FOCAAdmin's blog

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FOCAAdmin

Left to right: Steven Oakes, Historic Site Manager; Tony Failla and Jeff Litwinowicz. Photo: Linda Cooper

These are our three trail heroes who not only patrol and protect and solve problems on all 26 miles of the trail, they do it with a smile – and an occasional growl from Tony for any careless behavior on the trial by outsiders. If you pay a visit to the barn in the summer you might be given a prize tomato or maybe even a squash offered by Tony who keeps a garden at the trailer. If you come by the barn at lunch time in the winter, often the three guys are enjoying each other’s company over a sandwich.

Tony's moments of power are when he is running the chipper and grinding up huge pieces of wood while warning volunteers to keep away from the wood-eating monster... Jeff is loved by all Aqueduct kids because he joshes them and has a big smile behind the beard. Mavis’ grandson always asks before an event, “ Will Jeff be there?”

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

photo: Oliver Lednicer

Cross-country skiing and snow shoeing are suddenly popular. A few years ago, walkers who saw me on my skis used to ask “ Where do you get skis like that?” Now the tracks on the trail are already formed when I get out on an afternoon. Snow-shoe tracks are even more prevalent sometimes breaking up the smoother ski tracks.

Some sections of the trail are better than others. My recommendations are: Park your car at Gorey Brook road in Sleepy Hollow. Here there’s an easy entrance to the trail where it runs parallel to the Rockefeller Preserve. Skiers who don’t like hills should stay on the Aqueduct for a smooth tranquil run past the Sleepy Hollow Weir Chamber and north to the bridge over the highway. Those who like hills should enter the Rockefeller Preserve just north of the Weir chamber and follow Peggy’s Way south for some gentle hills before returning to the Aqueduct.

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

If you’ve walked or skied by the Keeper’s House on these cold winter days, you may be wondering what progress is being made. You can see that the gaping east wall is being filled with appropriate bricks. You may be aware that every effort is being made to use the original bricks for repairs to keep the integrity of the house. If we run short of old bricks, some can be rescued from an unnecessary chimney. The other worrisome exterior problem is the southwest corner. You’ll see the scaffolding – a good sign of work in progress.

Inside a good part of the roof and floor framing is done. Wall moldings have been removed and tagged to be re-installed. Again, efforts are made to retain as much of the original moldings as possible. And of course saving the two medallions by making small repairs is of prime importance. “ Finish” carpentry is being done as temperature inside permits. Plumbing is 50% complete and electrical panels are in.

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

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.

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

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!

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

FREE PUBLIC LECTURE THURSDAY OCTOBER 9, 7:30pm

Dobbs Ferry Library

DOWNLOAD THE PDF

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

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. Hundreds of workers risked life and limb to turn the dazzling dreams and promises of politicians and engineers into a concrete reality. This tour explored the forgotten stories of the immigrant laborers who built the Dam from 1892-1905.

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

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

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

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.

Bottom pic left to right: Lucy Waletsky, Chair of the New York State Council of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; project Architect Steve Tilly; FOCA Vice-President Robert Kornfeld; Park Manager Gary Ricci; County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky; Assemblyman Tom Abinanti.

Author: 
FOCAAdmin

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.

Linda Cooper, Director of the Taconic Region of NY State Parks, Andy Todd and Barry Prevor of Greystone-on-Hudson – who facilitated the restoration of the trail – cut the ribbon together with a signal from FOCA president, Mavis Cain. Two Dobbs Ferry student musicians Phil Moreno and Thomas Horikawa heralded the speeches with a trumpet flare and clarinet melodies as the group walked the trail.

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