On Sunday at midday, a delegation from the nation of Colombia studying conservation and land management strategies paid an hour-long visit to New Paltz’s River-to-Ridge Trail, currently under construction and expected to be complete by this coming fall, weather permitting. The mini-trek along the completed segment of the Trail was part of a four-day Hudson Valley tour for the 20-member group, hosted by the Open Space Institute (OSI) and planned to include stops at local parks, preserves and historic sites.
The visiting dignitaries included the governors of two Colombian states, Eduardo de la Rosa of Atlántico and Dumek Turbay Paz of Bolívar, as well as foundation representatives, civic leaders, scholars and regional conservationists. During their stay, the group hoped to learn about conservation strategies, public/private partnerships, conservation-based tourism, park management and environmental education, with the hope of replicating some of the Hudson Valley’s conservation successes in the protection of two million acres in Colombia’s Tropical Dry Forest, one of the most critically endangered ecoregions in the country.
In New Paltz, OSI representatives planned to inform the visitors about the Trail’s construction, as well as the Institute’s previous conservation work in the region. Additional tour stops were scheduled to include the Minnewaska State Park Preserve, the Mohonk Preserve, Mohonk Mountain House, the Storm King Art Center, the Walkway Over the Hudson; and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site.