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Published on : Thursday, November 21, 2013
The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC) and the City of Beacon today joined with state and local officials at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of a new trail in the City’s Hudson River Greenway Trail system. The newly named Dave Miller Connector Trail connects the city’s Hudson River waterfront to the Madam Brett Park.
The local waterfront revitalization project was made possible with a $200,000 award from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, and land and access was provided by MTA Metro-North Railroad and the cooperation of Scenic Hudson. The new project connects numerous waterfront resources with trails that run along the Fishkill Creek and link with the Main Street business district as well as other existing and planned regional trail systems.
“The completion of the construction of this trail link will foster development of both the City of Beacon’s trail system and regional trail connections,” said MHREDC Co-chairs Dennis Murray, President of Marist College and Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “The Mid-Hudson REDC advised supporting this project with economic development funding because it spurs economic activity by providing a direct connection to Main Street’s shops, restaurants, galleries, and other attractions. It also aligns with a key strategy of the Council to boost the tourism industry as the project will increase local tourism by creating new recreational opportunities for residents as well as tourists who visit the Beacon waterfront.”
This public-private partnership is providing safe and publicly accessible trail linkages across Metro-North property to link the Beacon waterfront with other recreational and cultural resources as well as the City’s central business district.
Metro-North Railroad has been working with the City of Beacon on improving pedestrian linkages between the Beacon Station, the waterfront and two parks – Dennings Point, a peninsula in the Hudson, which is home to the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, and Madam Brett Park, a marshland that carries the Fishkill Creek to its confluence with the Hudson River, just south of Dennings Point.
The construction of the Dave Miller Trail, named after a distinguished resident and longtime supporter of recreational opportunities in Beacon, will foster further development of both the City’s trail system and regional trail connections. This will enhance tourism by creating new recreational opportunities for residents and as well as tourists who visit the Beacon waterfront, and enhance economic activity by providing physical linkages to Main Street’s shops, restaurants, galleries, cultural institutions, and other attractions.
“The completion of this trail link is another step forward in the economic development of the City,” said City of Beacon Mayor Randy Casale. “We are increasing recreational resources for both residents and tourists and this new connection from the waterfront area will encourage people to visit and shop along Main Street and other locations and attractions throughout the City.”
“I am proud that State of New York is a key partner in the creation of the new Dave Miller Connector Trail,” stated Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales. “The completion of this missing trail link is essential to the future of the City of Beacon as it will foster new economic activity by providing resident and tourists with access to its local business district and numerous recreational opportunities.”
“This paved and fenced trail is part of a network of pathways that give people safe access to the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley,” said James Sedore, Dutchess County’s representative to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board and longtime chairman of the Metro-North Committee of the MTA Board. “The MTA drives economic growth and tourism throughout the 12 counties it serves, and Metro-North deserves credit for providing the land to the City of Beacon as a permanent easement so that this trail could be built.”
Scenic Hudson’s Madam Brett Park, named for the land’s original Colonial-era owner, contains a mile of gently sloping, gravel-surfaced trails that lead to a dramatic waterfall and tidal marsh; a short, narrow woodland trail provides access to the marsh observation platform and a boardwalk along the creek allows wheelchair access.
In 2011, Governor Cuomo redefined the State’s approach to economic development by establishing 10 Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) across the State. The REDC and Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process have transformed economic development in New York State, creating a statewide framework for bottom-up regional economic growth.
As part of the REDC process, the City of Beacon was the recipient of a 2012 CFA award totaling $200,000 from the the Department of State’s Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (EPF LWRP). This project provides a vital missing link in the City of Beacon’s Hudson River Greenway Trail system and will further the development of regional trail networks.
The Department of State works in partnership with more than 300 communities across New York State through the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, from Sag Harbor on Long Island’s east end to Buffalo along Lake Erie to address numerous waterfront issues, such as economic development, protecting natural resources, and enhancing public access opportunities.