Clearwater receives $400,000 from New York State for Kingston Home Port Project

Awarded Grant for an Education and Boatbuilding Center at the Hudson River Maritime Museum

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has awarded a $400,000 grant to help cover the cost of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Hudson River Maritime Museum’s joint project for the Kingston Home Port and Education Center to be built on the Rondout Creek. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the grants in December as part of a new economic development initiative that adds up to $67 million for 61 Mid-Hudson Valley projects.

The grant will be matched with money through a joint fundraising effort of the two organizations, through private donations, and a $125,000 grant secured by state Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston. Architectural services and $200,000 worth of timber are being donated by Allan Shope, Clearwater board president.

The 4,500-square-foot, two story timber frame boatbuilding barn will be constructed on the west end of the Hudson River Maritime Museum property.  The facility will offer environmental education programming, public green infrastructure trainings, community boat building, maritime history lectures, and exhibitions. The new Home Port facility will also play a key role in enhancing the environment, quality of life, and support economic vitality of the Kingston community by creating a draw for Hudson Valley tourism and attracting visitors to the Kingston waterfront.

“We are grateful to New York State (Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation),” said Jeff Rumpf, Clearwater’s executive director, “We are very excited about the new Home Port in Kingston; not only will it provide a permanent winter home for the sloop, Clearwater, something she has never had in her 40 years on the Hudson, it will also serve as headquarters for Hudson Valley Green Infrastructure, Green Cities, and position our water economy to grow!”

“The structure will be built by local craftsmen using mainly local materials and we are planning a barn-raising event for the fall.  This building really looks toward the future— and it’s designed to withstand the periodic floods that affect the Rondout,” said John C. Weeks, Hudson River Maritime Museum board member and chair for the Barn Building Committee. “Both organizations are grateful to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and to Assemblyman Cahill for making this wonderful project possible. It will benefit all New Yorkers lucky enough to visit the site, but it will especially benefit the people of the Hudson Valley.”

“The partnership between Clearwater and the Hudson River Maritime Museum is going to make a big difference on the Kingston waterfront,” said Kate Mitchell, Hudson River Maritime Museum’s executive director, “This project gives us the opportunity to better serve the local community. In addition, we’ve got plans to make this a year-round destination, to draw people in for the cultural and heritage experience they can have here summer or winter. This is just the beginning of really good things.”

The Kingston city Planning Board voted unanimously in December for the building proposal. An old fashioned barn-raising involving community members is planned for Fall 2012. To learn more about the Kingston Home Port, visit http://www.clearwater.org/about/kingston-home-port/.

For more information about Clearwater’s OPRHP grant award, please contact Eileen Newman, Grants and Major Gifts Coordinator, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, at Eileen@Clearwater.org, or 845-265-8080, ext.7160.

Please visit Clearwater’s Kingsdotn Home Port web page for more information about Clearwater and the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s joint project.  

You can also visit the Hudson River Maritime Museum’s websit at  www.hrmm.org for more information.

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