CLC is working with the City of Hudson and Columbia County to transform a former landfill in the City of Hudson and surrounding open space.
“It is tough to resist the draw of the Hudson North Bay, a place that is so closely connected to the city, yet still feels undiscovered. We are enthusiastic about the vision for a North Bay Recreation and Natural Area to help people find their way to this special place.”
– Peter Paden, Columbia Land Conservancy
The proposal for the North Bay Recreation and Natural Area in Hudson, New York is to create a public park and conservation area offering exceptional beauty, the natural resources of the Hudson River estuary, education about human settlement and industry along the river, and access to a trail network through 1,000 acres of conserved land.
The North Bay is a freshwater tidal marsh located along the Hudson River in the City of Hudson and the Town of Greenport. Part of it lies within the Greenport Conservation Area. The tidal marsh grew following the railroad construction that largely cut the bay off from the river. Previously, a large city dump was located at the southern edge of the bay. The grassy mounds of the capped landfill today provide habitat for birds, snakes, and other wildlife.
Soon after the closure of the landfill, the City of Hudson began to explore the idea of a public recreation and natural area around the North Bay, an area that also includes former industrial lands and a municipal park. Just outside the urban core of the city, the North Bay environs add up to an expansive tract of open space and habitats. It holds exciting trail possibilities: a few short trails could link the City’s Charles Williams Park with a network of trails extending through the Greenport Conservation Area, all the way north to Harrier Hill Park.
North Bay Overlook and Greenport Connector Trail Design
The design of trails and overlooks, as well as a trailhead and parking, are nearly finalized. Columbia County, with a grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, commissioned design and construction documents for a trail based on the Concept Master Plan published by CLC in 2011. CLC participated in the design process, as a member of an advisory committee working with the Columbia County Department of Solid Waste and the City of Hudson. The County hired the landscape architecture firm Starr Whitehouse to design the phase one trail, and the resulting design is protective of both the sensitive environment as well as tailored to the capped landfill.
A vision for the North Bay Recreation and Natural Area
The connector trail is just one part of a larger vision for the whole North Bay area, put forward in The Concept Master Plan for the North Bay Recreation and Natural Area, published in 2011, by CLC with the support of the City and Columbia County. It recommends the conservation of the North Bay’s rich natural resources through ecological design. The full plan is more than 80 pages; a condensed version (10 pages) are available, too.
The North Bay area has been valued as a potential community resource for many years. The 2002 City of Hudson Comprehensive Plan called for a trail network at the North Bay, and the City’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (LWRP) also endorses this vision.