Members of the public gathered at the Newburgh Free Library on Monday, October 3 to discuss and delegate with members of Scenic Hudson, the Quassaick Creek Greenway Steering Committee and additional design teams for the Quassaick Creek Greenway [QCG] Project.
The creek waters, according to the Orange County and River Keeper’s websites, begin in Ulster County and make their way down south to the creek. The waters travel through the Town and City of Newburgh and Town of New Windsor before finally entering the Hudson River.
The QCG Project is a communal and collaborative effort led by Scenic Hudson, who have brought in Thread Collective and Metropolitan Urban Design [MUD] Workshop who along with input from the public, are seeking to create, design and implement a new public trail along the creek.
In creating the trail, the focus would be to allow families, surrounding residents and potential visitors to the area to enjoy the natural surroundings and beauty of the creek. The creek would also have the opportunity to serve as an educational space for students and more environmental protections would also be discussed for the creek with this proposed project.
Elliot Maltby of Thread Collective and Shachi Pandey of MUD Workshop both shared their thoughts on the anticipated discussion with the public for the inaugural community meeting on the creek trail.
“Today is really gathering information. We spent a lot of time down at the creek, we’ve talked to a lot of people in person,” Maltby said. “I think the primary thing here is giving people a platform to then add their narrative. So it’s really an opportunity for people to tell their stories about the creek, the histories they know about the creek, the kind of particular expectations they might have about choosing the creek in the future.”
“I’m really excited. The whole team is really excited to understand how people actually really use it or not use it, whether they have ever accessed it or have any memory of it, or, you know, a connection,” said Pandey. “As I look at it, we’re seeing a story about the creek. Just about 50 or 70 years ago, there were so many industries there and now it’s really, really wild.”
According to Scenic Hudson Project Manager Duane Martinez, following the feasibility study presentation from October, there will be design workshops held on November 1 and December 10 for the public to continue to contribute and add input to the design. In January 2023, there will be a presentation of the findings from these workshops and a conceptual plan to the public.
“We’re going to try to get feedback from the community and really spark the imagination of the Quassaick Creek as really a community asset for folks here in Newburgh and New Windsor,” Martinez said. “At this point, the design is wide open.”
According to Martinez, a $90,000 grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [NYSDEC] administered through the Land Trust Alliance is helping finance the project. The Orange County Land Trust and Scenic Hudson partnered and contributed to the grant total.
In addition to the Scenic Hudson team and QCG committee, representatives from Orange County, the Orange County Land Trust, the City of Newburgh, the Town of New Windsor, and the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance were present at the public meeting.
The auditorium where the conversation took place had several maps of the creek that residents could review and offer input for the trail, along with an initial presentation into the project concept. Additional information can be found at the project’s official website at quassaickcreekgreenway.com.