100th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Palisades Interstate Park

September 22, 2009
Palisades Park Conservancy


100th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Palisades Interstate Park



Free Celebration Activities Set for Sunday, Sept. 27

A commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Palisades Interstate Park will be held on Sunday, September 27, beginning at 11 am at the Kearney House at the Alpine Boat Basin & Picnic Area (PIP Exit 2, then Alpine Approach Road to river). These are free events, to be held rain or shine, and are open to all with no pre-registration required.

11 am: Commemoration Ceremony at the Kearney House.

11:30 am: Exhibits and bring-your-own-picnic at the Alpine Pavilion (just north of the Kearney House).

12:30 pm: Guided hike to Greenbrook Falls (meet at Pavilion). About 4 mi. roundtrip distance over moderate trails in about 2 hrs.

At "eleven o'clock in the forenoon" on September 27, 1909, the newly created Palisades Interstate Park was dedicated at Alpine Landing, in a ceremony during which Governors J. Franklin Fort of New Jersey and Charles Evans Hughes of New York "received" the twelve dramatic miles of Hudson River landscape on behalf of each of their states. Part of that year's sprawling "Hudson-Fulton Celebration," the dedication, held at an aged house at the landing and attended by a thousand guests, represented the culmination of over ten years' effort by individuals and organizations as varied as financier J. P. Morgan and the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs. The creation of the Interstate Park, resulting from a groundswell of public opposition to the destruction being wrought by massive quarry operations at the end of the nineteenth century, was hailed at the time as an unparalleled achievement in the conservation of scenic and historic resources-it would be another seven years before a National Park Service would be created-and the dedication was viewed as a pinnacle of the "Hudson-Fulton" festivities.

The hundred-year anniversary of the dedication will be commemorated in the park at its Alpine Boat Basin & Picnic Area with a simple ceremony, an informal bring-your-own-picnic, and a guided hike, all on Sunday, September 27. The day's events, to be held rain or shine, will be free and open to all, with no advanced registration required. The commemoration will commence at 11 AM at the historic Kearney House, on whose porch the governors stood a century ago, and will be marked by a few brief comments by representatives of the Interstate Commission and local dignitaries. At 11:30, the program will move to a nearby stone picnic pavilion built in 1934 by workers employed by the Civil Works Administration during the worst days of the Great Depression-75 years ago this year-where participants can view photographs and other exhibits of the park's history while enjoying a picnic lunch they bring with them. At 12:30 PM , park staff will lead a guided hike to the base of Greenbrook Falls (about 2 miles each way over moderate trails in about 2 hours).

For more information or directions, please call the office of the Kearney House at 201 768-1360 ext. 108.

The following programs require pre-registration and have limited enrollment:

"Outdoor Explorers"
The NJ Section will offer two series of after-school nature programs during October, one for ages 5 to 8 on Wednesday afternoons from 3:45-5:45 (begins Sep. 30) and another for ages 9 to 12 on Thursday afternoons from 3:45-5:45 (begins Oct. 1). The programs will meet at the Kearney House at the Alpine Boat Basin & Picnic Area (PIP Exit 2). Each of the five classes will include a short hike and hands-on activities. Cost is $75 per participant and includes five classes and materials. Registration forms can be downloaded from the links below (each form contains detailed information about the programs, including schedule of classes, etc.), or registration forms will be sent by mail; please call 201 768-1360 ext. 107.

For a press release with a more complete program description (includes links to registration forms): http://www.njpalisades.org/outdoor_fall_09.htm

"Punch & Pie" at Mrs. Kearney's Tavern
The historic Kearney House at the Alpine Boat Basin & Picnic Area will offer 19th-century-style tavern adventures on Wednesday evenings, October 21 & 28 (date just added - Oct. 7 & 14 sold out), from 7:30-10 pm. These programs feature food & drink, music & tall tales, and more. Fee is $18 per guest per evening, and reservations and pre-payment are required. To make an initial reservation: 201 768-1360 ext. 108 or [email protected] (specify evening and number in party with phone message or in email, and please include daytime phone number). Your initial reservation will be held for one week pending receipt of payment (check only, no credit cards: make check payable to PIPC, Box 155, Alpine, NJ 07620, attn: Kearney House); additional information will be mailed with tickets.

The New Jersey Section is part of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, which administers 29 parks, parkways, and historic sites for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in New York as well as the Palisades Interstate Park and parkway in New Jersey. For more information about New York State parks and historic sites, please visit www.nysparks.com and for more information about the Palisades Interstate Park parks and historic sites, please visit http://www.palisadesparksconservancy.org/