ULSTER PARK – The 96-acre Esopus Meadows
Park and Preserve became more accessible to visitors over the weekend,
when it unveiled nearly $400,000 in improvements to the resource, located
alongside the Hudson River in Ulster Park. The event featured food, music,
hula hoops, remarks from officials, and a pigeon launch.
Steve Rosenberg, Scenic Hudson; Heather Blaikie, Scenic Hudson park designer; and Esopus Supervisor Kyle Barnett, cut the ribbon
Breathtaking views of the Esopus Lighthouse are available at that location. The Town of Esopus has the longest amount of Hudson River shoreline between New York City and Albany. But for many years access to the river was in short supply.
The improvements were coordinated by Scenic Hudson, using its own resources plus $175,000 from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund. Featured in the work is a new 12 x 25 foot, flood resistant, multi-use outdoor pavilion.
Fran Dunwell, director of the state DEC’s Hudson River Estuary Program, said her agency released its five-year statewide plan earlier this year.
“It includes making the river more accessible, making our access more resilient to storms and sea level rise, making our access to people of all ages and all abilities, making sure wherever possible we meet the standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act,” Dunwell said. “So we are going to commit ourselves for the next five years to taking all of our parks and improving them in those ways.”
Also included in the Esopus project are new disabled parking and trailhead amenities, to make the park compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.
“We’re tremendously proud today to dedicate this new extremely beautiful, more resilient pavilion,” said Steven Rosenberg, executive director of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust. “We hope this special site will continue to inspire and excite everyone who visits it.”
“I happen to think that the Town of Esopus has some of the most beautiful landscape in the entire Hudson Valley region,” noted Esopus Supervisor Kyle Barnett. “It’s just an amazing town in terms of the natural resources that we have.”