Poughkeepsie, New York

Fostering collaboration through the revitalization of land and waterways

Poughkeepsie is Scenic Hudson’s home base, and we’re investing in multiple efforts there to connect people to place, nature, each other, and new opportunities. Our environmental justice work in Poughkeepsie is organized around the Fall Kill Creek, a tributary of the Hudson River that meanders through the city’s Northside before heading westward through downtown toward the Hudson. 

Our work along the Fall Kill has spurred numerous relationships and partnerships with community members, other nonprofits, educational institutions, local churches, and local government. This work has resulted in coalitions like the Northside Collaborative — a group of local organizations and residents working together to improve the quality of life in Poughkeepsie’s Northside — and the Fall Kill Watershed Coalition. The Fall Kill Watershed Coalition is a group of scientists, community members, students, public officials, and organizers who are developing long-term plans to improve water quality and manage flood risks along the creek.

This work aligns with community calls for transportation justice, affordable housing, climate resilience, job training, youth empowerment, fighting gun violence, food justice, increasing education opportunities, mental health, arts, and urban farming.

We work on projects to provide places for residents to enjoy being outside and coming together. 

  • Working in partnership with local community members and the City of Poughkeepsie, we built the Pershing Avenue Neighborhood Community Garden and Farm located adjacent to the Fall Kill and within the City’s Pershing Avenue Park.
    • This is the first city-sanctioned urban farm in Poughkeepsie.
    • Half of this quarter-acre property serves as a small production farm where our Urban Farmer and Assistant Grower produce hundreds of pounds of fresh organic produce every year. Food grown on this land is distributed free of cost to local families who live in the Pershing neighborhood.
    • We work closely with our long-term partner, Poughkeepsie Farm Project, on workshops and educational opportunities for local youth.
    • There are 22 raised bed garden plots available for neighborhood residents to grow their own food, herbs, and flowers.
    • The farm and community garden serves a key activation strategy for the newly restored Pershing Avenue Park, a city park that Scenic Hudson helped restore in a three-way partnership with the City and New City Parks.
  • We are transforming two derelict manufacturing plants on a contaminated brownfield along the Fall Kill in the Northside into workspace for Scenic Hudson staff. The complex will have indoor and outdoor public space for community gatherings, events, and educational activities. We are currently investigating how this project can align with economic development envisioned and led by the community.
  •  Informed by a long-term community engagement process, recently completed improvements to Malcolm X Park include resurfaced basketball courts and new hoops and backboards, new play equipment and safety surfacing, new benches, tables and grills, a new pavilion and raised garden beds, new walking paths, and new native plantings. A mural and quote by Malcolm X are envisioned to inspire others to follow his legacy.
  • Visitors and residents of Poughkeepsie can now reach many essential community assets by bike, thanks to the recent opening of the first phase of the Marcus J. Molinaro (MJM) Northside Line. The 16- to 22-foot-wide, 1.2-mile-long pathway for cyclists and pedestrians runs along a former CSX rail line from Hudson Heritage Plaza in the Town of Poughkeepsie to Parker Avenue in the City of Poughkeepsie. It gives people a safe way to go from residential areas to parks, hospitals, schools, and shops — no car required. In 2019, Scenic Hudson negotiated and funded the acquisition of the former rail corridor. The following year, the Dutchess County Legislature voted unanimously to assume ownership of the corridor.
  • As members of the Northside Collaborative, we are exploring a city-wide activation of the Fall Kill Creek corridor. Our open space initiatives along the Fall Kill intend to address the community’s desire for a safer, more inviting environment for families, children, and neighbors by co-creating new, welcoming places to enjoy the creek and its biodiversity. The Fall Kill corridor holds potential for urban trails, outdoor education and mental health benefits while providing habitat for the region’s rich array of wildlife.
  • Finally, we are working with partners to activate The Junction (164 Garden Street), located at the intersection of the Dutchess Rail Trail, the MJM Northside Line, Walkway Over the Hudson, the Fall Kill Creek, and Scenic Hudson’s future office hub.  In 2024, The Junction will serve as an outdoor classroom for the Seasons and Superheroes environmental education program, enhancing STEM understanding and promoting youth leadership in earth and climate science, gardening, and community action projects. It will also host “The Eatway,” a weekend food truck and vendor market run by StartUp PK, serving both neighborhood residents and visitors. 

For updates on our collaborative work in Poughkeepsie, visit: https://northsideconnected.com