‘Our Downtowns, Our Battenkill’ to Welcome Noted Author
Popular blogger, author and speaker James Howard Kunstler will be the featured speaker during the Battenkill Conservancy (BkC) winter holiday fundraiser, ‘Our Downtowns, Our Battenkill,’ on Friday, December 7, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will be held at Gather, the downtown main street venue previously known as 103 Plow. Kunstler, whose 1994 breakthrough book, ‘The Geography of Nowhere,’ and subsequent fiction series, ‘World Made by Hand,’ has been a Greenwich, N.Y., resident for the past six years. His talk at the event will be an ode to Battenkill Conservancy’s mission and its annual river festival, created in 2011 to spotlight the town’s hidden gem, the Battenkill. Kunstler will share his insights and experience speaking, traveling and writing about post-war American landscapes and their impact on the urban, suburban and rural lifestyles. Specifically, he will address principles of town design; what brings a town back to life, and how to come to a consensus on what is needed to build or rebuild the sense of community. The event is being held to promote BkC’s Corridor Connection Project which identifies, highlights and improves access to environmental, scenic, recreational and historic sites within the Battenkill watershed. Despite the fact that the Battenkill runs quite literally through the Village of Greenwich, public access is not well marked or known to many area residents or the visitors passing through. Public river access like Rock Street Park and the prime fishing spots that run behind the Main Street retailers remain a relatively well-kept secret. BkC, in collaboration with the Village of Greenwich, N.Y., is working on changing that, thanks to a recent grant from the the Hudson River Valley Greenway. Kunstler lives just steps outside the Village boundaries, and a stone’s throw away from the Battenkill. He takes full advantage of his location’s walkability and proximity to both Main Street and the more bucolic scenes of southern Washington County, and shares BkC’s view that, not withstanding private property rights, public access to open space and the river should be encouraged and expanded when possible. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-677-2545.