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Rail Trail receives grant

HILLSDALE — The Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association (HVRTA) was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Rheinstrom Hill Community Foundation as part of the $40,655 matching funds required for a $121,965 planning and design grant that was awarded by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The grant will fund preliminary designs and final construction plans for the new stretch of trail from Copake Falls through the hamlet of Hillsdale.This latest Rail Trail initiative began when a group of Copake and Hillsdale residents and members of the Hillsdale Hamlet Committee reached out to the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association. This important new partnership will help accomplish major goals of the Hillsdale Hamlet Committee, bringing the Harlem Valley Rail Trail into the center of Hillsdale and beyond. In Copake, the Economic Advisory Board envisions connecting all Copake hamlets via the Rail Trail and making Copake bike and hike friendly and thus a destination appealing to many Rail Trail users.Via a trail corridor mostly owned by New York state parks, thanks in large part to the fundraising of HVRTA, the project will link many state and local resources including the Taconic State Park in Copake Falls, the Roeliff Jansen State Park, the Roeliff Jansen Community Library, the hamlet of Hillsdale, the Hillsdale Community Wetland and the Rheinstrom Hill Audubon Sanctuary.The Rheinstrom Hill Community Foundation was established by Carroll Rheinstrom to aid and enhance the area in which he made his home.The Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association is a not-for-profit organization that exists to perform the following tasks: coordinate a volunteer trail maintenance program on completed sections; promote completion of the trail all the way to Chatham; provide trail users with information about the natural world they are passing through; develop and purchase trail amenities such as signs and benches; and promote safe use of the trail.For more information on how to donate to the fund for the expansion of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail into Columbia County, email hvrta@fairpoint.net or call 518-789-9591. Visit the website for more information about the Harlem Valley Rail Trail at www.hvrt.org.Submitted by Lisa Deleeuw, administrative director of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Association.

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