Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed Tuesday creating a park on the Hudson River’s eastern shore, part of a set of conservation efforts in his 2021 Executive Budget.
The park is billed as “New York’s first linear, water-based park” in the governor’s budget briefing.
The “Hudson Eagles State Recreation Area” would consist of five boat launches with pocket parks between the City of Hudson and Rensselaer, according to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation (OPRHP).
Little information was available from state offices on the plan, but an email sent to regional stakeholders obtained by The Other Hudson Valley stated the plan envisioned expanding five “car-top” boat launches – the kind one can launch a kayak from – to accommodate vessels needing trailers for transportation.
The boat launches are already owned by the state, but it has yet to be determined which ones will be part of the proposed park, according to OPRHP.
The Hudson Eagles State Recreation Area would not be a contiguous strip of riverfront parkland connecting the five boat launches, but instead would be five separate boat launches made contiguous by the Hudson River, which is already state-controlled and publicly accessible.
The state is in the process of coordinating with local municipalities on the plans, according to OPRHP. A City of Hudson official said they were aware of the proposal, but deferred all questions to OPRHP, saying they did not want to reveal any details of the plans ahead of schedule.
The state owns car-top boat launches in Rensselaer, Schodack, Stuyvesant and Stockport (where, yes, you can see eagles).
The development of the park is contingent on several factors.
The proposal would be funded by the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, a $3 billion loan proposed during Cuomo’s State of the State address earlier this month.
A small slice of the bond would be used to develop the proposed park, with the rest going to various environmental restoration projects around the state.
The cost of the proposed park is still being determined, according to OPRHP.
The bond – which would be paid back with taxpayer dollars – must first be approved by the state legislature, then voted on by the general public during this November’s general elections.
This may be an uphill battle, as the state is projected to run a $6 billion budget deficit, and the state legislature or the public may balk at the price tag.
A second Hudson Valley state park, this one in Kingston, would also be funded by the bond.
Cuomo has proposed a slew of environmental actions he hopes to achieve in the next year, including the expansion of six other Hudson Valley parks; the electrification of buses in the five largest non-NYC transit authorities by 2035; a ban on the use of single-use Styrofoam; and increasing the budgets of several state environmental agencies.