Progress on Poughkeepsie Natural Resource Inventory

A natural resources inventory (NRI) is a document that catalogues the natural and cultural resources within a given locality (e.g., municipality, watershed, or region). NRIs are used by local leaders to make informed land use decisions. An effective NRI should also illustrate where conservation efforts and preservation can be directed, and indicate where more research or focus would be helpful in the specific locality’s unique context.

The Environmental Cooperative at the Vassar Barns has been working on a Natural Resource Inventory of the City of Poughkeepsie since the spring of 2017. At that time, Rachel Marklyn ‘17 began the process of gathering existing data pertaining to the City’s natural and cultural resources.

During the summer of 2017, Elise Chessman ’18 worked on writing the water resources chapter of the City’s NRI. Water resources are a very important topic to the City of Poughkeepsie, with the Fall Kill a focal yet under-utilized part of the City and the Hudson River a notable feature of Poughkeepsie’s past and present significance. These factors made water resources a great jumping off point to begin writing the NRI. Along with a descriptive chapter on the City’s water resources, six maps were created, including: floodplains and percent developed imperviousness, watersheds, water quality, culverts and aquatic passability, and wetlands and hydric soils.

The future of the project will include writing and mapping geologic features and topography, land use patterns, and the cultural, recreational, and historic resources of the City. Hudsonia Ltd. is performing assessments on habitats and biological communities for the City as well.

As an appendix that will be included in the City of Poughkeepsie’s NRI, India Futterman ‘19 wrote an Ash Tree Management Plan, focused on the Emerald Ash Borer, which you can read more about here.

This Project has been funded in part by a grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund through the Hudson River Estuary Program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

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