Planners eye "Catskill-Shawangunk Greenway"
A plan to re-invent the former prison farm at Wawarsing as a recreational getaway and tourist attraction is moving forward. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Activists envision transforming the old farm at Eastern Correctional Facility into "the CATSKILL-SHAWANGUNK GREENWAY" -John Adams is founder of the Friends of Colony Farm: he says there is wide ranging support for the plan to market the town as a recreational gateway community to the 2 mountain ranges, with emphasis on agri-tourism, hiking and biking.
Adams says since Colony Farm was once a dairy, it is hoped a dairy farmer would lease or buy the land for use as an agri-tourism venue.
Adams says Wawarsing has a heritage of recreational tourism and that the town is poised for a comeback.
Cara Lee, with the Eastern New York Chapter of the Nature Conservancy directs the Shawangunk Ridge Program.
Friends of the Colony Farm member Steve Aaron says the farm's proximity to the Roundout Valley Agricultural Tourism Zone makes it an ideal location. Wawarsing Town Supervisor Scott Carlsen supports the farm plan and engaging in talks with government agencies to get the ball rolling.
Carlsen expects it may take time to see the plan to fruition and says the town looks forward to more talks with the Department of Corrections. State officials did not return calls for comment.