Ulster County Greenway Compact Program

About the Greenway and The Ulster County Greenway Compact Program

The Greenway planning approach is one of thinking regionally as communities plan locally. It includes physical connections and linkages between communities for local and regional benefit. Additionally, it extends beyond physical linkages to encourage voluntary regional cooperation among the communities and counties of the Hudson River Valley to address issues of collective concern and promote mutually beneficial regional approaches.

The Greenway Compact program takes community planning one step further by providing a process for voluntary regional cooperation to further the Greenway criteria of natural and cultural resource protection, regional planning, economic development, public access, and heritage and environmental education. For communities that choose to participate, a variety of financial and procedural benefits are available.

The Greenway has designated the counties as the basic planning areas for the development of the Greenway Compact, although sub-county associations of local governments may also be able to prepare a regional planning compact. Each Compact area will develop a regional planning compact that addresses the Greenway's five criteria as well as:

  • Incorporation of provisions to identify development of regional impact and areas of regional concern and
  • Identification of necessary public facilities and infrastructure consistent with the Greenway criteria.

The voluntary participation of municipalities in county Compacts preserves local decision-making authority while providing expanded opportunities for regional cooperation. Public and community participation in the development of county Greenway plans is critical to their success. Greenway compacts reflect the concerns of local communities and provide a regional context for local planning efforts.

For the NYS Greenway Legislation itself, click here

The Five Greenway Critieria

The Hudson River Valley Greenway Act describes the "Greenway criteria" as "the basis for attaining the goal of a Hudson River Valley Greenway". The criteria - natural and cultural resource protection, regional planning, economic development, public access and heritage and environmental education - provide the overall vision for voluntary local Greenway programs and projects. The general nature of the Greenway criteria allows communities to develop locally-based projects which address community concerns while contributing to the overall framework of the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

Natural and Cultural Resource Protection

Protect, preserve and enhance natural resources including natural communities, open spaces and scenic areas as well as cultural resources including historic places and scenic roads.

Economic Development

Encourage economic development that is compatible with the preservation and enhancement of natural and cultural resources including agriculture, tourism and the revitalization of established community centers and waterfronts.

Public Access

Promote increased public access to the Hudson River through the creation of riverside parks and the development of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Trail System.

Regional Planning

Communities can work together to develop mutually beneficial regional strategies for natural and cultural resource protection, economic development (including necessary public facilities and infrastructure), public access and heritage and environmental education

Heritage and Environmental Education

Promote awareness among residents and visitors about the Valley's natural, cultural, scenic and historic resources