Safe Harbors of the Hudson launched a fundraising campaign for its planned transformation of the long-vacant lot next to the Ritz Theater into a landscaped park and performance space with benches, gardens, trees and walking paths.
An official groundbreaking is set for May 2. The park, which is bordered by Broadway, Ann and Liberty streets, is expected to open in the fall and be a place where people can relax or enjoy public events, such as concerts and outdoor movies.
Safe Harbors has raised roughly $208,000 of the estimated $500,000 cost, including the land purchase. An Indiegogo page has been set up to collect donations. Contributions can also be made via Safe Harbor’s website or mailed to 111 Broadway, Newburgh, N.Y. 12550.
“This will be a transformative project,” Executive Director Lisa Silverstone told a crowd of supporters who gathered Wednesday inside the Ritz’s lobby for a press conference. “It will be a central square in our downtown.”
The project has already drawn support.
Central Hudson donated $85,000 to the project and local doctor Hannah Brooks helped with the land purchase. Members of the Bruderhof religious community will plant trees and plants during the landscaping phase and Jim Taylor of Taylor Recycling in Montgomery will donate machinery and labor to grade the property.
Taylor said he was born in a top-floor apartment of a building that used to be on the adjacent corner.
“We’re just so pleased and proud to be a part of this,” he said.