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This winter has been one of the harshest in recent memory.  The battle to keep sidewalks, driveways, and roads cleared and safe for traveling has been raging for a few months now.
The following was adapted from Mary Ann Cunningham’s post on road salt at (http://www.dutchesswatersheds.org/research-topics/70-salting-the-earth)
Spreading salt on roads and walkways to reduce ice is a […]

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Professor Lucy Johnson at the U-puku-ipi-sing site
Last Friday, as part of Dutchess Watershed Awareness Month, archeologist Lucy Johnson of Vassar College led a walk-and-talk to a very special place in local history. She took us to the spring, known as U-puku-ipi-sing, which gave Poughkeepsie its name. Although it is not located within the Casperkill watershed, […]

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Old Farms Road

The Casperkill along Old Farms Road in 1955
Dr. Melody Mordock has lived on Old Farms Road for about 18 years.  The Casperkill, which runs through her backyard, is an important feature of her property.  To begin with, there are the floods:
Flooding is pretty common. The last major flood came up and just smiled at […]

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Frank Hartenfels’s hammock hangs right on the stream bank.
Fran and Frank Hartenfels are members of the Casperkill Watershed Alliance. They live in Hagan Town (also known as the Spackenkill area) and, like their neighbor, Ron Lipp, they have taken steps to prevent erosion and protect the creek.
When the Hartenfelses first thought of buying the house […]

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The Vassar Farm

The following post was adopted from the Vassar Farm and Ecological Preserve website
In 1895, the first 200 acres of the Vassar Farm were purchased from Vassar Brothers Hospital to solve a problem. Up until then, Vassar had been pumping its sewage into the Casperkill creek but another plan was needed.  About the same time, Ellen […]

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At one time, the 36 acre property located at 275 Van Wagner Road was the final resting place for around 90% of the industrial and commercial waste generated by the city and town of Poughkeepsie.  The history of the site is marked by repeated violations of health and environmental codes.

A […]

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On the left, mobster “Matty the Horse” was affiliated with the  FICA landfill.  On the right, operations at the landfill cease when the Health Department steps in.
By mid-July of 1977, a temporary injunction against further dumping at the Van Wagner Road property was finally granted.  A few weeks later it was discovered that portions of […]

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Arlington firefighters pour water on a fire that broke out at the FICA landfill.  Firefighters had to unearth about 15-feet of garbage to get at smoldering embers, and an estimated 4.5 million gallons of water washed refuse into the Casperkill.
It was not until April 1980—three years after the Van Wagner Road landfill began operating—that the […]

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The FICA landfill today.
On October 5, 1987 New York State filed a Federal lawsuit to force the clean-up of the FICA landfill.  ”Our suit,” State Attorney General Robert Abrams said, ”alleges that waste generated by industry and dumped at the site over the years is responsible for serious contamination…the dump’s current and past owners and […]

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Harvey Flad is Professor Emeritus of Geography at Vassar College. Appointed to the faculty in 1972, he played an important role in the development of multidisciplinary programs in American Culture, Environmental Studies and Urban Studies. He has lived in the City of Poughkeepsie for 30 years.
On June 21st, Professor Harvey Flad joined us for a […]

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