– The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. (UDSB) recently completed administration of a $50,000 grant secured by New York State Senator John J. Bonacic for scenery enhancements and local beautification projects.
Following execution of a contract with the NYS Department of Economic Development on October 18, 2009, the project rolled out in three phases that included:
1) Research and production of a New York State Route 97 Landscape Enhancement Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Corridor from Hancock to Port Jervis;
2) Selective vegetative clearing at five demonstration sites identified in the Landscape Enhancement Plan; and
3)Landscaping/beautification improvements by five byway communities.
UDSB, Inc. contracted with community planning consultant Fred F. Suljic of Lackawaxen, PA to coordinate a landscape survey of an approximately 50-mile stretch of the state-designated byway to identify areas where scenic views could be improved.
Suljic researched property records, contacted public and private landowners of eligible sites, obtained written permission to selectively clear vegetation using best management practices, tagged nuisance trees and brush with a certified arborist at five demonstration sites, and produced a 32-page “Rt. 97 Landscape Survey Report” that included methodology, site assessments, an action plan, mapping, and photographs
In the second phase, Suljic oversaw vegetation pruning and removal work by successful bidder Jesse G’s Nursery Sunspot of Glen Spey, NY in August 2010. The five Route 97 sites were located at the old Hawk’s Nest Restaurant/Babcock Property in the Town of Deerpark; the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) right-of-way, Pond Eddy Bridge view, Town of Lumberland; the NYS DOT/Brown-Carr property rest area in the Town of Lumberland; the NYS DOT scenic area ¼ mile north of the waterfalls in the Town of Highland; and the NYS DOT/Krehul property in the Town of Highland.
With a balance of funding in the grant award, UDSB, Inc. solicited beautification project proposals from its member municipalities. Six projects were approved on March 28, 2011; five were ultimately completed by the Aug. 15, 2012 contract deadline. The state’s final reimbursement payment was received on Nov. 23.
Projects accomplished were:
Town of Delaware – Vista clearing to open up river views on Viaduct Road and at Callicoon Creek Park in the hamlet of Callicoon;
Town of Tusten – “Welcome to Narrowsburg” sign replacement and landscaping on Rt. 97 by the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce;
Town of Lumberland – Historical signage installation and beautification improvements at the Brown/Carr Rest Stop on NYS Route 97;
Village of Hancock – Purchase of garbage receptacles and recycling containers for installation throughout the village;
City of Port Jervis – Refurbishment of the plaque and grounds at the Park Avenue Observatory on NYS Route 97.
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