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For Immediate Release:
July 24, 2012
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Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales, the Town of Lloyd and the Highland Landing Park Association Break Ground on Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park Waterfront Restoration Project

Secretary of State Cesar A. Perales today was joined by Town of Lloyd Supervisor Paul Hansut, Scenic Hudson Land Conservation Director Seth McKee, community leaders and local officials to break ground on a new waterfront recreational project at Bob Shepard Highland Park.

 In 2008, the Department of State awarded the Town of Lloyd a grant for the restoration of Highland Landing Park.  The town, with the help of the Highland Landing Park Association, has since embarked on a project to stabilize the park’s shoreline and restore Highland Landing to active use.

“For nearly twenty years we have worked together with the Town of Lloyd on numerous projects, including the original feasibility study and concept drawings for the park when the idea of a park at this former industrial location was just emerging,” said New York Secretary of State Perales.  “Today, we break ground on the next step in this parks history. Returning the site to its historic function as an active waterfront goes a long way to turning the Town’s vision for the park into reality.”

 “Matt Smith and a lot of other volunteers in the Town of Lloyd have worked long and hard to build the Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park.  This project has been supported generously by several funders, helping us build the park without straining our taxpayer’s pocketbooks.  Now, thanks to the Department of State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, we’ll soon have the Hudson River port we’ve long envisioned,” stated Paul Hansut, Town of Lloyd Supervisor.

The first phase of this project funded with an Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (EPF LWRP) grant of $911,904 will begin in early August and will include installing a new bulkhead and restoring a decayed deepwater dock. The new bulkhead will enable tourism ships and heritage vessels such as Clearwater, Amistad and the Half Moon to stop at the park.  It will also allow the park to begin other scheduled projects for additional amenities.  The restoration will open up opportunities for maritime economic development along with recreational and educational pursuits.

In the years since the project was first conceived, the Highland Landing Park Association, a community group appointed by the town to develop and manage the park, has marshaled volunteers and donors to help the Town to make this park a reality.  The Association obtained necessary permits to build in this sensitive marine environment and worked with the New York Department of State to finalize the contract between the state and the town. 

“All of us here have eagerly anticipated the start of this new phase of construction at Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park,” stated Matt Smith, Highland Park project manager.  “We look upon the restoration of the bulkhead and dock as the true foundation of our waterfront park, allowing us to proceed with many additional amenities on the site.  We appreciate the funding from the New York State Department of State for this project, as well as that of the other generous funders that have allowed our Town to purchase the site and continue to develop it into a park that gives us pleasure and makes us proud.”

“It was an honor for Scenic Hudson to partner with The Town of Lloyd’s elected officials and residents by providing financial and technical assistance to the Town in its successful acquisition of the land in this park.  Scenic Hudson Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park is creating a connection to the Hudson River where none previously existed and is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.  The level of municipal, civic, and volunteer support for this project is truly amazing. These latest improvements to the waterfront will be sustainable for the ongoing enjoyment of the park for generations,” stated Seth McKee, Scenic Hudson Land Conservation Director.

Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park is nestled on 1.9 acres along the Hudson River just north of Walkway Over the Hudson, providing spectacular river views and the only public access to the river for 30 miles along the western shore.  As the Town’s only public access point to the Hudson River, it has become the center of many Town-sponsored recreational events.

With funding support from the Scenic Hudson Land Trust Inc. and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation the Town purchased the former petroleum storage site in 2008. Prior to the Town’s acquisition, the site was remediated and the petroleum tanks removed with funding from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.