Archive for the ‘Long Island’ Category

source: Massapequa Patch, link to original post

Plans were unveiled Monday for the South Shore Blueway Plan, which will establish a kayak trail through the mashes and bay’s of Long Island’s South Shore.

The Blueway stretches 18 miles from the western boarder of the Town of Hempstead to the Nassau/Suffolk County line.

The plan took share as part of the 2006 Environmental Bond Act. Planning began last year. In November of 2008, the Village of Freeport joined with Nassau County to obtain funds from a Local Waterfront Revitalization grant from New York State.

A water trail is designed for people to use small, non-motorized beachable boats like kayaks, canoes, day sailors or rowboats. There will be various launches, rest stops and shoreline facilities along the way, officials said.

A key element of the plan is sustainability, using green technologies for paths, ramps or any other item that needs to be built. The access plant will also be ADA compliant. The plan calls for interpretive and educational opportunities that will encourage understanding of the South Shore ecosystem and maritime heritage.

“The South Shore Blueway trail will shine a light on the precious wetlands of Nassau County and provide kayak access never before seen in this region,” County Executive Edward Mangano said at Wantagh Park Monday. “I am a proud partner with out local environmental organizations and municipalities to create a new jewel for Long Island.”

According to the project’s website, which you can access by clicking here, the Blueway includes two inlets, four bays, seven new access points and nine boat ramps. For a full list, click here.

The public is invited to share comments during a community forum on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. at Freeport Village Hall’s conference room. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. During the 30-day comment period, questions and comments may be submitted to info@southshoreblueway.com.

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To fully enjoy the sights and smells that autumn in New York has to offer, try walking or biking along a multi-use trail. Take your time as you stroll or pedal your way through a canopy of bright fall foliage, breathing in the fresh air, and drawing in the scenery around you.

Multi-use trails such as rail and canal trails, greenways and bikeways are family friendly places to walk, run, or bike. Many are along historic railways or canal corridors and are mostly flat. Many of the trails are also located near scenic rivers and streams. One thing they have in common, however, is that they all offer a view of the beautiful foliage during the fall months.

Parks & Trails New York has put together a list of Ten Terrific Trails we recommend for fall.

To find a trail near you, use TrailFinder, Parks & Trails New York’s online guide to multi-use trails across New York State at www.ptny.org/trailfinder. TrailFinder can be used to search for trails in several ways—by trail name, by trail attributes such as length, surface, allowable uses, distance from a particular location, or by browsing the interactive map.

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. Find out more about Parks & Trails New York by visiting www.ptny.org and our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Take Your Bike - Rochester available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Rochester available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Erie Canalway Trail – Between Albany and Buffalo more than 270 miles of Erie Canalway Trail provide the opportunity to experience quaint towns and a bounty of fall color along the state’s historic New York State Canal System.  The longest continuous stretch of trail begins in Lockport, about 10 miles east of Buffalo, and continues 100 miles to Lyons along the Erie Canal in western New York.  Other long stretches can be found in the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park between Dewitt and Rome in central New York and the more than 40 miles of trail between Little Falls and Amsterdam in eastern New York. When completed, the Erie Canalway Trail will provide 365 miles of multi-use trails along the canal, making it the longest intra-state trail in the country.

Genesee Valley Greenway
– In western New York, the Genesee Valley Greenway’s well-known “tunnel of green” turns to red and yellow as more than 60 miles of trail follows the Genesee River and the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal through woodlands, farmlands, and historic villages from Rochester to near the Pennsylvania border.  Within Letchworth State Park, the Genesee Valley Greenway affords sweeping views of the famous gorge and waterfalls of the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Catharine Valley Trail – The hillsides resplendent with autumn color above Seneca Lake are a perfect backdrop to begin a visit to the Catharine Valley Trail in Watkins Glen.   The 10-mile trail follows abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors through the 900-acre Queen Catharine Marsh, historic villages, and a heavily wooded, glacially carved valley Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Pat McGee Trail – In the western Southern Tier, the relatively rural 12-mile Pat McGee Trail offers the opportunity to experience the colors of fall while passing through woods, wetlands, and open fields filled with rich a variety of plants, trees, and wildlife.

Cato-Fairhaven Trail – Ponds, wetlands, and old farm buildings add to the rural and agricultural charm of the 14-mile Cato-Fairhaven Trail.  Dense stands of sumac, beech, maple, and aspen trees provide plenty of fall color along this corridor near the shores of Lake Ontario in Central New York.

– What better place to experience autumn color than in the Adirondacks.  There are plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by the best of fall foliage from this 12-mile trail that connects the five mountain communities that give the trail its name – Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, and Eagle Bay.

Catskill Scenic Trail
– The Catskill Scenic Trail follows the route of the former Ulster and Delaware railroad. Young and old will find this an easy and enjoyable route through the foothills of the Catskills.  The trail parallels the West Branch of the Delaware River for the entire route and offers many delightful fishing spots.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park:  Drink in breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley fully decked out in autumn color from more than 200 feet above the middle of the river on the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  The Walkway is the center piece of a 3.6-mile loop that links riverside parks, cultural attractions and historic points of interest on both the Poughkeepsie and Highland waterfronts.

North County Trailway  Following the bed of the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad, this paved trail winds more than 22 miles through the woodlands, parks, and suburbs of Westchester County.  Historic rail stations and a beautiful bridge across the New Croton Reservoir add to the appeal of the route.

Bethpage Bikeway – The 6.5–mile Bethpage Bikeway links Long Island’s Bethpage State Park with the South Shore at Massapequa.  From the Park, the trail passes through a mature forest cover along the Bethpage State Parkway before entering the mixed evergreens and deciduous forests of the Massapequa County Park and Preserve.  The park’s ponds, wetlands, and Massapequa Lake and Creek can all be experienced from the trail.

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by Adina Genn, link to original post

Progress is being made on the shoreline-to-shoreline trail in North Hempstead, with efforts now underway for the newest segment along Hempstead Harbor in Port Washington.

The trail is more than 20 years in the making – an effort led initially by Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington and then-Town Supervisor May Newburger. Ultimately, the trail will stretch along Manhasset Bay, connecting the Town Dock to Manorhaven Park, and along Hempstead Harbor, from North Hempstead Beach Park to Roslyn.

Over time, the town has been able to increase acreage and build the trails through the grant process, Supervisor Jon Kaiman said, including the newest segment along Hempstead Harbor.

Kaiman, at the July 18 Town Hall public meeting, thanked Tony Scotto for enabling the town to “acquire the acreage.”

At that meeting the board approved a resolution awarding a $700,955 contract to Galvin Bros., a Great Neck construction firm. The project is being developed as a joint venture with Madhue Contracting in Plandome.

“The trail is a great success for the town,” and is part of “a large commitment to the environment,” Kaiman said.

The effort has seen success in no small part to the collaboration between the town and Residents, along with village leaders, elected officials, and volunteers. A case in point is Bay Walk, the Port Washington North portion of the Manhasset Bay section of the trail.

The newest Hempstead Harbor portion will be implemented in five phases. The first two phases will comprise “an additional mile to the Hempstead Harbor portion of the trail and will include: cleaning, grubbing, leveling, designing and adding wood chips/ADA compliant crush stone walkway, wetland native plantings, benches, wayfinding signage and a boardwalk on wood piles to traverse streams,” said Residents Executive Director Mindy Germain at the July meeting.

“To get the project going, Residents worked with local Boy Scouts to blaze the first fifth of a mile of this trail southward from Hempstead Harbor Park, and built an informational kiosk at the head of the trail,” she said.

And, back in May, Guggenheim students and Schreiber Tree Huggers worked with  Residents and the town, including Kaiman and Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, to clean, mulch and build buzz about this trail, Germain noted.

Germain thanked the town as well as members of Residents, and its founders Eric Pick and Mike Blumenfeld, for their work and vision.

Also instrumental in the trail’s development are trails project leaders Dan Donatelli and Paul Stewart, and trails committee members Dawn Serignese, Bonnie Doran and Lloyd Karmel, Germain said.

“When complete this trail system will increase connectivity, makes our community more liveable, improves the economy through tourism and civic improvement, preserves and restore open space and provides opportunities for physical activity to improve fitness and mental health,” she said.

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Mashomack Preserve Trails, Shelter Island NY is one of America’s 10 Best Seaside Trails according to the Huffington Post.

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By BILL BLEYER, Newsday, link to original post

Help wanted: People to maintain Long Island’s hiking trails. No pay, and opportunities for cuts and bruises and picking up insect bites, but plenty of fresh air and exercise.

The nonprofit Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference isn’t really putting out ads like this for more volunteers to maintain the 150-mile Island trail network. But it does need more bodies.

Parks agencies in the past had been able to do a lot of trail maintenance. But “lately they are so understaffed and overworked” because of budget cuts that volunteers have been required to do almost all the work, said Nancy Manfredonia, former president of the conference and organizer of an event Sunday at the Trails Information Center in Manorville to acknowledge those who volunteer and try to find more people to pitch in.

“We’ve logged over a half-million hours of volunteer work” over the 34-year life of the organization, Manfredonia said. “We want people to be able to enjoy their hiking experience” so overgrown trails have to be kept wide enough that hikers don’t have to worry about ticks and Lyme disease.

While the organization has 1,200 members and draws many guests on its hikes, it has only about 50 trail maintainers. “We probably need 200 to do a thorough job,” Manfredonia said.

Being a trail volunteer “only entails a love of the outdoors and the ability to clip back the vegetation,” she said.

Nancy Duffrin of Shoreham, a trail maintainer for more than 15 years, leads a crew of about 25 volunteers who spend three hours on Mondays sprucing up the western portion of the 125-mile Paumanok Path, which runs from Rocky Point to Montauk Point.

The retired Stony Brook University administrator said the group uses a brush mower, a regular lawn mower, loppers, hedge trimmers and bow saws. “We’ve learned how to protect against ticks pretty well” by using a spray on their clothes, she said.

Janet Hann of Westhampton has been volunteering for four years and helps Duffrin manage the Monday group. The part-time employee at the Westhampton Free Library said she volunteers because “I believe in giving back. It’s more enjoyable hiking on the trail that’s been maintained.”

Bill Raftery of East Islip, an electronics manufacturing firm employee and volunteer since the mid-1990s, uses an ax to clear fallen trees on the Nassau-Suffolk Trail in Cold Spring Harbor State Park. “It’s good exercise and I get thanks from everybody who uses the trail,” he said. The only downside: “a couple of blisters.” Being a trail volunteer “only entails a love of the outdoors and the ability to clip back the vegetation,” she said.

Click here for the trail maintainer application & to see what sections are available.

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Climate change is already adversely affecting seven national seashores on the Atlantic Coast, from Cape Cod to Cape Canaveral, and those impacts will dramatically worsen if heat-trapping pollution is not reduced, according to a new report from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Titled “Atlantic National Seashores in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption,” the RMCO/NRDC report contains the first set of maps detailing the portions of Atlantic national seashores that are low lying enough to be at real risk of being submerged by rising sea levels.  Other climate change impacts outlined in the report include the loss of bridges and roads that provide access to the seashores, breakup of barrier islands into smaller segments, extensive beach erosion, and loss of wildlife.

The RMCO/NRDC report documents that Fire Island National Seashore (NS) in New York, Assateague Island NS in Maryland and Virginia, Cape Hatteras NS and Cape Lookout NS, both in North Carolina, and Canaveral NS in Florida, all have a majority of their lands less than one meter (3.3 feet) above sea level, and therefore are at serious risk of inundation by a higher sea level. Also at risk to higher seas are particular sections of the remaining two national seashores covered in the report: Cape Cod NS in Massachusetts and Cumberland Island NS in Georgia.

Scientists say there is a good chance that a hotter climate could push seas at least one meter higher in this century.     The report notes that the Cape Cod, Fire Island, Assateague Island, and Cape Hatteras national seashores already are experiencing rates of sea-level rise well above the global average.

Another concern is rising temperatures that could discourage summertime visitors.  New climate projections included in the report show that, with medium to high emission level, the late-century summer temperatures at Fire Island NS could average 6.5 degrees higher, as hot as those experienced today in Atlantic Beach, NC, and temperatures at Cumberland Island NS could rise 6.3 degrees, matching the current summer climate in desert-bound White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.

The seven national seashores draw a total of about 11 million visitors a year, contributing to the economy of seven states by generating more than half a billion dollars in spending and supporting nearly 8,000 jobs.  An additional, immeasurable economic value of the seashores is that they contain islands, dunes, and other shoreline features that are the first line of defense protecting human populations and developments from the often devastating effects of winds and surging flood waters from hurricanes, nor’easters, and other coastal storms.

Report author Stephen Saunders, president, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, said:  “Major parts of each of these seashores, including most lands in five of them, could be lost forever under a higher ocean if we do not stop disrupting the climate. Climate change is the greatest threat ever to our national park systems. These seashores certainly are among the most vulnerable areas.  Human alteration of the climate threatens to undercut our national promise that these special places will be preserved unimpaired for the enjoyment of my children and future generations.”

Theo Spencer, senior advocate, Climate and Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council, said:  “Massive and preventable damage to national seashores is too high a price to pay for failing to act on climate change.  This report makes clear that if we don’t cut the amount of heat-trapping pollution we spew into the air, these special places that Americans love will never be the same. We’ve made some progress, including national standards to make cars cleaner and more efficient, and new health protections from power plant pollution. But more must be done. For starters, we need to allow the Environmental Protection Agency to continue doing its job controlling heat-trapping pollution that harms our health and the places we love.”

Dr. S. Jeffress Williams, scientist emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey, said:  “Science is compelling that climate is changing, becoming warmer and much more variable. Many impacts are already affecting Atlantic National Seashores and will do so for decades into the future. This new assessment is important for planning for these changes by documenting effects such as sea level rise and warming on both the natural resources in the parks and also the public who visit the parks and value what the parks offer.”

The following is among the key findings about the NY national seashore:

* Fire Island NS, located only 40 miles from Manhattan, has most of its land one meter or less above sea level, primarily on the inland side of the island. Based on projected wave height, susceptibility to erosion, and tidal range, Fire Island has a high vulnerability to shoreline change from sea-level rise.

See the full report for other impacts.

The report also outlines the steps needed to avoid further climate disruption to national seashore areas, including:

* Establishing comprehensive mandatory limits on carbon pollution to reduce emissions by at least 20 percent below current levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050;
* Protecting the current Clean Air Act authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), allowing EPA to do its job of protecting American’s health by cutting pollution;
* Overcoming barriers to investment in energy efficiency to lower emission-reduction costs, starting now;
* Accelerating the development and deployment of emerging technologies to lower long-term emission reduction costs; and
* Actions by the National Park Service to identify and protect threatened seashore resources and to reduce its own emissions of heat-trapping pollution, combined with visitor education exhibits and programs on climate change threats and examples of emission reduction efforts. With 279 million visits in 2011, the national park system can play a unique role in presenting climate change information to people.

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Decobike Bike Share Program in Long Beach NY

by: Joseph Kellard, Long Beach Patch

Filled with a wealth of activities and attractions, New York’s , commute just got easier. Promoting a healthy living and environmentally friendly DecoBike has put its bike’s in the big apple. DecoBike, is currently the first bike-share program in the state of New York, DecoBike’s partnership with the City of Long Beach. New Yorkers can now get from point A to Point B by simply renting a DECOBIKE for periods at a time.

Launching this week DecoBike brings you a true Long Beach lifestyle option – a bike.  Allowing tourist to live like a local, by cruising from the train to the boardwalk, and then to beach, on a comfortable beach cruisers. DecoBike allows you to take advantage of the 2.2 miles of boardwalk or move beyond the boardwalk into the various neighborhoods of Long Beach as you ride in style through the City by the Sea.  With kiosks conveniently located throughout the City, it’s an easy, economical and exciting way to enhance your summer experience.  Ride one way or round trip to a myriad of destinations and enjoy life like a Long Beach local.  With a variety of pricing options to meet any rider’s needs, the possibilities are endless for a stupendous riding experience in Long Beach.

As the first bike-share program in the state of New York, DecoBike’s partnership with the City of Long Beach offers riders safe travel on the beautiful Long Beach Boardwalk as well as on an array of designated bike lanes on local roads.  Always keeping environmental and physical safety in mind, DecoBike used the July 4th launch of their bike-sharing program to offer riders free safety helmets.  “DecoBike has been inspired by a genuine love for our planet to create opportunities for individuals to pursue alternative means of transportation that enhance personal health and reduce the carbon footprint,” said Ricardo Pierdant, President of DECOBIKE.  “We are excited about our efforts in Long Beach, NY as we know we are providing a unique opportunity for those who visit the city to live like the locals, even for a day.”

Staffed by a knowledgeable and experienced team of Long Beach locals, DecoBike offers riders a true Long Beach experience.  “As a life-long Long Beach resident, I feel fortunate to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world.  Some of my fondest memories are of my riding my bike through town with my mom or my friends.  I am excited to be working with a company that will offer this experience to the hundreds of thousands of individuals who visit our city each year,” said Richard Chimienti, Manager of DecoBike, Long Beach.   In a challenging economic time, DecoBike has used its local-mindedness to put Long Beach locals to work.  “It’s important for DecoBike to become a contributing member of the Long Beach community.  This City has given so much to us and we are fortunate to be able to give back in a unique way now.  Having the opportunity to hire so many young people from Long Beach as part of the DecoBike team allows us to invest not only in our residents, but also demonstrate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to our guests as well,” said Pierdant.

The forecast is heating up.  Why not head to the beach and enjoy the Long Beach experience like a local – on a DecoBike.

DECOBIKE, LLC debuted their revolutionary public bicycle sharing and rental program in the world-famous South Beach Art Deco district as the country’s first green city-wide public transit program, starting in March 2011. In 2012, they have expanded to Surfside, FL and New York giving locals and tourist the chance to live and healthier lifestyle. For more information, please visit our website at www.DecoBikelbny.com.

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Kings Park Trail Extension in Smithtown NY Delayed

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by Joe Scotchie, Massapequan Observer, link to original post

Recently, state officials and local politicians gathered at various sites in Nassau County to announce the coming construction of multi-use paths, mostly those for bicycle enthusiasts.

Among those is the Ocean Parkway-Jones Beach Access path, which is designed to assist bicyclists traveling to the latter destination.

New York State Transportation Department (NYSDOT) officials said the path would provide a 0.7-mile connection between the end of the 7.5-mile Wantagh State Parkway multi-use path and the Jones Beach State Park East Bath House.  It will be constructed through the Jones Beach Theater parking area to the pedestrian underpass, where new storage will be provided for 100 bicycles.

NYSDOT officials added that the path is scheduled for construction work this fall with a spring 2013 completion date all at a cost of $1 million.

Those same officials, naturally, all hailed the coming construction. “Many residents from all across Long Island ride, run, and walk on the Wantagh Parkway Bike Path every single day,” said State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R – Merrick). “This project will give them greater access to Jones Beach, which is the crown jewel of the state parks system, and provide a critical link to the planned Ocean Parkway Bike Path.”

“I am pleased that the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have come together to extend the bike path at Jones Beach which will have numerous benefits to our residents by increasing mobility and accessibility through Jones Beach Park by bicycle and increasing the health benefits of bicycling,” added Assemblyman Dave McDonough (R – Bellmore).

Other projected multi-use paths include the Bethpage State Park extension, which begins through Trail View State to Woodbury Road and the Setauket to Port Jefferson multi-use path. The Setauket project is scheduled to begin construction in August with a May 2014 completion date. No date has been set for the construction or completion of the Bethpage State Park extension.

More than 18 miles of new paths, state officials said, are being added to the state’s 172 miles of on- and off-road bike routes across Long Island.

Officials with the NYSDOT and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation also traded compliments. “The New York State Department of Transportation is about more than roads and bridges,” NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said. “Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership on smart growth and sustainable development reinforces the critical role bicycle paths play in our multi-modal transportation system.  We’re pleased to partner with the State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in expanding opportunities for cyclists and pedestrians, and encouraging them to enjoy all the natural beauty Long Island has to offer this summer.”

“Transportation and recreation often go hand in hand,” added NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey. “With 18 miles of new multi-use paths, cyclists, runners, hikers and others will have even more opportunities to get out and explore Long Island’s beautiful landscape. I am grateful to Commissioner McDonald and the state Department of Transportation for their partnership in creating these tremendous new resources for safe and healthy recreation.”

Copies of the Long Island bikeways map and additional information regarding Long Island bike facilities may be obtained at http://www.511ny.org/rideshare/ rideshare.aspx?FolderID=149.

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Kevin Stiegelmaier compiled a Google Map that shows all of the Long Island paddling put-ins featured in his book, Paddling Long Island and NYC.  It is by no means done, but it does show many spots across the island.  Just click on the picture of the map on the right side of the screen and it’ll take you there.  

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