Scenic Hudson is planning a waterfront park in Athens

ATHENS — A village in Greene County could get a new waterfront park thanks to a purchase by a local conservation group.

Scenic Hudson, which owns and operates more than 45 parks in the Hudson Valley, purchased the 6-acre parcel in December, property records show.

The property is located one mile north of the center of Athens Village on Highway 385, which runs from the highway to the Hudson River, and includes 1,000 feet of shoreline.

The property is a former industrial site, and an 8,000 square foot warehouse and parking lot still sits on the grounds.

According to Seth McKee, executive director of Scenic Hudson Land Trust, the main purpose of the acquisition was to increase public access to the Hudson River both from Athens and from an adjacent boat launch.

The site is safe and does not require remediation, McKee said, and Scenic Hudson is “certainly considering” tearing up the sidewalk, but the organization wants to work with the Village of Athens and New York State before coming up with a plan. .

The warehouse “could be retrofitted for a number of river-related or location-dependent uses,” McKee said.

Scenic Hudson has a history of reclaiming old industrial sites. In 2019, the organization purchased a 520-acre site along the Hudson River in Kingston that was once part of the region’s cement industry.

“It’s kind of the story of the Hudson Valley,” McKee said. “There are many former industrial properties that no longer serve their purpose. Some of these can and should be converted to uses that capitalize on the Hudson River location for quality of life, access and tourism .”

The nearby state boat ramp is part of the state Hudson Eagles State Recreation Areaa series of five boat launches between the town of Hudson and Rensselaer.

The westernmost quarter of the property is wetland, McKee added, and preserving that ecosystem was important for flood prevention.

Athens Mayor Amy Serrago agreed to the purchase.

“The potential to transform this industrial site into a place for residents and visitors to connect with the Hudson River and the maritime history of our village is truly exciting, and I am grateful to Scenic Hudson for making this possible by acquiring the land,” “Thanks to the organization’s long-standing commitment to collaboration, I’m also confident that community feedback will help guide its future plans for public access and enjoyment.”

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