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News Release

February 18, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Dutchess Rail Trail to Feature "Veterans Memorial Mile" & Educational Signage Program
New Elements to coincide with Phase III spring opening

Poughkeepsie… As the long winter seems to trudge on forever, Dutchess County residents are eager for a chance to enjoy the great outdoors walking, biking or rollerblading along the Dutchess Rail Trail.   

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has announced two new elements to the Dutchess Rail Trail to look forward to, an educational signage program and a “Veterans Memorial Mile”, which will be unveiled this spring in conjunction with the opening of Phase III of the trail.   Phase III will add six additional miles through the Towns of LaGrange and Wappinger and connect with the completed Phase I section all the way to Hopewell Junction at Route 82.

The Dutchess Rail Trail is a true community park and we look forward to the addition of the “Veterans Memorial Mile” and our educational signage program, both of which will enhance the trail experience for residents and visitors alike,” said County Executive Steinhaus.

The educational signage program will feature more than 20 signs along the 12 mile length of the rail trail, highlighting the various historical aspects of the trail, including the Dutchess Rail Trail’s history as the Maybrook Rail Line, as well as noting the various ecological aspects such as wildlife found along the trail and other points of interest.

“There are so many unique aspects to the Dutchess Rail Trail, particularly the trail’s history as the Maybrook Rail Line.   Our educational signage program will help to connect trail users out on the Dutchess Rail Trail with their surroundings and help them to understand the trail’s rich history,” said County Executive Steinhaus.

The 2’ x 3’ signs will be located at various points along the Dutchess Rail Trail.  Signage will educate trail users about the water crossings along the trail, historical information about each of the towns the trail passes through, the Central Dutchess Water Transmission Line that runs beneath the Dutchess Rail Trail, the wildlife and ecology commonly found along the trail, as well as significant information about the original railroad line including bridge crossings, types of train traffic and train stations along the Maybrook Rail Line.

According to County Executive Steinhaus, local historians and volunteers have been integral to the project.  “We are very grateful for the support of many local railroad enthusiasts, history buffs and nature lovers who have shared their photo collections and source materials to educate and inform all of those who will be out and about on the Dutchess Rail Trail over the years to come.”

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Veterans Memorial Mile
Serene mile of trail to be dedicated to the men & women
who have served & sacrificed

County Executive Steinhaus also announced a special one mile section of the Dutchess Rail Trail will be dedicated to Dutchess County veterans in honor of their service to our country on behalf of our community.   The “Veterans Memorial Mile” will be located in the Town of Wappinger starting at Diddell Road going south toward the Sprout Creek.  The start and ending sections of the “Veterans Memorial Mile” will be denoted by stone monuments originally used to support one of the Maybrook Rail Line’s railroad bridges over the Fallkill Creek.

“The “Veterans Memorial Mile” will be located on a stretch of the trail that is one of quietest areas along the Dutchess Rail Trail.   It will offer trail users and visitors a serene and peaceful area for quiet reflection on the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces,” said County Executive Steinhaus. 

The educational signage program will continue on the “Veterans Memorial Mile” with customized signage about the five branches of the United States Military: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard with local information about each branch.    Local veterans organizations, including the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the Jewish War Veterans, are assisting with the signage information and development of additional amenities along the Veterans Memorial Mile in conjunction with the Dutchess Rail Trail Advisory Council.

 “This Veterans Memorial Mile will be an opportunity for people to learn more about each of the branches of our armed services and to truly reflect and appreciate the sacrifice of the men and women who have served on our behalf in each of those branches.” said Dutchess County Veterans Services Director Nelson Eddy Rivera, USN (Ret)

Michael Tokarz, National Legislative Committee Member for the Dutchess County American Legion added, “The Veterans Memorial Mile is a wonderful way to honor those who have honorably served and sacrificed for our country.    This stretch of the Dutchess Rail Trail offers a blank canvas for organizations from across our county to honor our veterans and dedicates an area where we can all reflect on how much our veterans have given to serve us all.”

Dutchess County Legislator Robert Weiss who represents District 12 in East Fishkill said, “As a member of the Legislature’s Veterans Committee, I applaud the County Executive’s initiative to recognize our local veterans who have served our country with honor.   The Veterans Memorial Mile gives county residents and visitors alike an opportunity to remember and appreciate the contributions of the men and women in our armed forces.     We look forward to working with the Dutchess Rail Trail Advisory Council to honor our veterans on the Veterans Memorial Mile.”

The Veterans Memorial Mile is expected to be dedicated in late May as part of a Memorial Day observation.

The Dutchess Rail Trail has been a major initiative of the Steinhaus administration and will be a 12 mile multi-use linear county “park” that will run through the middle of the County along the former Maybrook Rail corridor including the towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill.     Currently two phases of the Dutchess Rail Trail are completed and open.  Phase I of the Dutchess Rail Trail, which opened in the fall of 2007, is located in East Fishkill and extends 1.7 miles between Route 376 and Lake Walton Road.      Phase II opened in July, 2009 and is a 2.4 mile section from Morgan Lake to Overocker Road in Poughkeepsie. Work is expected to be completed on Phase III of the Dutchess Rail Trail this coming spring.

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County Executive

County Executive