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Archive for June, 2010

The abandoned Schatz Federal Bearing Company waste disposal site can be seen from the Rail Trail.
The Schatz site is located along Van Wagner Road, at the edge of the Casperkill watershed.  The site was originally a marshy wetland until extensive landfilling by the Schatz Company completely changed the topography of the area.  Five of the […]

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This 2000 map shows the altered course of Raymond Avenue as a result of the 1965 realignment, which caused the sacrifice of trees and the filling in of about 75 feet of Vassar Lake.

Raymond Avenue hasn’t always had the center median and roundabouts it is outfitted with today. Rather, it has […]

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A map of Lake Dwight from Marlyn Magnus’ 1957 thesis.
In 1957, Vassar student Marlyn Mangus completed a senior thesis in Geology in which she identified and mapped the boundaries of a glacial lake that formed in front of the retreating Laurentide ice sheet.  This lake, which she named Lake Dwight, is thought to underlie much […]

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The Casperkill Watershed Alliance on June 9, 2010
The Casperkill Watershed Alliance is a partnership between the Vassar Environmental Research Institute (ERI), Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County (CCEDC) and Casperkill Watershed residents, civic officials, and other interested parties.  The alliance meets monthly and organizes various community watershed events such as streamside plantings, storm drain marking projects, […]

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Casperkill Around Town

The name Casperkill does not refer to the creek alone. In fact, it comes up fairly often around Poughkeepsie. We did a tour of the watershed and found several places named after the Casperkill.
The following excerpt is from a 2008 Poughkeepsie Journal article by Kelsey Smith, former Collins Research Fellow and the first […]

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What is that Orange Ooze?

Orange ooze at the mouth of a culvert that channels water through the old Burnett Boulevard landfill underneath the Route 44 and Dutchess Center Plazas.
Background information:
Our interview with Alison Keimowitz, a Chemistry Professor at Vassar College, about the orange ooze actually started with her asking us a question: “What is in a landfill?”
Nadine and […]

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In 1940 John Van De Water leased the land that was once occupied by the Poughkeepsie Brick Corporation to the Town of Poughkeepsie (see The Rise and Fall of “Brickyard Hill”).  At that time the 120-acre property was really just an enormous hole in the ground, left from a century and a half of clay […]

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Panoramic view of Vassar Lake from 1912, with Raymond Avenue on the right

On September 5, 1933, a Poughkeepsie Eagle News article came out under the headline “Dam At Vassar Lake Goes Out.” Heavy rains had put considerable strain on the rotting, wooden structure, causing the gate to give way and the lake to […]

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Patsy Cicala, an environmental educator, prepares to test the dissolved oxygen content at Sunset Lake during the 1997 sewage spill. The test yielded a zero reading, meaning that no fish could have survived in the water.
After speaking with Vassar alumni about the changes in Sunset Lake I became curious about the history of fish in […]

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A view of the outdoor ampitheatre in the 1930s.  Sunset Lake can be seen in the background, through the Canadian hemlocks and Norway spruces that form the backdrop to the theatre space.
While talking with alumnae this weekend it was always fascinating to hear how much Sunset Lake has changed over time, but it was equally […]

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