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Letter on Nyack’s Park Conservancy

This was written by Thom Kleiner, Town of Orangetown Superintendent, about Nyack Park Conservancy.
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A little over a year ago, I wrote a column about the Nyack Park Conservancy, a young not for profit trying to make a difference along the waterfront of Nyack. I applauded their efforts, urged everyone to support them and predicted success. Last Saturday night, in the magnificent gardens of Pretty Penny, my premonitions about this scrappy group seem to be coming true.

It was a night when the rain chose to hold off just long enough, as the crowd of elegantly dressed people from all over Rockland , Westchester, New Jersey, Manhattan and even Massachusetts filled the legendary grounds of Helen Hayes old home. The occasion was the Nyack Park Conservancy’s third annual fundraiser and, like each one before it, this one topped the last. Guests sipped cocktails while wandering the halls of Pretty Penny, the current home of W. Graham Arader, a Manhattan art dealer of tremendous renown. Strings played as the guests entered, John Molino did his own fabulous music out back, white roses in silver cups deocorated small tables hung with crystals, high school waiters in Conservancy t-shirts passed h’ors d’oeveres and the guests had a fabulous time.

It’s all very nice to have spectacular fund raisers, nice still since this one seems to have raised over $25,000 for the Conservancy. But nicest of all is how this groups is using these funds. One of the speakers at the party was Steve Rosenberg of Scenic Hudson, a group that proudly awarded the Village of Nyack the money to complete a Master Plan of the waterfront and hire the exemplary landscaper architect firm Quenell Rothschild to do it. The Conservancy will pay a third of the cost. Rosenberg discussed how important it is for grass roots organizations like the Nyack Park Conservancy to exist, how it is groups like them who save little jewel like spots up and down our great river.

It’s groups like the Conservancy that fund free summer conservation and education programs for kids, this summer teaching over a hundred children a little bit more about the wonderful place we live. It was the Conservancy that encouraged the Village to start celebrating Earth Day, and it is and will continue to be the Conservancy that is actively working to raise the millions of dollars that will be necessary to make this waterfront transformation happen.

It is, as I said at the beginning of my column a year ago, just like the quote from Margaret Mead. ‘€œNever doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.’€

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Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.


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