Clearwater Receives $400,000 from New York State for Kingston Home Port Project
Awarded Grant for an Education and Boatbuilding Center at the Hudson River Maritime Museum
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has awarded a $400,000 grant to help cover the cost of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Hudson River Maritime Museum’s joint project for the Kingston Home Port and Education Center to be built on the Rondout Creek. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the grants in December as part of a new economic development initiative that adds up to $67 million for 61 Mid-Hudson Valley projects.
The grant will be matched with money through a joint fundraising effort of the two organizations, through private donations, and a $125,000 grant secured by state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston. Architectural services and $200,000 worth of timber are being donated by Allan Shope, Clearwater board president.
The 4,500-square-foot, two story timber frame boatbuilding barn will be constructed on the west end of the Hudson River Maritime Museum property. The facility will offer environmental education programming, public green infrastructure trainings, community boat building, maritime history lectures, and exhibitions. The new Home Port facility will also play a key role in enhancing the environment, quality of life, and support economic vitality of the Kingston community by creating a draw for Hudson Valley tourism and attracting visitors to the Kingston waterfront.
“We are grateful to New York State (Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation),” said Jeff Rumpf, Clearwater’s executive director, “We are very excited about the new Home Port in Kingston; not only will it provide a permanent winter home for the sloop, Clearwater, something she has never had in her 40 years on the Hudson, it will also serve as headquarters for Hudson Valley Green Infrastructure, Green Cities, and position our water economy to grow!”
“The structure will be built by local craftsmen using mainly local materials and we are planning a barn-raising event for the fall. This building really looks toward the future— and it’s designed to withstand the periodic floods that affect the Rondout,” said John C. Weeks, Hudson River Maritime Museum board member and chair for the Barn Building Committee. “Both organizations are grateful to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and to Assemblyman Cahill for making this wonderful project possible. It will benefit all New Yorkers lucky enough to visit the site, but it will especially benefit the people of the Hudson Valley.”
“The partnership between Clearwater and the Hudson River Maritime Museum is going to make a big difference on the Kingston waterfront,” said Kate Mitchell, Hudson River Maritime Museum’s executive director, “This project gives us the opportunity to better serve the local community. In addition, we’ve got plans to make this a year-round destination, to draw people in for the cultural and heritage experience they can have here summer or winter. This is just the beginning of really good things.”
The Kingston city Planning Board voted unanimously in December for the building proposal. An old fashioned barn-raising involving community members is planned for Fall 2012. Click here to learn more about the Kingston Home Port.
For more information about Clearwater’s OPRHP grant award, please contact Eileen Newman, Grants and Major Gifts Coordinator, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, by Email, or call 845-265-8080, ext.7160.
About the Kingston Home Port Project
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc., and the Hudson River Maritime Museum have entered into a partnership to provide the sloop Clearwater with a winter port for critical winter maintenance and restoration, to build an upriver environmental education center, and to advance the burgeoning tourism industry in the Hudson Valley region.
The Kingston Home Port will allow better upriver access for Clearwater programming, in addition to acting as a woodshop for the sloop Clearwater as she winters for 6 months out of the year and undergoes critical maintenance and repairs.
The facility will also allow both organizations to increase programming capacity, offering the public environmental education programming and hands-on demonstrations of the maritime history instruction and boat building, community-based special events, and green infrastructure training initiatives for river communities. Additionally, the facility will provide the local rowing club and the Kingston High School Rowing Team much needed storage space.
By bringing New York State history to life through boat building workshops and weaving together elements of Kingston’s maritime, industrial, and cultural history, the project is line with the Hudson River Valley’s Heritage Area Management Plan’s mission “to recognize, preserve, protect, and interpret the nationally significant cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley for the benefit of the nation.” This highly visible and accessible venue will make the creek a year round destination support the continued successful economic redevelopment of this historic waterfront, known as a venue for community festivals, concerts, and large scale events, such as “River Day” and “Burning of Kingston”.
Perhaps most importantly, the project will spur renewed interest in the sustainable and proper redevelopment of the site and will ideally become part of a larger park system, encompassing the entire Lower Tidal Portion of the Rondout Creek and Kingston Bay.
To combine Clearwater’s youth-oriented programming and its sloop with Hudson River Maritime Museum’s artifact-rich resources creates a partnership that will celebrate the history of the Hudson Valley and provide vibrant and exciting programs for people of all ages, but particularly for the people who live and work in New York State.
Clearwater’s mission is to preserve and protect the Hudson River, its tributaries and related bodies of water. Clearwater conducts innovative environmental programs, advocacy and celebrations in order to inspire and energize the next generation of environmental leaders. Clearwater’s concerts, sloop education programs and environmental advocacy programs have inspired, educated and activated millions of people for over 40 years. Founded in 1969 by music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger, the organization began with the launch of sloop Clearwater—a majestic replica of the sloops that sailed the Hudson in the 18th and 19th centuries. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 106-foot-long tall ship is among the first vessels in the U.S. to conduct science-based environmental education aboard a sailing ship, creating the template by which environmental education programs are conducted around the world today. Since the launch of Clearwater, America’s Environmental Flagship, more than half a million young people and hundreds of thousands of adults have experienced their first real look at an estuary’s ecosystem aboard the sloop.