By The Gazette Editorial Committee
From Issue 52: Winter 2022
Climate Smart Gardiner (CSG)
The Town of Gardiner has completed the pre-requisite actions for the NYSERDA Clean Energy Communities Program, which takes us closer to obtaining a $5,000 NYSERDA grant for green projects. Also on the energy front, the Town is participating in the “Mid-Hudson Regional Solar Mapping Project,” designed to help assess which Gardiner land may be suitable for “solar arrays”, which, simply put, are a collection of multiple solar panels that generate electricity as a system. We are currently considering a solar array at the Gardiner landfill. Decreasing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions is always a priority, and Gardiner’s LED streetlight conversion with the NYPA, is designed to lower costs and decrease GHG emissions. So, to inform and direct our planning, we are also working on a Community GHG Emissions Inventory, compiling data which will help us to be more targeted on how and where we focus our GHG mitigation efforts. And finally, our continued efforts with the Community Choice Aggregation (CSA) program, makes it possible to offer the best green deal on renewable electricity to residents while we continue our efforts toward a community solar option designed to reduce Gardiner residents’ electric bills by about 10% annually. For more info: www.facebook.com/climatesmartgardiner.
Eco-Volunteer Opportunity & Save the Date
Help keep Gardiner beautiful by volunteering at the 11th Gardiner Riverkeeper Sweep. This event is co-sponsored by Climate Smart Gardiner and will occur on Saturday, May 7th, 2022, 9 am-12 pm. Volunteers are needed to help clean up debris along the Wallkill River and its banks, as well as the tributaries that feed the river. The Gardiner Riverkeeper Sweep is our annual day of service to the Wallkill River. Both land and water volunteer opportunities are available. Last year, Gardiner was one of 25 project sites where volunteers removed a total of 29 tons of debris from along the Hudson River and its tributaries!
Special Position Available (Water Crew Leader): If you have a rowboat or canoe, are a strong paddler, and can lead others on the Wallkill River from Farmers Turnpike to the Transfer Station, this opportunity is for you! Volunteer registration begins in April. For more information, or to volunteer in any capacity, please contact Rebecca Carucci, email@example.com.
Environmental Conservation Commission (ECC)
Water Safety Explored
An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, rock fractures or unconsolidated materials. Rainwater seeps into these aquifers and collects becoming groundwater, and this “groundwater” can be extracted for drinking and other uses by drilling a well and pumping the water out for various household and agricultural uses. Since the Town of Gardiner has no municipal water source, all the water used by every resident is from a drilled well. Note that such well water is a finite resource which is vulnerable to various environmental and man-made influences, and thus, without care, it could be lost or damaged so much that it’d be useless as drinking water. Consequently, it is imperative that local governments and residents do their best to protect and preserve the quality and quantity of our underground water for current–and future–generations. Up until recently only sporadic efforts have been made to assess Gardiner’s various sources of water, but in early 2021 a more specific effort has been launched by the Town of Gardiner’s Environmental Conservation Commission (ECC) which recognized the need to expand efforts to protect our drinking water. An ad hoc committee called the Drinking Water Protection Committee (DWPC) was formed, and it will review existing reports to try and discover how to best support our clean water supply in terms of both quantity and quality. To better accomplish this, the DWPC has partnered with the New York Water Rural Association, at no cost to the Town. As part of their work, the Committee is arranging for well-sampling to be conducted throughout the Town this spring, by the NYS Department of Health. Residents wishing to have their well water tested at no cost will have the opportunity to apply sometime in late February.
Gardiner Fire Department (GFD)
The Gardiner Fire Department is looking for EMT’s, interior and/or exterior firefighters, drivers, etc. to join the fire department. If you are not already an EMT or firefighter we will train you. The department is fully volunteer. The only pay you get is the satisfaction that you were able to help someone in need. Please visit our website at GardinerFireandRescue.org for more information.
Open Space Commission (OSC)
The Gardiner Open Space Commission welcomes the new year with 4 newly redefined goals for 2022.
- Support the development of a Community Preservation Plan (CPP),
- Work with the Town to ensure monitoring of its preserved lands and conservation easements,
- Educate and encourage voluntary conservation, and
- Seek opportunities to support agricultural land preservation in Gardiner.
Parks & Recreation
The first phases of Riverbend Trails at Gardiner Park are now open for you to explore! These new multi-use trails can be accessed from the parking lot beyond the Transfer Station on Steve’s Lane (only during Transfer Station Hours at this point: Wednesday, Friday, & Saturday, 8 am – 3:45 pm). Start from the new kiosk for a moderate hike down to the Wallkill River, or check out the singletrack trails that have been created by volunteers from Gardiner Trail Alliance. There’s also a purpose-built bike flow trail, which are single trails for mountain bikers of any skill level or for any kind of mountain bike, no matter whether beginner or expert, courtesy of Hudson Valley Trailworks. Head up to the top of the cap for a beautiful view of the Shawangunks. Sturdy footwear is recommended for hikers, and bikers should ‘Ride Dirt, Not Mud’ to help keep the trails nice. Leashed pets are welcome; please clean up after your dog, and carry any waste out with you. If it’s snowy, bring your snowshoes or cross-country skis. We hope to see you at Riverbend Trails! Check out trail status and progress at www.gardinertrailalliance.org.
The Planning Board reviews site plans, special use permits and subdivision applications for compliance with environmental regulations and conformance with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. Additionally, the Planning Board is focused on safeguarding the future orderly growth of the Town of Gardiner through encouraging a balance between residential, commercial and industrial land uses. Currently, the Board is reviewing the Wireless Edge telecommunications tower proposed for South Mountain Road, and a 3,000 square foot expansion of the Tasting Room at the Tuthilltown Distillery is also before the Board. Additionally, the Planning Board is reviewing a number of Lot Line revisions and land subdivisions.