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Dutchess County Parks to Host Earth Awakening Weekend

Published: 3/29/2021

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus, Communications Director
(845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie… In celebration of Earth Day, Dutchess County Parks—in collaboration with the Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County, RiverWinds Gallery, and local artists—will host an Earth Awakening Weekend Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 at Bowdoin Park.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Earth Day is a time to pause and take in the beauty of our surroundings, celebrate nature, and possibly learn something new about how to protect our valuable natural world. We are grateful to our community partners and the local artists for their support in making this event special. Our award-winning Bowdoin Park has so much natural beauty to share and I encourage everyone to take some time this weekend to come enjoy it, see the work of talented artists, read a book or two from the mobile library, and maybe see the world a whole new light.”

The weekend kicks off at 9 a.m. Saturday with a rededication ceremony of the historic Ellessdie Chapel and its newly painted interior. Following the ceremony on Saturday, local artists will set up throughout the park to create landscape art as part of a live ‘Plein Air’ event. Local artwork will be on exhibit and available for purchase in the chapel from 10a.m. to 4:30p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and paintings from students who participated in the County’s recent Park Palette program will also be on display throughout the weekend in Pavilion 5.

As part of the County’s ongoing Dutchess Reads initiative, the weekend will also include a visit from the Poughkeepsie Public Library District’s Rover the Roaming Library, which will offer a family story time and Story Walk and a pollinator seed giveaway, while supplies last.

Poughkeepsie Public Library District Director Tom Lawrence said, “We are happy to partner this year with Dutchess County Parks. Together, we have a lot of fun with educational events in the works and are thrilled that we can collectively promote our mission of lifelong learning, literacy and reading.”

Other activities will be offered throughout the weekend in coordination with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County and the Parks Naturalists, guided nature hikes and bird walks, self-guided scavenger hunt, a hands-on Park Palette youth workshop and a bee keeping exhibition.

Sandy Washburn, Dutchess County Parks Director, said, “We are always looking for ways to engage new park users. Earth Awakening Weekend is a perfect example of how collaboration with other entities such as Poughkeepsie Public Library, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County, and local art organizations, we can provide opportunities which benefit both local artists and our community.”

All Dutchess County Parks programs follow state social distancing guidelines. Visit for more information.

Earth Awakening Weekend Schedule

Saturday, April 24

  • 9am Ellessdie Chapel Rededication Ceremony
  • 10am-4pm AWAKEN Art Exhibit in Ellessdie Chapel (artwork available for purchase), Plein Air (artist pre-registration required) & Park Palette Naturalist Art Exhibit Pavilion 5
  • 10am-2pm Poughkeepsie Public Library District and Hudson Valley Seed Company Pollinator Seed Giveaway (while supplies last)
  • 11am and 11:30am Tree Hugger Storytime and Story Walk at Rover the Roaming Library
  • Noon-1:30pm Owl About Taking Care of the Earth at Rover the Roaming Library
  • 1pm-3pm Native Plant Education Table provided by Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County
  • 2:30-3:30pm Tree Hugger Nature Hike led by Joyce Tomaselli, Community Horticulture Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County  

Sunday, April 25

  • 9am Guided Hike with Dutchess County Parks registration required call 298-4600 to reserve.
  • 10am-4pm AWAKEN Art Exhibit in Ellessdie Chapel (artwork available for purchase), Plein Air (artist pre-registration required) & Park Palette Naturalist Art Exhibit Pavilion 5
  • Noon-2:30pm Birds and the Bees presentation with Beekeeper George Salem
  • 1-2:30pm Park Palette Workshop Scenic Springtime for ages 10-18. Registration is required, opens April 6 and costs $12. Session will be limited to 12 participants, register at DutchessNY.Gov/ParkArt