Funding Secured for New Hudson River Park (NY)

TOWN OF MARLBOROUGH, N.Y. 10/1/2009: Thanks to a unique public-private partnership led by The Trust for Public Land, a former industrial property along the Hudson River will be transformed into a park. This new community asset will provide the first public river access in the Town of Marlborough and feature panoramic views of the river as well as hiking and boating opportunities. Announcement of the new park is especially meaningful as it occurs during statewide Quadricentennial celebrations for the anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the river.

Creation of the park-to be named Milton Riverfront Park-is possible thanks to a resolution passed by the Town, a $500,000 grant from Scenic Hudson, and $500,000 from New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund grant program managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).

“To be a Hudson River town with no place for the community to enjoy the river has been extremely frustrating,” said Marlborough Supervisor Al Lanzetta. “Thanks to the hard work of our project partners, we are now blessed with a new park that will give us our first public access to the Hudson River!”

The 14.5-acre property in the Hamlet of Milton became the subject of a potential conservation deal after landowner Suburban Propane completed approved remediation of the property in 2006 and decided to sell the property in 2007.

In 2008, The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national conservation organization with a long history supporting New York State conservation priorities in the Hudson River Valley, was invited by the Town of Marlborough to help secure the property for the Town’s long-term goals of revitalizing access to the Hudson River waterfront. The conservation purchase moved forward with the funding commitment by the OPRHP and Scenic Hudson-which itself has helped create more than 40 parks and preserves along the Hudson. For OPRHP, Milton Riverfront Park complements its award-winning system of 169 state parks and efforts to assist municipalities create parks that help revitalize waterfront communities.

“The creation of Milton Riverfront Park reflects well on the strong partnerships that converge for conservation along the Hudson River,” said Leslie Wright, New York State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “Everyone-the Town, the New York State Office of Parks, Scenic Hudson, TPL-had important roles to play, and now we can celebrate a great new place to enjoy New York’s great river.”

The Suburban Propane property is identified as a priority project in the New York State Open Space Plan because it provides a means of creating public access to the river. Several groups ranging from Scenic Hudson to the Town of Marlborough indicated a strong interest in protecting the property from potential development and conversion to residential use.

“Scenic Hudson is delighted to be part of this special partnership to establish the Milton Riverfront Park,” said Steve Rosenberg, senior vice president of Scenic Hudson. “This past year in honor of the Quadricentennial, we have provided catalyst funding to help numerous communities develop parks along the Hudson. We’re especially proud of this project, knowing that local residents and elected officials have led this effort to create the Milton Riverfront Park, which will be a real gem along the Hudson. We also appreciate TPL’s role because only through collaboration among conservation groups can we succeed in our common goal of saving the land that matters most.”

“The goal of the Environmental Protection Fund grants program is to spur the creation of parks in communities across the state,” said Carol Ash, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. “I am especially pleased to see the Town of Marlborough creating a waterfront park in this year of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage up the river that bears his name.”

From 1939 until 2001, the Suburban Propane property was a petroleum storage terminal licensed by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The terminal was used to store oil transported by ships and barges up the Hudson River. The site’s access to deep water allowed large vessels to connect to a pipeline that pumped petroleum across the rail line up to aboveground storage tanks located on the upper part of the property. In 2001, the terminal and storage facility were dismantled, and the storage tanks were removed. Upon closure of the facility, remedial action was undertaken based on a plan approved by the DEC and completed in 2006. The property was listed for sale in 2007.

The acquisition of the Suburban Propane property for conservation is consistent with TPL’s mission of conserving land for people, since it contributes to a greenway of parks along the Hudson River, which will allow for greater public access and recreational opportunities in the region.

TPL has a long history supporting conservation throughout the Hudson River Valley with more than 51,000 acres protected, including recent acquisitions at Torne and Ticeteneyck Mountains, and more than 21,000 acres within the Sterling Forest Highlands.

The Trust for Public Land, established in 1972, is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Across the nation, TPL has helped protect more than 2.8 million acres. In New York, TPL has helped conserved 125,000 acres. In only the last few years, TPL has helped conserve the Grasse River Forest in the Adirondacks, add parkland and improve park access in the Hudson Valley, Highlands and Finger Lakes region, create new state parks on Long Island’s North Fork and in Brooklyn, and create parks and playgrounds in New York City. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve its land for people mission.

Scenic Hudson works to protect and restore the Hudson River and its majestic landscape as an irreplaceable national treasure and a vital resource for residents and visitors. The group’s top priority is its campaign to Save the Land That Matters Most, which was launched in 2007 to provide a lasting way of commemorating the Quadricentennial. The campaign is a collaborative effort with fellow land trusts, governments, individuals and business to protect 65,000 acres of great scenic, ecological and agricultural significance throughout the Hudson Valley. Scenic Hudson also pursues its campaign to Save the Land That Matters Most realizing that preserving land provides the cornerstone of a sustainable economy for the region.