HNI receives OCRA grant that will transform riverfront

We did it! Historic Newburgh, Inc. has received the Downtown Enhancement Grant from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs. This $8,000 grant will enable Historic Newburgh, Inc. to spearhead a $20,000 project to upgrade our public parking area, install wayfinding signs along the Rivertown Trail and install landscaping, brick walk, park benches and fencing in the newly-acquired riverfront park called Meditation Park.

All three projects will promote our economic development efforts by making a positive impression on those that shop, dine and enjoy Historic Newburgh. They strengthen our Historic Newburgh brand “where history meets the contemporary.” Each project enhances the quality of life in Newburgh and the surrounding area for locals and visitors.

The replacement of the Public Parking sign has been planned for years and has been long overdue! The present sign is wood and was originally chosen to reflect the historic fabric of the town. Today, it is clear that we can blend contemporary materials and still be true to our historic fabric. The wood sign has rotting posts and peeling paint. In addition, the existing bushes will be pruned down by a professional landscaper so that the bushes will sprout new growth.

The goal of this public parking sign project is to improve the first impression by visitors and reflect a successful business community. The Newburgh Business District is flourishing, with few vacancies.

Another component of this grant request is creating a passive pocket park area on a piece of land recently donated to the town. It is to be called the Meditation Park and is located on the riverfront. The property is approximately 20 feet-by-45 feet in size with no landscaping. The ground was recently leveled and seeded with grass by the town crew.

Our plan is to install landscaping that is designed for minimum care. A black steel fence will be installed between the river and the park for safety and be similar in style to adjacent fences. There will be a concrete walkway that is ADA Approved and three elongated and one round planter areas. Three local families have committed to donate money for park benches! Additionally, there will be 16 evergreen arborvitae planted along the west and east side of the park to give a serene feel to the space.

There will be six sign posts with two small wayfinding signs on each post. They are created from reclaimed wood pallets by Built on the Rock Construction Company and painted by artist and local business owner, Gina McCalister of Mulberry Jeans Accents. Both are donations.

Boy Scout Troop 161 will be helping us remove trimmed bushes, as well as give input on a planned commemorative brick project that will help any future park needs that are beyond the scope of the town maintenance crew.

A special thank you goes to Historic Newburgh, Inc. Economic Progress Committee for working to better the downtown space and to Friends of Newburgh for donating funds for the project.

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