Senator Sue Serino helps secure $50,000 in funding for Walkway Over the Hudson.

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Senator Sue Serino helps secure funds for a new electronic maintenance vehicle on the Walkway.

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Walkway Over the Hudson nonprofit organization and NYS Senator Sue Serino hosted a press conference announcing the award of a $50,000 grant from the NYS Municipal Facilities Corporation that will purchase a much-needed electric maintenance vehicle and for improvements to the Parks’ eastern entranceway in the City of Poughkeepsie. After the press conference, the organization held a “vesting ceremony” for 10 newly trained Ambassadors, all volunteers from Mid-Hudson Valley communities who will join the Walkway Volunteer Ambassador Corps to support Parks’ staff and help the Park’s nearly 500,000 annual visitors in numerous ways.

“We are incredibly grateful to New York State Senator Sue Serino for helping us secure funding from the Municipal Facilities Corporation,” said Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart. “This grant will provide funding to continue our efforts to upgrade this world-class park. We’re also extremely pleased to induct 10 new volunteers in the Walkway Ambassador corps. These wonderful volunteers do so much to make Walkway State Park one of the friendliest, cleanest, and safest parks to be found anywhere.”

“The Walkway is one of our community’s greatest resources, drawing tourists from around the world and providing residents with countless recreational opportunities,” said Senator Serino. “It’s poised to play a key role in the City’s revitalization and I am so proud to be able to secure funding that will help them build upon all of their accomplishments. I also wish to extend my sincerest congratulations to the 10 new volunteers in the Walkway Ambassador Corps who continue to play a unique and significant role in the Walkway’s success.”

In addition to the electric service vehicle, which will be used by both NYS Parks’ staff and Walkway Ambassadors, the improvements funded through the grant will include signage and landscaping that will provide a warm and functional gathering area at the Walkway’s eastern gate over Washington Street in Poughkeepsie. Additionally, funds will be used to improve the existing Visitor Pavilion located at the eastern gate reception area that will greatly increase comfort of the more than 48 Walkway Ambassadors who staff the visitor pavilion.

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10 Walkway volunteers have completed training and received their signature red vests.

Following the brief press conference, the Walkway organization held a “Vesting Ceremony” for 10 newly trained Ambassadors. After completing a comprehensive training program, Walkway Ambassadors receive their signature red vests before commencing their official duties on behalf of the organization and the park.

New Walkway Ambassadors welcomed into the all-volunteer corps include: Brianna Basceglia, Sharon Burt, Emily Kronheim-Corbett, Rich Deede, Andrew Elliott, JoAnn Fernandez, Margaret Hann, Jerry Husted, Kate Lewis, Marta Normann, and Joseph Normandin.

The Walkway Ambassador Program was launched at the beginning of 2011 working in partnership with NYS Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation. Since that time it has grown to include more than 125 volunteers. Funding for the Ambassador program has been provided by The Charlotte Cunneen Hackett Charitable Trust, The William Brown Foundation, and Parks and Trails NY. For more information visit walkway.org.

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