Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association Receives $125,000 Parks and Trails New York Partnership Grant

Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association Receives $125,000 Parks and Trails New York Partnership Grant

MILLERTON, N.Y.–The Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association has received a $125,100 Parks and Trails New York Partnership Grant to boost its outreach and the trail’s expansion by hiring a professional marketing, fundraising and communications firm.

The funds will aid the nonprofit organization with creating promotional materials, overhauling its web and social media design, and devising a multiyear plan to raise funds for the completion of the trail.

The Harlem Valley Rail Trail currently consists of 26 paved miles that link the Metro-North Railroad station in Wassaic to Copake, along with a second section traveling 1.5 miles southeast from the Hamlet of Hillsdale. The goal of the association, which helps oversee the trail’s expansion and maintenance, is a 46-mile continuous trail from Wassaic to Chatham following the path of the onetime New York and Harlem Railroad.

Gov. Kathy Hochul last week announced $1.8 million in grants, including the HVRTA’s, to support 27 not-for-profit organizations involved with stewardship of state parks, trails, historic sites and other public lands. The grants support public-private partnerships that leverage private funds for new state park amenities,  engage in state park and historic site maintenance and beautification projects, and  provide educational programming and special events.

“Our state parks, trails, forests and historic sites offer some of the best outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities found anywhere in the world,” Gov. Hochul said. “Friends Groups are crucial to helping our state parks succeed, and these grants will help leverage their hard work to make our state park system even better for all.”

The Parks and Trails Partnership Grant program is funded through the state Environmental Protection Fund. Grants are administered by Parks & Trails New York, in partnership with the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Grant recipients must raise outside funding of at least 10 percent of their total project cost.

CAPTION: A snowy scene this month at the Hillsdale entrance to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail in Columbia County. Credit: Bart Ziegler

Author: Harlem Valley News