Poughkeepsie… Today the starting point trailhead of the Dutchess Rail Trail was named in memory of longtime public servant, Michael P. Murphy. The Dutchess Rail Trail Advisory Council announced the opportunity for people to also be part of the Dutchess Rail Trail and remember their loved ones with a memorial bench along the trail as part of its new amenities program.
The mission of the Dutchess Rail Trail Advisory Council (DRTAC) is to provide amenity enhancements to the Dutchess Rail Trail in order to continue to improve the experience for trail users. The DRTAC is working to add various amenities such as benches, bicycle racks, trash receptacles, water fountains, comfort stations, and picnic tables. Acquiring the equipment will be dependent upon financial donations from businesses, organizations, clubs and the general public.
The DRTAC is focusing on three key kick-off projects: purchase of memorial benches for dedication, Adopt-A-Trail and Adopt-A-Garden sponsors. “We are hoping to receive financial donations to purchase amenities such as benches, and we also hope to have people contribute their time and talent with volunteer labor,” said DRTAC co-chair Steve Olsen.
Benches with a dedication honoring or remembering a specific person or organization may be purchased for $675 each. The cost includes a bench made of wood by-products with recycled plastic, engraving for up to 40 letters, cement base and installation. 50 bench locations along the Dutchess Rail Trail are available offering scenic views and resting areas. Location selections are assigned by first payment basis.
The Dutchess Rail Trail Amenities Fund has been established through the Community Foundation of Dutchess County for bench sponsorship donations and other amenity donations. To sponsor a bench or donate money to assist the DRTAC make future amenity purchases such as bike racks, comfort stations, picnic tables and more, residents can go online at: http://www.communityfoundationdc.org/page30068.cfm
The DRTAC is also seeking “Adopt-A-Trail” organizations or families willing to select a designated half-mile section of the DRT they will maintain for cleanliness four times a year. Safety vests and garbage bags will be provided as well as a list of safety measures to adhere to. Signs will be placed at each end of the sponsor’s designated segment to recognize the organization’s or club’s sponsorship.
Volunteer gardeners are welcome to enhance the beauty of the trail through plantings of flower beds located at five trailhead locations. There are nine beds available for adoption with the specific responsibilities of planting flowers and maintaining the bed throughout the growing season.
The DRTAC is composed of community volunteers who recognize the value the Dutchess Rail Trail (DRT) adds to the quality of life in Dutchess County. Former Town of East Fishkill Supervisor Peter Idema and Dutchess County Parks Director Steve Olsen serve as the DRTAC’s co-chairs.
For more information about the Dutchess Rail Trail Advisory Council and how you can support the Dutchess Rail Trail, visit https://www.dutchessny.gov/ and click on the Rail trail button for more specific information or call Brad Barclay, Park Planner at 845-486-2059.