The seeds of the Harlem Valley Appalachian Trail Community (Pawling and Dover, NY) were sown at the Dedication of the A.T. Boardwalk in Pawling on Sunday, July 1, 2012. Photo below, more here.
During the ceremony, ATC Executive Director Mark Wenger mentioned that he was in Warwick the day before celebrating their dedication as the first AT Community in New York State. An hour later, Pete Muroski invited a group of us next door to his business, Native Landscapes, where we engaged in a lively Q&A with Karen Lutz, Pam Underhill, Ron Rosen and Jim Haggett on how to become an A.T. Community. A Working Group was formed and we had scheduled our first official meeting – subject to the attendance of the Dover and Pawling Supervisors Courtien and Kelly – before we walked out the door.
The best part of managing the six-month process was being part of a strong team without which the application would never have been produced. Pete and I became Co-Chairs of the Working Group, and our A.T. Community Advisory Committee is comprised of two town governments, four public and private schools, community leaders, local and regional environmental organizations, the business community, and our ATC representatives. In addition, we have the support of our Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, our Dutchess County Planning Commissioner Kealey Salomon and our Dutchess County Tourism Executive Director Mary Kay Vrba.
Our Working Group circulated countless drafts in order to produce a quality application, one with input from a broad group of diverse stakeholders. I am particularly proud of the Letters of Support we received on behalf our Application, measure of the enthusiasm for the project.
– From Stancy DuHamel, Co-Chair of Advisory Committee