In Ulster County, the Kingston Greenline continues to make progress in creating an integrated network of trails that will link neighborhoods and retail districts within the City and provide connectivity to regional destinations.
The Kingston Land Trust describes the vision for the Kingston Greenline as one that builds upon the area’s historic role as a transportation hub, first as a stop for ships travelling up the Hudson River, and later as the point where several railroads converged. Railroads that served the area now lend their names to rail-trails – Ulster & Delaware, Walkill Valley, and Ontario & Western – that link rural areas of the Catskills and Hudson River valley to downtown Kingston. The Greenline concept connects these longer, rural and suburban trails to multi-use trails and Kingston’s downtown street and sidewalk network. The goal is to provides residents and visitors with a healthy, fun and sustainable way to enjoy the City’s cultural, historical, commercial and recreational resources.
Beyond its solid conceptual plan, the Kingston Greenline project has successfully engaged the Kingston community. The Kingston Land Trust’s Rail Trail committee operates with full buy-in from the municipal administration. Civic and church groups have been brought into the planning process through a city-wide summit and volunteer clean up events on sections of the rail corridor that will eventually become a trail.
PTNY was an early supporter of the Greenline vision and has been providing technical and planning assistance to the Kingston Land Trust as part of its Healthy Trails, Healthy People program since 2010. The Land Trust also secured assistance from the National Park Service Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance Program as well as funding from the Land Trust Alliance.
With a solid planning foundation and demonstrated public support, it’s no surprise that efforts of the City and the Land Trust have been recognized by a diverse group of public and private funders. In December and January, the City of Kingston received a total of $4,275,150 in state grants from five different funding sources – the Recreational Trails Program, NYSDOT Transportation Enhancements Program, NYSERDA’s Cleaner Greener Communities Program, the NYS Department of State’s Waterfront Revitalization Program, and NYSOPRHP’s Heritage Area Program. The funds will be used for trail design and construction and for traffic calming, streetscape enhancements, bike lanes, and complete streets and other improvements to the City’s street and sidewalk network.
More information on the Kingston Greenline is available at the Kingston Land Trust website.