FOCA's blog

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.

CELEBRATE Film

We are pleased to announce the completion of our short promotional film about the Aqueduct, the Friends and our Keeper's House Project. Entitled "CELEBRATE!", the film was produced and edited by L. Brandon Krall of Media Triangle, and has already garnered attention, with an award from the Greater Hudson Heritage Network and a Sy Shulman award from the Westchester Historical Society.

You can view it HERE and HERE

Annual Meeting 2014

The Annual Meeting of the Friends took place on a sunny Sunday, April 27th at the Irvington Library. It featured the new life of the Keeper’s House. The theme drew a large and enthusiastic audience, members and the general public who have supported the restoration of this National Historic Landmark and have often asked "What’s next ?” The good news that had the audience clapping is the fact that funds are in place for the the restoration and the architectural design work has been approved by State officials.

NEW! Patches for walkers who go the distance

The Friends will recognize walkers/runners who complete the Westchester portion or the entire Old Croton Aqueduct Trail with a 26- or 41-mile certificate and patch (free to members). Click here for details and recognition forms.

Connecting the Trail Over the Deegan Expressway


The plan to reconnect the Aqueduct trail across the Deegan Expressway in Van Cortlandt Park, the Bronx, received wide media coverage at an event in the park on March 29. Congressmen Serrano and Engel and about 60 advocates turned out in the rain to demonstrate for city funding for the pedestrian bridge, which would also reconnect parts of the park. Friends of Van Cortlandt Park organized the event; Friends of the Aqueduct were among the co-sponsors.

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