FOCA's blog

The Winner of the 2014 Bike Raffle is Announced

On the blustery morning of Saturday November 22, friends volunteers gathered to pick the winner of our 2014 bike raffle out of the jar. A blindfolded Lucy Warner, 8, of Dobbs Ferry reached into the jar and selected the ticket of Dana Rubin of Irvington.

A long-time Friend of the Old Croton Aqueduct, Dana is an avid trail walker. "I'll have to start riding now!" she said, delighted with her unexpected win of the hybrid trail bike from Endless Trails Bikeworx.

Fall Newsletter is out and on its way to you

Our latest newsletter is out and on its way to you, with articles about our Miler program, a surprising story about The Bethesda Fountain in New York City, photos of the Keeper's House restoration and more.

Please note that the mailing label has the date of your membership expiration on it. We have extended our grace period, but if your membership expired in 2013 you will not receive our next newsletter. Please renew today!

Unknown Palisades Lecture


Dobbs Ferry Library


Dam Tour draws crowds

Friends Board member Laura Compagni-Sabella gave a terrific tour of the Croton Dam on Saturday September 6th, complete with pictures and samples of tools used by workers on the Croton Dam. To many people, the New Croton Dam in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, represents the ingenuity of American engineers of the late nineteenth century. At completion, it stood as the tallest masonry dam in the world. People compared it to the pyramids and to the Great Wall of China as a testament to human genius. The Dam is also a central feature in a dramatic labor story.

Keeper's House Updates - Work is Moving Along!

Work is moving along at The Keeper's House.
All photos ©Tom Tarnowsky 2014
Top: Pavement and parking lot
Middle: Interior plaster work
Bottom: reusing original bricks

Breaking Ground at the Keeper's House Visitor Center

The official groundbreaking for the Keeper's House Restoration project drew happy crowds on Friday June 27th, 2014!

On hand to shovel some ceremonial dirt were:

Top pic, left to right: FOCA Board member Douglas Emilio; Linda Cooper, Regional Director at New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation ; Dobbs Ferry Mayor's representative Liz Dreaper; State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins; FOCA President Mavis Cain; project contractor David Furaro.

Gracemere Ribbon Cutting

The ribbon cutting event celebrating the restoration of a Tarrytown section of the trail drew a happy and enthusiastic crowd on Sunday June 15. The event opened in a spectacular setting in the Lyndhurst conservatory with our special guests sitting beside the fountain with the scent of roses in the air.

Kevin Plunkett, Westchester County Executive; Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, Westchester County Legislator; and MaryJane Shimsky all spoke glowingly of the importance of the trail to all Westchester residents and visitors.

Yonkers Cleanup on June 7

On a glorious sunny morning in Yonkers, scores of volunteers – students, staff of the City of Yonkers, the Green Task Force, Habitat, and of course the Friends – worked valiantly to clear away litter and large pieces of debris from the trail in Yonkers primarily south of Summit Street.

Contract Signed

The last hurdle : The Friends are thrilled to announce the last hurdle in the approvals for the rehabilitation of the Keeper’s House has been crossed. The State Comptroller in Albany has approved the contract of our chosen construction company. On June 2nd we will have a pre-construction meeting at the House with all concerned with this auspicious project. Stay tuned for a ground-breaking event!

Mapping Invasives on the Trail

Another thank you from the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, this time to the 14 volunteers who participated in the Citizen Scientist training on June 22 at the Carriage House at Teatown Lake Reservation. This was a follow up to the giant volunteer efforts on May 3 as part of the I Love My Park Day on the Old Croton Aqueduct, since that event was just the kick off to our long term goal of improving the overall ecology of this very special linear park.

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