L-R: Hein, Schumer, Rolison (podium)
HIGHLAND – U.S. Senator Charles Schumer visited the Highland side of the Walkway Over the Hudson on Tuesday, to tour the new westside Welcome Center which opened last week – and also talk about outer space.
He was joined by Ulster County Executive Michael Hein, Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison, and officials from the Walkway organization.
“The word of the Walkway has spread around the globe, and soon it will be intergalactic,” Schumer said, calling the linear park, built atop a decommissioned railroad trestle, a national gem, attracting tourists worldwide, alongside local New Yorkers.
The senator expressed enthusiasm for a new astronomy program, named Starwalk, allowing visitors free evening access to the Walkway, to view heavenly objects through telescopes. “It’s out-of-this-world,” he laughed.
Co-sponsored by local colleges, planetariums, and astronomy clubs, among others, the idea is to get people interested in science, and beyond. Schumer promised to lean on the federal space agency, NASA, to send an astronaut on a promotional mission to boost interest in the Starwalk events.
“Imagine how exciting it would be, for a child to look out into space, while talking to someone who’s been there, this will resonate,” Schumer said. “I’d like to try and get them to do it on an annual basis, as well.”
Hein joked that Mayor Rolison should lower the lights in Poughkeepsie, so that stargazers could discover new planets in the dark skies above the Hudson River. Rolison said he would see what he could do.