The community’s been flocking to its new stretch of Scenic Hudson RiverWalk for nearly a month now, but today the path of stones and wildflowers got its official blessing.
About 50 major players from the public, private and non-profit groups it took to get this project realized gathered at the waterfront to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of the gorgeous .6 mile stretch connecting Pierson Park to the Hudson Harbor development.
Mayor Drew Fixell praised Ned Sullivan, President of Scenic Hudson, among others. Sullivan attributed today’s milestone of this 20-year effort to the Mayor. “This was a Village-led initiative,” he said, adding, “our role was in supporting the Mayor.”
That makes 32.9 miles of the grand vision of connecting rivertowns from Yonkers to Peekskill complete. “It’s step by step, section of the river by section of the river,” Sullivan said. “This is a major breakthrough. You’ve got the view of the Tappan Zee, the Palisades, the lighthouse. This is really a great day of celebration.”
State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins commented at the podium, “When I was a kid we didn’t even think of the river. You know what happened to the river: prisons, treatment plants. People weren’t thinking about the education, the natural resources.”
There was much gratitude and praise all around, but the real star of the show was 104-year-old philanthropist and avid kayaker Kathryn Wasserman Davis who donated $1 million. She was the lucky one to cut the thick crimson ribbon with a giant pair of scissors, surrounded by officials and immortalized by many reporter cameras.
The events couldn’t begin until she arrived, so folks were still milling around for a bit after the 10 a.m. scheduled start. Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett joked, “We’re waiting for Mrs. Davis. She’s probably coming down on her motor bike or something.”
Though guests and speakers enjoyed the bluest skies, the water remains brown from all the storm run-off. “Now if only Mrs. Davis could find a way to make the river blue,” said National RE/sources President Joe Cotter.
Sullivan announced that tomorrow would mark his annual kayak with Davis. "Wish us luck," he said.