(Albany, NY) Mark Castiglione, Acting Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway
, announced the approval of a $10,000 Greenway matching grant to the City of Newburgh
, a Greenway Community
, for development of a community agricultural land use and natural resource plan. The grant was approved at a recent meeting of the Greenway Boards.
The funding will enable the City of Newburgh, in partnership with PathStone Community Improvement of Newburgh
, to develop a community agricultural land use and natural resource plan for vacant open space within the city. This initiative will lead to rehabilitation, preservation and conservation of city-owned vacant space as urban farms, community gardens and habitat areas. In turn, this will empower residents in addressing community nutrition and food insecurity, promoting local growing and sourcing, and encouraging new types of economic development. The plan will assess city-owned vacant space for contaminants, physical characteristics, natural resource protection and community amenities conducive to farming, horticulture, and aesthetics and strategically promote Newburgh as a Greenway community. This effort will build upon collaborations between federal, state, county, and city agencies as well as nonprofit organizations that connect regional farmers to market opportunities and residents to training opportunities.
City of Newburgh Mayor Nicholas Valentine stated, “Any support that we can get to make our neighborhoods more inviting, and involve our community, especially our children in the process, is most welcome. This project has added benefits because it will also emphasize the importance of eating healthy, and instill a sense of pride and ownership in those who participate. We very much appreciate PathStone and their many community partners for their efforts to distinguish the City of Newburgh as a Greenway community and improve the quality of life of our residents.”
Castiglione stated, “Cities like Newburgh with pockets of vacant land that, when used for urban farming, produce multiple health, social, and economic benefits. The City of Newburgh, in partnership with PathStone Community Improvement, is taking an important step in changing the perception of agriculture in this area Hudson River Valley. This new paradigm will serve as a model to other communities that want to benefit from the quality and variety of locally produced agriculture products but do not fit the traditional idea of a farming community.”
Madeline Fletcher of PathStone Community Improvement of Newburgh, stated “With this generous grant, we are pleased to be able to connect our commitment to the Greenway Compact with the acute need to better manage vacant land, increase food security, and build community in the City of Newburgh. A public process to plan the creation of more urban gardens will reflect the skills, needs and assets of our City and enhance our ability to capitalize on the cultural, historic and economic spirit of the Hudson Valley. PathStone, with our many partners—the City of Newburgh, Glynwood Inc.
, Orange County Land Trust
, Downing Park
, Urban Farmers League
, Orange County Planning
, Orange County DOH
, Office of Congressman Hinchey
, Community Voices Heard
, Groundwork Hudson Valley
, and community members--we have already hit the ground running!”
Virginia Kasinki, Director of Community Based Programs for Glynwood
, stated “Glynwood is excited to collaborate with PathStone and its other partners in the City of Newburgh to create more opportunities for urban farming and to increase access of locally grown food for city residents.”
The Hudson River Valley Greenway is a unique state-sponsored program established by the Greenway Act of 1991. Presently, 269 out of the 324 eligible municipalities within the Greenway area have joined the Greenway. The Greenway is designed to encourage Hudson River Valley communities to develop projects and initiatives related to the criteria of natural and cultural resource protection, regional and local planning, economic development, public access to the Hudson River (as well as other regional and local resources), and heritage and environmental education. It provides technical assistance and small grants for planning, capital projects, and water trail and land-based trails that reinforce the Greenway Criteria. In keeping with the New York tradition of home rule, the Greenway program has no regulatory authority. The participation of municipalities in Greenway programs and projects is entirely voluntary.