Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

March 06, 2015

Randy Simons
Dan Keefe

State Parks Purchases Half-Acre Parcel Adjacent to Walkway Over the Hudson to Improve Visitor Experience

Agency will study best uses for integrating warehouse site into the park

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) purchased a half-acre parcel adjacent to the Poughkeepsie entrance of the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park from the Open Space Institute (OSI), which will provide growing room to improve visitor services at the 1.28-mile linear park. State Parks purchased the parcel for $550,000 with funds from the Environmental Protection Fund.

"New York State is committed to improving Walkway Over the Hudson and making it an anchor of the City of Poughkeepsie's urban vitality," said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "The parcel gives State Parks more room and flexibility to improve visitor services and public access to the eastern side of the park. We are grateful to the Open Space Institute for its assistance in securing this important connection to the community."

"Spurring the expansion of Walkway into the heart of Poughkeepsie perfectly captures the role that OSI plays for New York's state parks," said Kim Elliman, President and CEO of the Open Space Institute. "This transfer, which will improve park access, enhance the visitor experience and better integrate the Walkway into the Poughkeepsie community, represents the best type of park project made possible by the state's Environmental Protection Fund."

"The Walkway organization is grateful to the Open Space Institute and New York State Parks for this visionary investment in the development and improvement of Walkway Over the Hudson State Park," said Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart, Executive Director of Walkway Over the Hudson. "On this strategically located property in the City of Poughkeepsie, we can build much-needed amenities to appropriately serve the park's nearly half-million annual visitors. Our organization continues to work hard to raise the funding and awareness necessary to make these important projects come to fruition. Strong, productive partnerships continue to be the hallmark of success at the Walkway Over the Hudson."

The parcel at the intersection of Washington Street and Parker Avenue includes a vacant 7,500-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing building as well as an adjacent empty lot. State Parks will conduct a feasibility study to determine potential uses for the site, including park offices, public restrooms, streetscape improvements and equipment storage. The park office is now housed in a construction trailer at the Highland entrance to the Walkway and has portable restrooms at the Poughkeepsie entrance. OSI purchased the property from a private owner last summer with the goal of conveying it to State Parks. The strategically located parcel had been a high priority for inclusion in the park since it opened in 2009.

The Walkway Over the Hudson provides access to the Hudson River's breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists and people with disabilities. The bridge deck stands 212 feet above the river's surface and is 6,768 feet (1.28 miles) long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The Walkway has hosted nearly 3 million visits since it opened in October 2009.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit, connect on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.