Dockside Project Weathers First Storm of 2023

The flooding on Dec. 23 left its mark on Dockside Park in Cold Spring. Photo by M. Turton

The flooding on Dec. 23 left its mark on Dockside Park in Cold Spring. (Photo by M. Turton)

Fencing, vegetation damaged

Flooding just before Christmas deposited a large assortment of “wrack,” including driftwood of all shapes and sizes, at Dockside Park on the Hudson River waterfront in Cold Spring. 

In light of increasingly large storms and a sea-level rise, a $1.86 million shore protection project was completed in the park last fall, including installation of terraced boulders to protect against erosion. Vegetation was also added to enhance shore protection and wildlife habitat. In addition, a walking path was created and a boat ramp replaced. 

Dockside is owned by the state parks department and managed by the Village of Cold Spring.

Evan Thompson, manager of Hudson Highlands State Park, said the storm removed some of the vegetation planted last fall and damaged fencing intended to keep visitors off newly planted areas. 

“All in all, the shoreline functioned pretty much as expected,” Thompson said, adding that the project was not meant to control flooding. Instead, he said it was designed to create a natural, living shoreline that will change from day to day with normal tidal flows, storms and ice buildup, “just as the Hudson River shoreline functioned for thousands of years before human intervention.”

Thompson said fencing will be repaired and vegetation damaged by the recent storm or last summer’s drought will be replaced in the spring.

Cold Spring Highway Department workers assisted with clearing debris from the walking path. 

2 thoughts on “Dockside Project Weathers First Storm of 2023

  1. The recent removal of the wood picket fence by Cold Spring at the riverfront to eschew future maintenance (paint) costs will have certain drawbacks.

    The most obvious is that in absence of the fence, tourists may disembark from the passenger side of their vehicles directly onto the grounds, or jaywalk there and, if they fancy, sprawl out their camping kits from their cars directly onto the green.

    In general, sans fencing, tourists will further run riot over the riverfront greens from any direction. The green area is thus compromised from the curb westward some 6 feet into the park to allow for a car door to swing open and discharge its bounty.

    The fence enabled visitors to enjoy the green without being assailed by curb trash, traffic and tourists from behind, in effect degrading the best use of that area. It beggars the imagination that our riverfront lies next to the proposed $52 million “world-class linear park” — our rich but mingy uncle — whereas our village can’t afford to paint a bit of fence every few years. I hope that perhaps the village will realize the mistake and put the fence back.

  2. The state took a beautiful natural parkland and turned it into an ugly manicured nightmare.

    Debris plagued the “new” Dockside Park long before the latest storm. Any recent visitor knows that the new boat ramp is unusable because of the debris that washes up; that walking around the park has become dangerous because of the driftwood that people scatter across the lawn; and that the Fjord Trail ramp built at the end of the park is an eyesore, with ugly boulders marking it off.

    There is nothing “natural” about the shoreline that the state parks department built, and it’s insulting for them to use that language to justify this blunder. The state’s poor design ruined what was once the village’s jewel.

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