Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announces today the next step in providing new parks enhancements to county parkland. A bond request for a total of $743,000 has been prepared and includes funding to allow the County to begin required studies, testing, engineering and preliminary site improvements at its newest county park, Quiet Cove Riverfront Park on the waterfront in the northern most section of the Town of Poughkeepsie. Also included are exciting enhancements for Bowdoin Park in the southern section of the Town of Poughkeepsie and Wilcox Park in the northern Dutchess community of Milan.
“Our County’s parks system is one of our most valued amenities. Our plan for these capital investments will both maintain and enhance the parks and trails in Dutchess, improving the quality of life for our residents,” said Steinhaus.
County Legislator Roger Higgins who represents the Bowdoin Park area said: “The amphitheatre at Bowdoin Park will afford the county an opportunity to increase our program activity at Bowdoin Park and provide an opportunity for the community to take advantage of the fine performing artists who live in our community.”
Steinhaus said, “This funding will allow construction to begin this spring at Bowdoin Park, Dutchess County’s existing Hudson Riverfront park of a multi-purpose amphitheatre, and at Wilcox Park in northern Dutchess with the addition of a new pavilion overlooking the lake waterfront.”
The amphitheatre planned for Bowdoin Park is similar in design to one at the City of Poughkeepsie owned Waryas Park but will be made larger, adequate to accommodate a band or orchestra as large as the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. The facility would be usable as a pavilion seasonally, but with the addition of lights, sound and backdrop it becomes another valuable performance venue with a spectacular view of the Hudson River.
The construction of an open-air pavilion at Wilcox Park in Milan will overlook the waterfront there giving patrons a chance to take advantage of the variety of activities available at the swimming beach and the boating and fishing lake. The new pavilion will also include restrooms.
Steinhaus said, “Initial plans for the new Quiet Cove park include a re-vamped car-top boat ramp for non-motorized boating and a deep water bulkhead for access by larger educational vessels such as the Clearwater, the Half-Moon and research ships associated with the study of the Hudson River. There will also be picnic and fishing areas, public restrooms, a playground, upland parking and eventually a community meeting room.”
Steinhaus noted, “This park expands exciting opportunities for residents and visitors to Dutchess County for access to the Hudson River. For most of Dutchess County, access to the river is limited by railroad tracks. This park will offer five acres of waterfront property with safe access under the tracks via an existing tunnel.”
Northern Dutchess area Legislator Gary Cooper said, “The new pavilion at Wilcox Park will be a great addition to the park facility giving the visitors to the park a place to gather and enjoy the beauty of the park.”
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.
Through a cooperative agreement, the State will maintain ownership of the Quiet Cove land and oversee the conversion of the property to a riverfront park by Dutchess County while the County has agreed to improve, maintain and operate the property.
Quiet Cove improvements are slated to be phased in over a three-year period with public access available in 2005. Enhancements for Bowdoin and Wilcox Park are expected to be in place by this coming summer.
The funding appropriation will go before Dutchess County Legislature at their January 24th Board Meeting.