On Sunday, October 8, the Friends hosted a party on the lawns of the Keeper's House to commemorate the October day 175 years ago when Croton water first arrived in New York City. The rain stopped on cue, and we were able to celebrate the flow of water without any flowing over us.
There was music: bagpipers from Iona College, madrigal singers performing the original, 1842 Croton Ode, old-time folk tunes with Jim Keyes and blue-grass with Dan O’Dea and Eagle Ridge.
With some Chinese food containers, some tape and lots of laughter, ArchforKids had children making arches strong enough to support a road. (An example of their work is on view in the Keeper's House).
We had baked goods donated by big-F Friends and small-f friends, organic pizza by local foodie Coco Zordan and her daughter Sofia. We served apples fresh from Concklin Orchards, freshly squeezed lemonade (aka Croton Cocktails) and Penny Lick Ice Cream.
Illustrious political types showed up, too: State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, New York Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, County Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky, and candidate for Dobbs Board of Trustees Sandra Olson Merrow. Clearly the OCA remains a lifeline for our communities.
The Public Affairs Director of the NYC DEP, Adam Bosch, gave a rousing speech about the importance of water-supply infrastructure past and present. Really! And the Friends VP Bob Kornfeld reminded us that clean water and clean living go hand in hand.
Sunday also marked the opening day for an exhibit of photographs by Fred Charles. Over 40 of his images now fill Room II of the Keeper’s House and will stay up through the end of 2017. The images capture the conditions he observed on the trail about 20 years ago: leaves changing, stone walls, some graffiti and enduring beauty. Fred spoke passionately to dozens of visitors in the Keeper's House. The show can been seen between 11am to 4pm on weekends. You can order prints of the images at the Keeper’s House.
A hearty thank you to the Friends, docents and other volunteers who made the event possible and to Steve Oakes, State Parks' Historic Site Manager for the Aqueduct.
See you in 2034 for the 200th!