encourages them to carry on her legacy of generosity and compassion.
- Collaborating with the Hudson River Maritime Museum on the first solar-powered boat operating on the Hudson. Our support helped the museum launch Solaris, a “floating classroom” for teaching about the city’s river-based history as well as lessons in ecology, aquatic habitats and rising sea levels.
- Helping to connect Kingston youth to nature via field trips taken by city middle school students at our 376-acre Juniper Flats Preserve. Thanks to these fun outdoor adventures, hosted by Wild Earth, they forge lasting connections to nature.
- Supporting efforts by the city, businesses and others to make the Rondout district more economically and environmentally resilient.