Hudson Valley Heroes

Hudson Valley Heroes are neighbors, local businesses and community leaders taking responsibility for the Hudson River Valley.

We deserve clean water and healthy air. Our children deserve parks where they can explore nature. And we all need to protect the breathtaking vistas that lift the soul as we also help preserve farmland and local family farms that provide fresh, healthy food. 

Each year, Scenic Hudson recognizes a number of Hudson Valley Heroes—special individuals and organizations making extraordinary efforts to protect the river, landscapes and communities that we love.

Here are some of their stories:

Founder of the Great Hudson River Paddle, Camilla Calhoun started a tradition that has introduced hundreds of kayakers to the river's majesty.

Attorney Max Friedman, a partner in the New York office of Goulston & Storrs, specializes in real estate development, with a particular emphasis on projects with a substantial public or non-profit component.

Susan Bolitzer helped found and is president of the Esopus Creek Conservancy, a new land trust in Saugerties, Ulster County. Uniting landowners, municipalities and conservationists, she spearheaded creation of Esopus Bend Nature Preserve.

Both founding board members of Poughkeepsie's Hudson River Rowing Association, Andy and Tracy Wright Mauer were guiding forces behind construction of the organization's spectacular new Community Boathouse.

During Clara Lou Gould's tenure (1990-2007) as mayor of Beacon, Dutchess County, the city passed a $1-million open-space bond.

Huck Hill, a resident of Red Hook, Dutchess County, and owner/broker of H.H. Hill Realty, supports land conservation and smart economic growth. In a land-saving campaign launched in his hometown, Huck worked with Scenic Hudson to make it successful.

Former Westchester County legislator and president of the Yonkers branch of the NAACP, Herman Keith has been a staunch ally in Scenic Hudson's campaign for waterfront development in this Westchester County city that provides additional opportunities for all residents to enjoy the

Each year, Hudson Valley Outfitter owner Teri Barr helps hundreds of people experience the majesty of the Hudson River firsthand.

Barry Hopkins of Catskill was a devoted art teacher and naturalist who helped create "A Greater Sense of Place," an innovative program that helped students appreciate and understand the world in which they lived.

Ken Migliorelli of Tivoli protected his family farm through a Scenic Hudson conservation easement. Now this beautiful farmland will remain as a farm forever, providing scenic beauty and wholesome local food.

Longtime Scenic Hudson supporters Jo and Peter Baer have played a vital role in our efforts to protect Clausland Mountain as the centerpiece of their beloved Rockland County landscape.

Ann Marie Palefsky always finds herself doing small things to keep the river clean.

Writer Jane Heidgerd lives in Rhinebeck and has been organizing poetry readings at Scenic Hudson's Poets' Walk Park since the park first opened in 1995.

As a 15 year-old girl, Dutchess County resident Deborah Mack joined up with Landmark Volunteers and dedicated weeks of hard labor to performing trail maintenance at Scenic Hudson's Mount Beacon Park.

Astonished that the Town of Lloyd, Ulster County, where he lives, is the only community along the Hudson that doesn’t offer residents a place to connect with the river, Matt Smith did something about it. He spearheaded a 14-year campaign to create Highland Landing Park.

Red Hook's Robert McKeon spearheaded the town's $3.5 million bond act of farmland preservation in 2003. Last year he successfully pushed for state legislation so the town could vote on a Community Preservation Fund.

In Beacon, South Avenue Elementary School’s Linda Houlihan worked with Scenic Hudson experts to develop a hands-on environmental education curriculum centered upon visits to our nearby parks.