A message from our Executive Director
I’m writing to share good news. When our community needed Walkway Over the Hudson the most, we have been there. Thanks to the amazing efforts of the entire New York State Parks team, the Walkway has not closed for a single day this year. And thanks to your support, the Friends of the Walkway nonprofit organization continues to enhance the park experience with services, programs, and amenities so that more than 600,000 visitors a year have a welcoming place to find peace, respite, strength, and stability.
However as I sit in my “home office” to write this letter after eight months of working remotely, I’m reflecting on how much is different. Like so many of you, my home and work life has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, but thankfully the tranquility of Walkway Over the Hudson remains constant. That inspired me to reach out with gratitude for your longstanding support of our treasured park in the sky, yet also with a heightened sense of urgency to ask for your financial assistance to keep Walkway thriving next year.
The Friends of the Walkway are guided by the bridge’s reputation as “The Great Connector,” the nickname bestowed on the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge when it opened in 1889. Today, 130 years later, it is in the DNA of the Walkway to make a different kind of connection with you, with nature, with history, with fitness, with the charming cities and towns of the Hudson Valley that surround our park, and most importantly, with each other.
Next year will still be full of unknowns, but with your support, we will imagine new and creative ways to adapt events like the 4th of July Fireworks and Walkway at Night to meet health and safety guidelines. We will complete the construction of the East Gate Plaza in Poughkeepsie, creating a gathering area, new souvenir shop, and base of operations for our irreplaceable volunteer Ambassadors. We will prepare to install energy efficient lighting on the Walkway, and we will expand operations of our electric tram with the goal to hire veterans as drivers.
Will you please visit walkway.org/gratitude to see more of the positive impact we’ve made in 2020? From thanking frontline workers to creating paid jobs for local youth, we are committed to making our beloved Hudson Valley a better place to live and visit. We have a lot to share.
We are grateful that in a year where so much has changed, your support means the Walkway continues to make a positive difference in our lives. Please make a contribution today so the Walkway will be here tomorrow. Your generosity received before December 31 will allow us to make the most impact next year.
I will see you again soon on the Walkway!
Executive Director, Friends of the Walkway