Katharine Gates's blog

FOCA supports the Protect the Palisades Coalition

Press Release: Proposed LG Building Would Mar Palisades, Image Shows

Englewood Cliffs, N. J. – July 30, 2013 – Today, Protect the Palisades released visual simulations taken from the George Washington Bridge showing that LG's proposed 143-foot tower would destroy the Palisades vista. The images, which provide “Before” and “After” views, stand in stark contrast to LG's claims to the contrary.

Preservation Work Assures Croton Aqueduct Double Arch Bridge Another Hundred Years

Photo: Mavis Cain, Gary Ricci, Manager of Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, Sammy Singh who worked on the bridge and Robert Kornfeld.

By Andrea Minoff

33rd Annual Volunteer Spirit Awards on April 26, 2013

The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct were pleased to be given the Going Green Spirit Award by the Volunteer Center of United Way. The award recognized the Friends’ work in promoting and protecting the 26.2 miles of green which is the Aqueduct trail.

One of the ways the Friends spread awareness of the importance of the Aqueduct is by giving lectures and programs that tell the story of how the Aqueduct was built between in five short years ( 1837 to 1842 ) to bring life saving fresh water to New York City.

James Bremner's Gravestone is back together!

The Friends are thrilled that Bremner’s stone was the first to be repaired in the historic Little White Cemetery in Dobbs Ferry.

Bremner was the first keeper and superintendent of the Aqueduct Trail in the 4th district. He was responsible for daily maintenance and annual inspection of every foot of the interior in his area. He was stationed and housed in the Keeper’s House in Dobbs Ferry from the late 1840’s to his death in 1872. He lived there with his wife and two stepdaughters and must have used the old barn on Walnut street.

Aqueduct Cleanup Day April 21

All hands on Yonkers! The big Aqueduct Clean-up Day, April 21, was a huge success.

Bamboo? Just Say No!

Please think twice. Please think three times.
Please don't plant bamboo anywhere near the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail.

In fact, nothing at all should be planted inside the 60-foot-wide state park boundaries! If in doubt ask the State Park Manager, Gary Ricci, Tel. 914 693 5259.

What's especially wrong with bamboo barriers? Bamboo knows no borders. Even from deep inside your back yard, bamboo roots will quickly decamp for the Aqueduct! They invade and loosen the tunnel brickwork underneath the trail. They threaten the structural integrity of the aqueduct.

Standing-Room-Only Crowd at FOCA Annual Meeting


Photos by Fred Charles

At the Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct's Annual meeting, held on April 7 at the Irvington Public Library, a standing-room-only crowd listened to High Bridge Restoration project manager Bryan Diffley's account of the bridge's history and rehabilitation plans.


Bryan Diffley, Charlotte Fahn, Bob Kornfeld and Mavis Cain.

The OCA Trail - Who Needs a Ski Resort?

The Aqueduct became a cross-country ski resort in February 2013. Fresh, powdery snow lured dozens of skiers including Friends President, Mavis Cain and her family. This is the first year local residents have been able to get cross country skis and snow shoes easily – with an LLBean and REI within reach in Yonkers.

How many times did we hear ”Isn't it wonderful to have snow!” Often there were three tracks on the trail – one for walkers, one for skiers and one for snow-shoers. Do we have to wait another year for a day like February 9?

Save the Date! Annual Meeting April 7

High Bridge – It’s Happening!

Please join us to hear a first-hand account of the top-to-bottom restoration of the High Bridge now underway from civil engineer Bryan Diffley, construction manager of the project, and learn of his experiences as a contractor working within the Croton Waterworks. A short business meeting precedes the talk.

Sunday April 7, 2013 at 2pm
The meeting, at the Irvington Public Library, opposite Irvington Station on Metro-North’s Hudson Line, is open to the public.

FOCA wins PTNY grant for Film

Parks and Trails New York has generously awarded The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct $1,250 for post-production (audio, graphics, color correction) for a short film to solicit donations and memberships and enhance knowledge and appreciation of the Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park.

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