One particular project bringing the Relearning Highlands History stories to life is HHLT’s creation of a Virtual Heritage Trail. The goal is to create a digital heritage trail that will highlight sites relevant to the history of Black and Native Americans in the Hudson Highlands, which is situated on “Lenapehoking,” the Lenape name for their land, and includes Mahicannituck, the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians name for the Hudson River. It will run geographically from Peekskill to Beacon and covers pre-colonial history to the present, complementing the African American Heritage Trail of Westchester County to the south, and the Dutchess County Equality Trail to the north. The effort is envisioned as a complement to the Relearning Highlands History series, relating the series to physical locations and helping to deliver on the promise made in the 2020 statement. The trail’s development is ongoing, as HHLT is continuing to gather stories, interviewers, and ideas.
Other work as a part of HHLT’s promise has included improving safe and equitable access to nature by forming partnerships with groups like the Felix Organization, removing barriers to improve diversity and equity in hiring practices, and continuing to conserve sensitive lands within the City of Peekskill’s watershed. In reflecting on this work, HHLT recognizes that they “still have progress to make, and we will continue to hold ourselves accountable for delivering on the commitments we’ve made to our community.” You can read more about this and the work they’ve been doing on their website here.
Special thanks to Nicole Wooten, HHLT’s Director of Natural Resources, for sharing this information with us!