On Saturday September 27, 2014 fifteen alumni from Columbia University's Historic Preservation Program worked on Bannerman's Island. Below a group is clearing a hillside of brush to get it ready for the planting of wild flowers.
Part of the group of fifteen volunteers from Preservation Alumni.
Bannerman's Island has been designed as a Monarch Butterfly Way Station. This designation means that the island has milkweed and other plants which attract butterflies. Monarch Butterflies use the island as a stop over on their annual migration to Mexico. The picture below was taken on Bannerman's Island.
Yesterday a group of volunteers participated in NYS' I Love My Parks Day. This group worked on Bannerman's Island and made the trails and gardens on the island come back to life after the long winter we had.
On behalf on the Bannerman Castle Trust I wish to thank each and everyone for their contribution to our park.
Once again Bannerman Island will be participating in New York State Parks I LOVE MY PARKS DAY - May 3, 2014.
We have room for 16 volunteers to come out to Bannerman's Island for the day. During the time on the island volunteers will be helping island regulars with clean up, planting, clearing trails and general maintenance.
If you wish to join us you can sign up on or after March 20 by going to:
Looking forward to seeing you on the island!
Volunteer Coordinator for the Bannerman Castle Trust
Jackie Bischof and her crew from the Wall Street Journal traveled to the island to check out the work going on there.
The article appeared in the Wall Street Journal January 13, 2014.
As of today the stabilization of the Tower on Bannerman's Island is well under way. Tiny Houses, Inc of Putnam Valley has placed scaffolding around the Tower walls and have installed several braces to reinforce the walls to prevent further deterioration of the structure.
On August 10, 2013 39 volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 27 from Newburgh, New York worked on a project directed by David Sager III.
19 scouts and 24 family and friends cleared trails, built steps and did general maintenance on Bannerman's island.
On behalf of the Bannerman Castle Trust I wish to thank them for all the hard work they did for us.
Volunteer Coordinator for the BCT
For more photographs of the project check our gallery under "Volunteers at Work."
Hudson River Adventures Retires the Pollepel for Bannerman Island Tours
The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc. would like to acknowledge Hudson River Adventures for 18 years of service, providing Bannerman Island Lecture Tours on the Pride of the Hudson and Bannerman Island Walking Tours on the
Pollepel. Hudson River Adventures has decided to retire the Pollepel this year and concentrate their efforts on cruises on the Pride of the Hudson which runs out of the Newburgh waterfront. Hudson River Adventures has been a wonderful partner for Bannerman Castle Trust, and deserves much credit for believing in our dream of opening and preserving Bannerman Island. We would never have been able to open the island without their help. On behalf of the BCT Board of Directors and our Advisory council, we thank Lynne, Billynda, and Kevin for their service. We wish you much success with the Pride of the Hudson.
BCT Executive Director
Bannerman Castle Trust to Operate the Estuary Steward for 2013 Bannerman Island Tours
This past summer the Bannerman Castle was the beneficiary of a different, but very valuable, type of donation.
In late August, the BCT assumed ownership of the RV Estuary Steward, a 40' by 12.5' boat donated by the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse.
The Estuary Steward was commissioned in 2001 by Dutchess County BOCES as a floating classroom, a project funded by a grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Later, when its educational program was discontinued, the vessel was transferred to Esopus Meadows Lighthouse which used it to carry visitors out to the lighthouse once every two weeks. Hudson River Cruises is now transporting
visitors to the lighthouse with departures from the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston.
The RV Estuary Steward has an open deck that can be closed with rain curtains in inclement weather.
The BCT will use its new acquisition to expand its visitor operations to Bannerman's Island by adding tours from new ports.
The Estuary Steward will go into operation this spring. The Bannerman Castle Trust has hired Steve Nachbar, a
licensed captain with years of experience working on the Hudson River, will take over the responsibility of operating the Estuary Steward. The Estuary Steward will take over the Pollepel’s routes from Beacon and Newburgh and will
add The Village of Cold Spring in June.
It will make its winter home at White's Hudson River Marina in New Hamburg. Over the winter, the Steward was
equipped with a new 135 horsepower engine; a donation from White's valued at $6,800.
The BCT is especially grateful to Barbara Ralston of Esopus Meadows Lighthouse and Jill Shaw from DEC for helping to effectuate the donation and transfer. We look forward to utilizing the new opportunities and increased capacity this new acquisition will afford our organization.
Dear Friend of Bannerman Castle,
During 2012, the Trust has been closing in rapidly on another significant preservation goal―the stabili-zation of the Bannerman Arsenal Complex tower, with expert assistance from our preservation architect, Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. (JHPA), and engineer, Old Structures. The tragic, partial collapse of the tower that occurred during the winter of 2009-2010 damaged what is arguably the most striking portion of the Banner-man warehouse complex. Since that time, the Trust has been focused on documenting and preserving the remain-ing walls, even as we launched the approved residence stabilization project. Following the successful comple-tion of the residence stabilization for significantly less than our estimated project budget, the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (Parks) agreed to add the stabilization of the warehouse to the EPF Grant that funded 50% of the residence construction and to extend our timeframe for access to the grant funds. We faced numerous challenges, including the difficulty of raising funds during a very bleak time for the U.S. economy, and a concern that to be able to work safely on or near the walls of the tower would require long-reach cranes stationed on barges with prohibitively high mobilization and equipment costs.
We were very fortunate to receive good news on several fronts this year. JHPA and Old Structures deter-mined that the remaining walls of the tower were stable enough to permit access via vertical climbing tech-niques, which have been used by specialty firms to conduct emergency repairs and survey work on historic buildings. JHPA prepared an emergency stabilization design for the tower that will allow a vertical climbing team to install shoring assemblies, using appropriate safety and personnel protection measures, on the exterior of the building where they will counteract the inward-leaning failure that is threatening the remains of the structure. The costs of this approach will be much less than a stabilization effort performed from a barge-mounted crane, and this project is now within our reach. Parks has approved JHPA’s design and the Trust advertised the work to prospective contractors this month. Pending successful selection of a contractor, stabilization construction will be performed as early in the spring of 2013 as is practical. Parks has been extremely supportive of the Trust’s efforts and extended our grant period through the end of December 2013, maintaining our access to 50% match-ing funds for our second stabilization project. The Trust has been keeping all of our neighbors who were im-pacted by Hurricane Sandy in our thoughts and prayers, and at the same time, we realize that with the extreme weather of the past several years, the time available to us to protect the remaining walls of the tower is extremely limited.
While our plans for stabilization moved forward, we reached out to Choice Words to help us to identify funding sources worth pursuing and to assist the Trust with grant proposal preparation. Our efforts were rewarded when the Trust received the following grants for stabilization in 2012: J.M. Kaplan Foundation—$25,000; National Trust for Historic Preservation―$5,000; The Jane Nuhn Charitable Trust― $20,000 in 2012 and $20,000 in 2013. Additional grants included: The Dyson Foundation for a new Strategic Plan prepared by Fairweather Consultants―$10,000; Chase Community Giving―$10,000; which are positioning us to fund the construction. The EPF Grant requires that we pay 100% of the construction costs up front, and then apply for 50% reimbursement. For the residence project, we were generously supported by M&T Bank, who agreed to loan us 50% of the construction costs pending reimbursement from NYS and thereby created a bridge that al-lowed us to pay our contractor without having to raise 100% of the costs. We’ll be looking for another ‘banking angel’ to help us next year, unless we are fortunate enough to raise all of the funds needed for the construction before we begin. With your continued support, we can raise the funds necessary to stabilize the warehouse tower and demonstrate that it is feasible to preserve the historic and aesthetic resources of Pollepel Island. Your passion and dedication to Bannerman Castle help to keep us working to save the treasures of Pollepel Island! The Trust wishes you a joyous holiday season and a New Year filled with every blessing. Please Consider an End of The Year Tax Deductible Gift to THE BANNERMAN CASTLE TRUST, INC. Please send checks to: THE BANNERMAN CASTLE TRUST, INC., PO Box 843, Glenham, NY 12527-0843. You can donate online by going to our website: www.bannermancastle.org, where you can read the latest issue of The BCT Newsletter, “The Banner.
Leonard Warner President The Bannerman Castle Trust, Inc.
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