By Alberto Gilman
Members of the public gathered at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center on Saturday, January 28 to attend a public forum on the Quassaick Creek Greenway Project under the direction of Scenic Hudson. Through collaboration and public input, the hope is to create a new public trail.
The project itself has been in conversation since spring of 2022, with presentations to the city council and to the public at the Newburgh Free Library. In November 2022, Scenic Hudson hosted several community pop-ups at various locations in New Windsor and Newburgh to garner public interest and feedback on the project. Previous reports had identified that Thread Collective and Metropolitan Urban Design [MUD] Workshop were brought in to help with the design and creation of the trail.
The gathered crowd on Saturday included about 70 in attendance with elected officials from the Town of New Windsor, City of Newburgh and the Orange County Legislature.
“Today was great,” said Scenic Hudson River Cities Program Director Duane Martinez. “It sparked people’s imaginations of what access to nature and the creek could look like. Now, the consultants will take what they have heard from the community in the four engagement sessions and reflect it in their final concept plan and report, which is due at the end of March. While the consultants are looking into what sections of the study area may be more feasible to develop, environmental justice and universal access remain key parts of what we are trying to accomplish here.”
As mentioned by Martinez, a final feasibility report is to be completed by the end of March, and Scenic Hudson is in the process of seeking additional grant funding for design development and assistance with results of the feasibility study to help move along the implementation process.
Marichen Montiel, a 2022 Newburgh Senior Environmental Justice Fellow with the City of Newburgh Conservation Advisory Committee and Greater Newburgh Parks Conservatory, now serves as a member of the Quassaick Creek Greenway Steering Committee member. She shared her thoughts on the work by Scenic Hudson and her experience from the forum. “As a steering committee member, it feels full circle to see the project presented to people in the community. This makes it feel attainable and real. As a community member, I was happy to see a room full of people who love the City of Newburgh and its beautiful environment and ecology,” said Montiel. “The presenters sparked excitement in all the attendees. I can’t wait to see everyone’s hard work brought to life in the greenway.”
Councilman Anthony Grice shared comments via text on the project here in the city. “There have been earlier attempts to do a trail along the Quassaick. As a member of the Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance, and a member of the steering committee, this time we have more public input and enthusiastic support that makes this attempt possible,” said Grice.
Quassaick Creek Greenway Steering Committee Chair Jack Caldwell also contributed his thoughts on the overall forum and project. “While the main reason for this presentation was to inform the community of the possible creation of a greenway or trail along the Quassaick Creek, it also provided the real opportunity for the community to actually participate in the process — and the community asked questions that needed to be asked, about funding concerns, permission from property owners, removal of dams, access to the trail and various possible route alternatives,” said Caldwell. “The Quassaick Creek Watershed Alliance has dreamed of such a trail for many years. Thanks to Scenic Hudson, thread collective and MUD Workshop, the dream is closer to reality.”
To learn more about the overall project, residents and visitors can visit for more information www.quassaickcreekgreenway.com or can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.