Over the past two years, the Village of Upper Nyack engaged with residents and friends to explore ideas for potential short- and long-term uses and establish an overarching vision for River Hook. To support the efforts of the Village, a group of Village residents formed Friends of River Hook, Inc. (“FRH”) as a New York not-for-profit corporation for the charitable purpose of revitalizing, restoring, beautifying and enhancing River Hook and encouraging an appreciation of its ecology, architecture and history.
FRH has a vision of River Hook as: a vital, self-sustaining and treasured place for retreat, repose and reinvention where the arts, environment, education and innovation thrive. Where the cultural value and historical significance of Upper Nyack is honored, where forward-facing ideas flourish and where our community unites.
In March, FRH established a Project Fund with Rockland Community Foundation to assist with financial and administrative tasks. Thus far, FRH has secured funding from a small pool of generous donors, allowing them to hire a consultant who will focus on fundraising and program development and to begin choosing consultants to assist with designing a vision for the 12-acre site’s reinvention. River Hook’s future will be envisioned in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary group of architecture, urbanism and sustainability consultants who share our belief in the power of the built environment to facilitate lasting change.
Currently, FRH volunteers are working “alone together” as per social distancing guidelines, performing general clean-up and revitalization of the grounds and structures within the preserve, and investigating collaborations with local educators, artists and other groups in order to promote community engagement.
Accomplishments of FRF volunteers
- Fencing the garden area
- Clearing curbs
- Unearthing the patio on the east side of the house
- Contemplating signage to share River Hook’s narrative and highlight certain elements of the property/buildings
- Securing funding to support the development of the master plan vision, hiring a fundraising consultant and other miscellaneous endeavors