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New Amenities Under Construction at Long Dock Park

Jay Burgess
Director of Communications, Scenic Hudson, Inc.
Tel: (845) 473-4440 x222 Cell: (914) 489-0362 Fax: (845) 473-0740

Project will complete $16-million riverfront transformation

BEACON (Dutchess County)—Making Scenic Hudson’s Long Dock Park even more inviting to Beacon residents and visitors—and enhancing their enjoyment of the Hudson River—construction has commenced on the final phase of park development. The exciting landscape and design features will provide park-goers with access to a formerly industrial four-acre riverfront parcel long off-limits to the public.

The new amenities include facilities for food trucks; a shaded plaza for informal dining; shade pavilions, lawns and a native-plant meadow; and a boardwalk and river overlook deck.

Transitional Builders, Inc., of Staatsburg, is serving as general contractor for the $2-million project and constructing the amenities. Blacktop Maintenance Corp. of Poughkeepsie is undertaking the landscaping and other site work. Both firms were chosen through a competitive bidding process. Scenic Hudson Senior Park Planner Meg Rasmussen and Parks Project Manager Joseph Kiernan are overseeing the eight-month project.

The park will remain open for public enjoyment. However, visitors should be aware that construction vehicles will be entering and exiting the property and exercise appropriate caution.

“Scenic Hudson looks forward to expanding Long Dock Park for Beacon residents and visitors to connect with what some have called Beacon’s ‘Central Park on the Hudson River.’ We appreciate all the public input and support we received while designing this last phase of park development. This will ensure the new public space is fun and engaging for everyone in the community. We also are exploring new ways to educate people about the Hudson River and the need for citizens to be involved in creating healthy, vibrant riverfronts,” said Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President Steve Rosenberg.

“At the American Center for Folk Music, we applaud the plan to fully develop the space directly adjacent to the River Center, as we all look forward to the beautiful, sunny afternoons experiencing music and the river, and all the beauty the Hudson River brings to us year-round,” said American Center for Folk Music President David A. Ross.

“Dia:Beacon has an idyllic location, overlooking the Hudson River. Scenic Hudson has already done so much to restore the riverfront and make it an asset for the Beacon community and beyond. We are so happy that they want to continue their remarkable efforts and look forward to offering our visitors expanded options for planning a visit to Beacon,” said Dia Art Foundation Director Jessica Morgan.

“Scenic Hudson’s planning process was thoughtful, thorough and inclusive of all corners of our small, diverse city,” said Beacon Arts Community Association President Kelly Ellenwood.

“This project will be another enhancement to the City of Beacon on behalf of a diverse community, and in support of the environment,” said Beacon resident Flora Jones.

From industrial decay to riverfront gem

When work is completed, it will mark the end of more than a decade of work and a $16-million public-private investment to turn this 19-acre former industrial site into a community asset that supports Beacon’s revitalization.

Prior to Scenic Hudson’s acquisition of the riverfront land in 1996, it had served as an oil storage facility and a junkyard. The organization oversaw the removal of more than 75 dump-truck loads of debris, including bricks, tires and scrap metal. Severely degraded wetlands had become overrun with poison ivy and invasive plants. A cleanup approved by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) ensured that polluted soils were remediated.

Today, Long Dock Park features rehabilitated wetlands, a kayak/canoe beach and storage pavilion, waterside trails, picnic areas and a fishing pier. A historic red barn has been restored and transformed into Scenic Hudson’s River Center. It serves as home to the American Center for Folk Music and also plays host to community events and Scenic Hudson environmental-education programs. Mountain Tops Outfitters, based in Beacon, operates a paddle-sport concession offering kayak rentals and Hudson River tours from the kayak pavilion. Both facilities were designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

About Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the inspirational power of the Hudson River, while fighting threats to the river and natural resources that are the foundation of the valley’s prosperity. A crusader for the valley since 1963, we are credited with saving fabled Storm King Mountain from a destructive industrial project and launching the modern grass-roots environmental movement. Today with more than 25,000 ardent supporters, we are the largest environmental group focused on the Hudson River Valley. Our team of experts combines land acquisition, support for agriculture, citizen-based advocacy and sophisticated planning tools to create environmentally healthy communities, champion smart economic growth, open up riverfronts to the public and preserve the valley’s inspiring beauty and natural resources. To date Scenic Hudson has created or enhanced more than 65 parks, preserves and historic sites up and down the Hudson River and conserved nearly 40,000 acres.