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A driver of industry

Streams like this provided a source of food and fresh water for the region’s first inhabitants, members of the Wappinger, a confederation of Algonquian-speaking people. Called the Val-kil (Fall Creek) by Dutch settlers, the waterway fueled the city’s emergence as a center of industry, first powering grist and lumber mills and later factories that manufactured everything from pianos and underwear to cigars. Simultaneously, it became a toxic spillway and dumping ground.

As its usefulness to industry began waning in the 20th century, the winding watercourse was channeled to allow for new development. Many of the stone and cement walls currently lining its path were built during the 1930s. In addition to severely hampering safe public access to the creek, this has led to devastating flooding during extreme storm events.


A shared vision

Regular volunteer cleanups hosted by local organizations have done much to improve the natural beauty and vitality of the Fall Kill Creek. Efforts also are underway to reduce ongoing pollution that poses a major public health threat and impacts the stream’s remarkable variety of wildlife. Focus is also being directed to the impacts of a changing climate on the area, including increased severe storm events and flooding. The Fall Kill Watershed Coalition works collaboratively to both study the creek and listen to community members’ priorities to create a shared vision and action plan for the Fall Kill Creek.

Watch this video to find out what makes the Fall Kill Watershed unique and special!


A community asset for transportation, learning, and health

To address the community’s desire for a safer, more inviting environment for families, children, and neighbors, we are exploring the concept of a greenway along Fall Kill Creek, creating new, welcoming places to enjoy the waterway and its biodiversity. The Fall Kill corridor holds potential to provide outdoor education opportunities for children and adults alike.

Watch this video to find out what you can do to help protect your watershed!


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