In 1999, a "Scenic Byway" designation for N.Y.S. Route 4, between
Waterford and Whitehall, provided an opportunity for community projects with
the potential to spark economic development. A renewed interest in local travel,
a market that embraced historical, cultural, and educational tourism, and
increased promotion of the N.Y.S. Canal System, set the stage for an
innovative bi-county public park. In 2000, the Park was the number one
recommendation in a Champlain Canal Corridor Management Plan.
A grassroots steering committee formed; volunteers, Planners, school leaders,
and elected officials from Saratoga and Washington Counties came together to
work. Phil Lord, at that time Director of Museum Services for the N.Y.S.
Museum, played an integral role in the start-up committee. Initial work began
with a "Friends of Stark's Knob" group. Volunteers secured funding for signage,
cleared trails, and hosted public events. Month after month committee members
met to envision a park that could benefit local communities and serve a
multi-generational audience. Slowly, an interweaving of history, geology, and
environmental conscience began to emerge.
After receiving encouragement from the N.Y.S. Canal Corporation and local
Town officials, "Hudson Crossing ~ A Bi-County Educational Park" (HCP)
became a reality and the search for funding began in earnest.
Howdid Hudson Crossing Park come to Be?
It started with an idea that grew into a plan.
New volunteers joined the committee. Folks joined Scenic
Hudson's "RiverSweep" clean-up efforts and National
Trails Day celebrations. Volunteers donated professional
services - surveying, planning, graphic design, architectural
concept drawings, and consulting were provided
"pro-bono". Momentum grew as outreach efforts increased.
In 2004, a public "charrette" attracted over 100 people.
Overwhelming support for the project was evident and
once again new volunteers stepped forward. Grants from
both public and private channels provided the necessary
monies for trails, signage and further planning efforts.
In 2005 the committee forged a strong working relationship with students and faculty members at Skidmore College. Student interns brought energy and
insight; they organized workshops and the first "Hudson Fest" on Champlain Canal Lock 5 Island and helped with the Hudson Crossing Cardboard Boat
Race at Fort Hardy Park. A "Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan (L.W.R.P.) grant application, initiated and written by members of HCP, and submitted
by the Town of Saratoga, was approved by the N.Y.S. Department of State. Hudson Crossing became a leader in this far-reaching intermunicipal planning
In the spring of 2006, HCP incorporated as an educational corporation in
the state of N.Y. Just a few months later, the Park received recognition
from the I.R.S. as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit entity. Grants allowed the
Park's first paid staff person to come on-board in 2007 as project manager
for the Hudson Crossing Play Garden and in 2012 to lead the Green
Ribbon School Project.
Ongoing collaboration with local planners, landscape architects, and
volunteers, led the Park to innovative and well-designed working
documents. A "Multi-Modal" Trail Master Plan, a feasibility study and
concept drawings for the proposed Environmental Education Center, and an
Interpretive Plan now provide a "Mission-Driven" framework for moving the
In 2012, with the Park thriving, the Board of Directors was restructured to
provide a stronger base of leadership ensuring the long-term sustainability
and fulfillment of the Mission of Hudson Crossing Park.