K’hook Creek awaits ‘waterway’ approval

KINDERHOOK–Village Mayor Jim Dunham announced last week’s board meeting that that state legislature has designated Kinderhook Creek as an Inland Waterway.

He told his board at the July 12 meeting that he had talked with Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle about looking into a state Greenway Grant to put kayak launch at Pachaquack Preserve. He said he was also planning to reach out to the supervisors in the Towns of Stuyvesant and Kinderhook about the grant. He said there might also be a way that kayakers could get in and out of the stream as it passes the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.

“That’s something we’re looking at,” he said of the route.

“It’s a good trip,” said Kinderhook Village Trustee David Flaherly, who said he takes his kayak on the creek. Much of the land bordering the creek is private property, but Mr. Flaherly said that a kayaker can go from Pachaquack in Valatie to the Village of Kinderhook and exit the creek on village land near bridge on Hudson Street.

A press release from that state says that the Kinderhook Creek originates in Hancock, MA, and flows for 49 miles before meeting Claverack Creek, with which it forms Stockport Creek, an inlet of the Hudson River. Along the way, Kinderhook Creek flows through Stephentown, New Lebanon, Nassau, Chatham, Kinderhook, Stuyvesant and Stockport, as well as the villages of Valatie and Kinderhook. The total length of the creek within the state is 46 miles.

The Village of Kinderhook board and village Economic Development Director Renee Shur spearheaded the effort to get the state designation. Ms. Shur said in an email to The Columbia Paper, that 120 rivers, lakes, kills and creeks throughout New York State are currently included on the list of designated waterways.

The request for designation was supported by letters from the municipal governments of communities along the creek, which include the Town of Chatham, Greenport, Town of Kinderhook, Village of Kinderhook, New Lebanon, Town of Stockport, Stuyvesant, and the Villages of Nassau and Valatie, as well as a letter from the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.

According to Ms. Shur, these municipalities represent a population of more than 23,000 residents, and Lindenwald has more than 20,000 visitors annually.

“These letters demonstrate widespread support and enthusiasm for our shared scenic asset and its designation,” she wrote.

In her email, Ms. Shur said that there were many reasons to apply for the designation, including creating opportunities for communities along the creek to voluntarily participate in applying for New York State Waterfront Revitalization Grants, as well as advancing public safety by establishing appropriate and safe designated access points with adequate public amenities, such as parking and boat launches, for fishing, kayaking, and birding activities, and protecting private lands along the creek by directing the public to use publicly designated access points to the creek rather than informal access points located on or near private property.

“The Village of Kinderhook is grateful to Senator Kathleen Marchione and her staff as well as State Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin for the assistance in the successful designation of the Kinderhook Creek,” Ms. Shur wrote.

Senator Marchione (R-43rd), chair of the Senate Local Government Committee, announced the senate’s passage of S.1125, that would amend the state Executive Law to designate the Kinderhook Creek as part of the inland waterway system, in late June.

In addition to the legislation designating Kinderhook Creek as an Inland Waterway, Senator Marchione has also sponsored State Laws designating the Claverack, Taghkanic and Agawamuck creeks as Inland Waterways, according to a press release from the senator’s office.

Senator Marchione’s legislation has an Assembly companion measure, Assembly Bill A.2980 sponsored by Assemblyman McLaughlin (R-107th). The Assembly companion measure passed the lower house June 8 by a vote of 140-0.

The legislation is now waiting to be signed by Governor Cuomo.

“Once designation of the creek is finalized, the next step will be to consult and coordinate with interested communities located along the creek as well as organizations dedicated to the recreational uses of the creek to explore avenues for applying for grants to undertake a feasibility study,” said Ms. Shur in her email.

The next village meeting will be Wednesday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the village hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

Comments are closed.