GREENWICH — It has taken a few years, but the public can now enjoy views of the Hudson River from a new town-owned park, with more planned for its future.
The Hudson Riverside Park located at 5149 County Route 113 is the site of the former private Adirondack School.
The town bought the 3.3 acres for $149,500 in July 2017, said Supervisor Sara Idleman.
Three buildings sit on the parcel, including the former schoolhouse and a barn. Those are closed to the public at the moment, but the land and view of the Hudson is open for people to enjoy.
The town is working on an owner-operator agreement with the nonprofit organization, Hudson Crossing Park, whose mission is to “tie environmental responsibility to economic revitalization, and to engage people of all ages in making informed choices for a sustainable future.”
Hudson Crossing Park is also the name of a park in Schuylerville, across the river, which the nonprofit manages.
Kate Morse, director of the organization, said the Hudson Riverside Park’s main building will be turned into a year-round educational space. The park is also a stop along the Champlain Canalway Trail and the Empire State Trail, and Idleman said down the line it could house a visitors center.
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With a 2020 deadline for the Empire State Trail approaching, work on the adjoining Champlain Canalway Trail is moving at an unprecedented pace.
The main building held its first public event last week, a meeting of officials from Saratoga and Washington counties to discuss the Champlain Canalway Trail’s progress.
“There is something very special about this place,” Idleman said to the group gathered on Thursday, Oct. 24. “There’s an energy in this place that’s almost indescribable.”
Work remains to be done, even after Morse, Idleman and others filled up about seven dump-truck loads of old school furnishings left in the buildings. What could be salvaged was donated, Idleman said.
Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, helped the town get a $250,000 state grant to buy the property and improve the buildings.
Idleman said some painting and ceiling work will happen this fall.
State Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, also helped the town with another grant for $100,000, which will go toward a new overlook on the river. Idleman hopes that may be done next year. Two benches sit on the property now.
The view of the Hudson River includes posts from old trolley tracks that used to cross the river, Idleman said.
Idleman would also like to see a boat launch added to the park at some point.
The town has submitted a consolidated funding application with the state for a master plan, which includes work on the park.