Funding will improve Walkway facilities to showcase locally grown and made products for sale and expand events like Mayfest and Walktoberfest
New York State Senator Michelle Hinchey has secured $120,000 to support the Friends of the Walkway nonprofit organization’s Farm-to-Market Initiative. The Farm-to-Market Initiative strengthens the connection between the more than 600,000 annual Walkway users and locally made and grown products from the Hudson Valley.
Funding will be used to renovate the Walkway’s Friends Pavilion in Highland so that it can provide exposure and retail space for area small businesses to showcase and sell locally grown food, drink, produce, spirits, and other New York-made products. The Friends of the Walkway will also seek to hire a Farm-to-Market Project Manager who will work in partnership with Taste NY and others to build collaborations with local producers and vendor networks to increase their presence on the Walkway and enhance popular events like Mayfest and Walktoberfest.
“My office has a shared mission with the Walkway Over the Hudson, and that is to bolster our local economies, raise small business profiles, and make people from across our region familiar with the incredible selection of local products the Hudson Valley has to offer,”saidSenator Michelle Hinchey. “I’m proud to have delivered on behalf of this important cultural institution and to have secured state budget funding to grow the organization’s Farm-to-Market Initiative. The Walkway is an economic engine for our region and the Farm-to-Market expansion a prime opportunity to bring tourism dollars into our communities while fostering the success of our Hudson Valley agribusinesses. As Chair of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee, I will always look for opportunities to help our agribusinesses get more of their products to market.”
“We are pleased to partner with Senator Hinchey to bring this vital facility to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park,” said John Storyk, Chairman, Friends of the Walkway. “The upgraded and expanded Friends Pavilion will not only better serve our more than 150 volunteer Ambassadors that are the real spirit of the Walkway, but will also allow us to increase access to Hudson Valley and New York State-made products for the thousands of people that visit our park every day.”
“Visiting Walkway Over the Hudson is a quintessential New York experience,” said Elizabeth Waldstein, Executive Director, Friends of the Walkway. “Whether visitors come from down the street or across the globe, we want them to have access to the unique products that make the Hudson Valley so special. This funding from Senator Hinchey will have a transformative impact on our capacity to do so.”
The Mayfest Essential Farmers and Makers Market along the Hudson Valley Rail Trail and west approach to Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park featured the Hudson Valley’s finest producers – farms, distilleries, breweries, wineries, restaurants, artists, and artisans – along with children’s activities, entertainment, and more. It’s sister event Walktoberfest is planned for October 2 and 3, 2021.