Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus is pleased to announce his signing of the County legislation to complete the cooperative agreement with NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to begin developing and eventually operating a park on the riverfront portion of the former Hudson River Psychiatric Center property in the Town of Poughkeepsie. The park will be named Quiet Cove Riverfront Park and is located in the Town of Poughkeepsie just north of Marist College.
“This is a very exciting historic announcement,” said Steinhaus. “All of us in Dutchess County are drawn to the Hudson River, one of our most beautiful and engaging resources. As a public park, these 27 acres of prime waterfront land will enable all of our residents, their families and friends, as well as visitors to Dutchess County, to enjoy the setting of ‘Quiet Cove’ for years to come.”
Quiet Cove Riverfront Park is part of the County Executive’s plan to enhance and recapture waterfront access in the river cities of Dutchess County. Initial plans for the park include a re-vamped boat ramp and a deep water bulkhead for non-motorized boating, picnic and fishing areas, public restrooms, a playground, upland parking and eventually a community meeting room.
With the announcement in 1997 that the State of New York intended to dispose of most of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center for private redevelopment, County Executive Steinhaus asked Governor Pataki to retain approximately 27 acres west of Route 9 for river access, including nearly 5 acres of land on the river’s side of the train tracks.
Since available land west of the railroad tracks is quite rare and the Town of Poughkeepsie has no existing public access points to the river, Steinhaus set up a broad-based committee in 1999 to explore future use options, access and site design issues. Preliminary plans for the site were put on hold for several years while the property was being considered as one of the potential locations for the Rivers and Estuaries Center. With the announcement in April 2003 that the Rivers and Estuaries Center was successfully recruited to Beacon, the County Executive reactivated discussions with the state to convert this property to parkland.
Through a cooperative agreement, the State will maintain ownership of the land and oversee the conversion of the property to a riverfront park by Dutchess County while the County has agreed to improve and maintain the property.
The measure to enter into agreement with the State on this project was passed at Steinhaus’ request by the Dutchess County Legislature at their November Board Meeting.
Quiet Cove improvements are slated to be phased in over a three-year period with public access available in 2005.