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Town prepares for quadricentennial

Cunningham said the town is currently in the process of possibly adding land to the Henry Hudson Park along the river and is working to make more riverfront property accessible to the town through grants from Scenic Hudson.

Bethlehem is developing long-term plans for improving its parks and better connecting its community to the Hudson River, according to Cunningham. Scenic Hudson's matching grant support will help the town enlarge an existing riverside park and develop designs for a new park a few miles to the north.

The supervisor said a portion of that funding will enable Bethlehem to expand Henry Hudson Park, and that the remainder of the funds will be used to design hiking trails and other amenities on 60 acres of wooded, town-owned property on Simmons Road.

Cunningham said eventually the town's vision is to create a trail system linking Henry Hudson Park with its new park.

"The Town of Bethlehem is excited to be working with Scenic Hudson on this initiative," said Cunningham. "This is a great opportunity for the town to expand its riverfront access and provide residents with new places to enjoy this beautiful natural resource."

The town is in talks with a private landowner near the Henry Hudson Park about buying the property and adding its land along the river to the town park. Scenic Hudson is a group that works with Hudson River communities in purchasing more municipally owned land along the river and making it accessible to the public.

Some of the events planned include the dedication of a new memorial at Henry Hudson Park; exhibits about steamboats, ice harvesting and Native Americans at the Bethlehem Historical Association Museum; a religious heritage day; and a display of historic photographs at the town library.

The new memorial will cost around $80,000, and Cunningham said the plan is to dedicated the memorial next August during one of the quadricentennial events.

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