Sojourner Truth State Park
Community Info Page
Sharing information and opportunities to connect people to nature and history on a future 520-acre riverfront park.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the project partners?
What will Scenic Hudson’s role be when the land becomes a state park?
What’s the relationship with Hutton Brickyards?
Scenic Hudson, New York State Parks and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) are working together to create the first state park in the City of Kingston and Town of Ulster.
Quarry Waters, LLC (an affiliate of Scenic Hudson) purchased the 520-acre property in October 2019 because of its outstanding potential to benefit local residents and the entire Hudson Valley. Scenic Hudson will transfer the property to New York State Parks sometime in 2021.
There is no programmatic or financial relationship between the future park and Hutton Brickyards, a privately-owned event space and commercial property that the Hudson River Brickyard Trail passes to the south on North Street. During the trail’s operating hours, a gate across the street remains unlocked thanks to an agreement between Hutton Brickyards and the City of Kingston. Learn more here.
When will the park be open for public access?
During construction, will the Hudson River Brickyard Trail remain open?
Currently, the park is closed to the public. This post-industrial site contains many unstable structures and landscape features that Scenic Hudson is addressing, both to ensure public safety and facilitate ongoing ecological recovery.
The park build-out will occur in phases as resources become available. State Parks, PIPC and Scenic Hudson are aiming to complete initial improvements sometime in late 2021. Community feedback from an online survey and virtual meetings will serve as a guide for these improvements and enhancements to park access.
The Hudson River Brickyard Trail will remain open throughout park construction. Visitors are encouraged to access it from Kingston Point Beach. Learn more here.
Has an inventory been made of the site’s fish and aquatic life?
Are there any rare or endangered species?
What do you know about the lakes?
An ecological assessment of the site was conducted in the summer of 2020. Initial findings indicate the presence of all six NYSDEC Hudson Valley priority habitats, as well as numerous species of greatest conservation need. The design team would love to hear about species others may have observed while on the site in the past.
As part of the ecological assessment, the lakes were evaluated for water quality and aquatic life, but their depth has not been measured. Given that the lakes are the result of intensive industrial excavations, they are incredibly deep and have very steep sides. More studies are needed in the future.
Heritage – Cement Industry
Will any cement industry structures remain?
What kind of analysis has been done on these structures?
A thorough analysis of all industrial structures evaluated their short- and long-term structural integrity, safety risks and maintenance needs, historical significance, and environmental or ecological impacts. Costs were evaluated to understand the funding needed for various strategies, including restricting access, stabilizing, adapting or removing.
Following this analysis, Scenic Hudson determined that removal of the silos from the era of manufacturing Portland Cement (1959-79) offered the most beneficial option. While interpreting the past is important, removing the silos this summer will alleviate many safety, liability and management concerns; restore the natural ridgeline and viewshed; and allow for the creation of an exciting, safe and engaging central gathering area.
Safety & Risks
Do previous mining operations pose a safety hazard?
What will it cost to make the site safe and accessible to the public?
What safety measures are being considered for features like the cliffs?
As planning and funding for the park progress, we intend to install In summer 2020, Scenic Hudson had the site evaluated for contaminated material related to industrial operations. Several areas identified as containing asbestos have been remediated.
The site is not classified or registered as a brownfield. Scenic Hudson has invested substantial resources to identify and remove garbage, debris and other environmental hazards, as well as to restore unstable areas prone to extreme erosion. These areas will continue to be off-limits to the public to allow vegetation to establish.
While we want park visitors to explore the beauty of this landscape, we are cognizant of the risks associated with the steep cliffs and industrial structures. Warning signs, safety measures like guardrails and security fencing will be incorporated into high-risk areas without detracting from visitors’ experiences. As the park is developed in phases, we advise visitors to adhere to the rules and signage for their own personal safety and protection of natural features.