Become a Park Steward

As you may know, the Forsyth Nature Center has a generous volunteer corps called the “Friends of FNC,” which conducts fundraising and other activities at the center. It’s a great partnership between the park and the community, what I would call a “conduit of good will.”

Across town, there’s a park that was once praised for its design and vista. It was celebrated by Kingstonians nearly a century ago. It’s called Cornell Park, located on Wurts Street and it remains a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

If you live near this treasure, and would like to help restore and beautify it, perhaps we can form a “Friends of Cornell Park” group. I’d like to organize an initial meeting this summer and ask for several residents to step forward and form this group. They would work with city officials and other organizations to plan clean-up days as well as brainstorm ways to spruce up the park (planting flowers, for examples).

Interested? Send me a note:

— Arthur Zaczkiewicz

Ready, Set, Swap!

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County Master Gardener Program set Saturday, June 6 for its “Great Plant Swap & Sale.” The event takes place at the Pavilion near Forsyth Nature Center, which is located off of Lucas Avenue in Kingston.

Participants drop of their plants from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., and pick up vouchers for the plant swap from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Call 845.340.3478 for more information.

The Invention in Your Kitchen

It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. And when it comes to these current economic times, necessity has taken on a new meaning. The good news is that we’ve been here before, so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Or the freezer.

Yes, there’s a great story in today’s The New York Times, which explains how to use your freezer to save money, food and time. Read it here.

Council Meeting Tonight

The City Council meets tonight and it is expected that lawmakers will approve funding from the Federal Entitlement Program for a variety of projects and initiatives as well as to several non-profits, the Daily Freeman reports today.

The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

On the agenda is funding for a main street manager, money for the Boys & Girls Club, and the Hodge Center, among other items. To see a list, read the Freeman article here.

In Support of Journalism

As newspapers  falter (the latest possible candidate being the Boston Globe, a victim of poor revenue and a labor contract dispute), the need for content remains strong. People want and need to be informed, which is why the Yahoo! discussion groups as well as this blog are so important.

Just in the past few weeks, we’ve seen how has gathered volunteers to work in community and school gardens, and identify and plan a meeting on quality of life issues such as motorcycle noise in the Rondout. Great stuff that builds community.

In Kingston, there are some great news sources such as the Kingston Times and the Daily Freeman as well as several radio stations and websites (and blogs) that break news. Of course there are many people who complain about Kingston’s news sources. Still, the Freeman and Times can’t be everything to everyone. And I for one, don’t want them to be. Variety of voice and perspective is important. I read them all.

I shudder to imagine a democracy without newspapers, their websites and relevent content. How would lawmakers manage and create laws without a checks and balances, and the voice and input of the people?

So, we’ve said it before and will say it again: support your local newspaper (or website or radio station). Our democracy depends on their success.

Just ASK

Did you know that Ship to Shore donates the refreshments at ASK’s first Saturday art openings? What a great collaboration between a non-profit and a local business. Read more about it on the ASK website, here.

Also on the ASK home page is information about the Kingston Sculpture Biennial. The them this year is “Go Green & Keep the Hudson Clean.” The exhibit, which is citywide, runs from July 4 through to October.

Closed for Safety

Kingston City Schools officials are finalizing a plan to create a “closed campus” for the high school, according to this Kingston Times article.

The idea is to create a safer environment for students and for people in the community. Of note, from a local business perspective, is to work with area vendors who currently benefit from an “open campus.”

The Kingston Times reports that “Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Robert Pritchard also raised the issue of allowing local food vendors into the school, saying that administrators were exploring ways to lessen the impact a closed campus plan would have on area eateries.”

A closed campus might also lessen the amount of trash on streets adjacent to the high school where students frequent. With a closed campus, homeowners near the school are hoping there would be less Burger King bags, empty soda bottles and other food-generated trash on their sidewalks and lawns.