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Three Reasons This Land Save Is a Plus: Athens Waterfront

Great news: This riverside land has been set aside for future positive public use.

by Reed Sparling
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With prime riverfront land in limited supply along the Hudson, public access to the storied river is vital. That’s partly why it’s so significant that Scenic Hudson has protected six acres along the waterfront in the Village of Athens (Greene County).

Although its exact future use remains to be set, this is already an environmental and community positive, limiting future development to wider public enjoyment. Plus, land saves like this support the federal goal of conserving 30% of the nation’s open land by 2030.

Here are three reasons why this acquisition makes a difference:

It has great makeover potential.

For decades, the land has been an industrial site, including operations to distribute fuel oils and road salt — and most recently, a proposal to turn it into a transfer facility for construction and demolition debris. With 1,000 feet of frontage on the Hudson River, its restoration would afford excellent opportunities for water-based recreation, aligning with Scenic Hudson’s long history of transforming formerly industrial land into public parks accessible to all. An 8,000-square-foot warehouse on the site could be repurposed for uses that enhance people’s connection to the river.

A portion of Athens waterfront land. (Photo: Scenic Hudson)

It could be a “launching pad” for river adventures.

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.

Kayaking on the Hudson. (Photo: Robert Rodriguez, Jr. / Scenic Hudson)

It supports critters and climate solutions.

Tidal wetlands on the site not only furnish irreplaceable habitat for fish and other wildlife, but also buffer surrounding properties from rising sea levels and flooding from extreme storm events occurring with greater frequency.

The federal goal that the acquisition supports — of conserving 30% of the nation’s open land by 2030 — will help reverse the impacts of climate change and biodiversity decline, and to increase access to nature for communities.

Scenic Hudson’s funding for the acquisition came from our Lila Acheson and DeWitt Wallace Hudson Valley Land Preservation Endowment.

More in this Series

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Achieving myriad scenic, ecological, and recreational benefits while strengthening local resiliency to climate impacts, Scenic Hudson has protected 180 acres...
Thanks to the conservation vision of generous landowner Gayle Bontecou and her late husband Jesse, 1,250 spectacular acres of woods,...
Ensuring the permanent conservation of irreplaceable habitats on and along Black Creek and supporting the creation of a long-distance trail...
Visiting Dover Stone Church is one of the most fascinating outdoor adventures in the Hudson Valley. Seeing the potential to create public...
A prime mid-valley destination for recreation by foot or mountain bike, Illinois Mountain also is home to an astonishing variety of wildlife....
The Hudson Highlands are an ecological powerhouse and a hiker’s paradise. To increase opportunities for people and wildlife to benefit...

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Hudson Valley Viewfinder is a collaborative, community digital magazine sharing what inspires us about the beautiful Hudson Valley. We publish original stories and multimedia content about all things sustainable in the region along the Hudson River — including agriculture, science, wildlife, outdoor recreation, green transportation, environmental justice, and more.

Our mission is to immerse you in the storied history, fresh happenings, and coming solutions for making the Hudson Valley greener and more livable long-term.

Viewfinder is published by Scenic Hudson, the celebrated nonprofit credited with launching the modern grassroots environmental movement in 1963. With over 25,000 passionate supporters, Scenic Hudson’s mission is to sustain and enhance the Hudson Valley’s inspirational beauty and health for generations to come. Viewfinder supports that mission, because the better people understand what makes this place special, the more they will invest in protecting it. 

Keep up with the latest stories by subscribing to Scenic Hudson’s monthly digital newsletter, and connect with us on social via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Threads.

Our mission is to immerse you in the storied history, fresh happenings, and coming solutions for making the Hudson Valley greener and more livable long-term.

Viewfinder is published by Scenic Hudson, the celebrated nonprofit credited with launching the modern grassroots environmental movement in 1963. With over 25,000 passionate supporters, Scenic Hudson’s mission is to sustain and enhance the Hudson Valley’s inspirational beauty and health for generations to come. Viewfinder supports that mission, because the better people understand what makes this place special, the more they will invest in protecting it. 

Keep up with the latest stories by subscribing to Scenic Hudson’s monthly digital newsletter, and connect with us on social via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Threads.

Lynn Freehill-Maye
Managing Editor
editorial@scenichudson.org 

Riley Johndonnell
Director Creative Strategies & Communications
rjohndonnell@scenichudson.org

Lynn Freehill-Maye
Managing Editor
editorial@scenichudson.org 

Riley Johndonnell
Director Creative Strategies & Communications
rjohndonnell@scenichudson.org

We’re always looking for ideas around our main topic areas of Climate Solutions, Land + Air + Water, Plants + Animals, History + Culture, Outdoors, and Community.
  • Journalists and writers who have deep familiarity with New York and the Hudson Valley, we’d love to have you contribute! Please do introduce yourself by email, sharing writing samples and any relevant pitches you may have.
  • Photographers and videographers, we’d love to hear from you and see what you do. Please send along a portfolio with images or footage that showcases your best and/or most relevant work, with an emphasis on anything captured outdoors. 
  • Illustrators, we commission artwork on the regular. Drop us a note with some of the beauty you’ve created.
  • Media Partners & Social Media Influencers, we welcome opportunities to team up on series and campaigns. Reach out with any background about yourselves and your ideas.
We’re always looking for ideas around our main topic areas of Climate Solutions, Land + Air + Water, Plants + Animals, History + Culture, Outdoors, and Community.
  • Journalists and writers who have deep familiarity with New York and the Hudson Valley, we’d love to have you contribute! Please do introduce yourself by email, sharing writing samples and any relevant pitches you may have.
  • Photographers and videographers, we’d love to hear from you and see what you do. Please send along a portfolio with images or footage that showcases your best and/or most relevant work, with an emphasis on anything captured outdoors. 
  • Illustrators, we commission artwork on the regular. Drop us a note with some of the beauty you’ve created.
  • Media Partners & Social Media Influencers, we welcome opportunities to team up on series and campaigns. Reach out with any background about yourselves and your ideas.
  • We love to collaborate with media outlets, especially on episodic series (like these) of interest to our shared audiences. Past collaborations have included radio interviews, panel discussions and other events, original artwork, and e-blasts, all furthering the campaign’s excitement and reach. 
  • We also love to partner with other organizations whose missions align with Scenic Hudson’s. Feel free to reach out with some background on your group and its work.
  • Writers, photographers, and creatives, if you have an idea for a series or content campaign that might be a good fit, drop us a line!

Businesses, please note that as a nonprofit, Scenic Hudson is restricted from advertising or promoting for-profit companies, through Viewfinder or other outlets. While we understand content managers may wish to alert us to your company’s role in a relevant topic, we are unable to add links to businesses to our stories.

  • We love to collaborate with media outlets, especially on episodic series (like these) of interest to our shared audiences. Past collaborations have included radio interviews, panel discussions and other events, original artwork, and e-blasts, all furthering the campaign’s excitement and reach. 
  • We also love to partner with other organizations whose missions align with Scenic Hudson’s. Feel free to reach out with some background on your group and its work.
  • Writers, photographers, and creatives, if you have an idea for a series or content campaign that might be a good fit, drop us a line!

Businesses, please note that as a nonprofit, Scenic Hudson is restricted from advertising or promoting for-profit companies, through Viewfinder or other outlets. While we understand content managers may wish to alert us to your company’s role in a relevant topic, we are unable to add links to businesses to our stories.

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