Sustainable Living, Historic Hudson Valley Style

What can our past tell us about better living today and for the future? A free festival of demonstrations, tours and living history interpreters, presented at Senate House State Historic Site on Saturday, May 14, offers some out-of-the-ordinary suggestions. Designed for the whole family, this outdoor event will offer ways for people of all ages to learn about practices of the past and their relevance to choices we make today. This free event is perfect for families and people of all ages, and occurs rain or shine. For more information, please call (845) 338-2786, or visit www.nysparks.com.

Friends of Senate House is partnering with the Kingston Land Trust and Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture to offer presentations on colonial gardening and cooking, herbal medicinals, creative darning of textiles, special tours of Senate House on the theme of sustainable building practices, hands-on activities for kids, and free admission to the Senate House and the site museum.

The Kingston Land Trust will present master gardener Allyson Levy of Hortus Conclusus who will be on hand at 11:30 and 1:30 to speak on the contents and uses of a colonial woman’s dooryard garden, and present the historic garden she created.

Dina Falconi, practicing herbalist and author, will speak with visitors about her own herbal preparations and medicinals, and present examples of her creations and the plants used to make them.

Rob Sweeny, member of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture, will give special tours of Senate House at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30 on the theme of historic building practices and house-holding in 17th- and 18th- century Hudson Valley.

Peter Cutul, a history educator with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation at Fort Montgomery, will present on historic land-use, farming and food preservation practices, with objects and samples for all ages to explore.

Dawn Elliott will offer a creative darning clinic, so bring your textiles for a consultation and possible repair.

Scions of Patria, re-enactors of 17th Century Dutch life in the “New World,” will present hearth cooking of traditional foods and other colonial activities and traditions.

Hands-on activities for kids: Children can practice writing with the “green” writing tool of the colonial period (a quill)- learn about the history and uses of a plant, and pot a seedling to take home.

New York Heritage Weekend will showcase the Empire State to residents and visitors alike and to help kick off the summer tourism season- it offers the opportunity for participants to enjoy historic site programs that highlight the significant historical, cultural and natural resources of New York State. In anticipation of this statewide celebration, a new website has been unveiled: please visit www.HeritageWeekend.org.

This special event is sponsored and financially supported by the Friends of Senate House, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in partnership with the National Park Service.

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