Jack Maguire at Black Creek.

A state grant literally launches a new era for Black Creek canoers and kayakers. On Oct. 17, Mark Castiglione, acting executive director of the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council, announced that the council has awarded the Town of Lloyd $7,500 toward creating a new launch site on the Black Creek south of the Route 299 overpass. The grant requires Lloyd to provide matching funds, but site planners anticipate that most, if not all, of the match amount can be met through in-kind and volunteer services.

For years canoers and kayakers have taken advantage of this natural launch site informally. The creation of a formal launch, which consists primarily of new signage, smoother grading to the creek bank and gravel-based parking spaces, will provide safer and more convenient access for motorists, as well as stabilize and protect the surrounding environment.

The grant application was submitted by the Lloyd Environmental Conservation Council, whose members include Donna Deeprose, Nancy Hammond, Bud Hossenlopp, Jack Maguire (chair) and Kelly Oggenfuss.

“The new launch is the second phase in developing the Black Creek Water Trail, following up on the stairway built several years ago between the Hudson Valley Rail Trail and the Black Creek,” said Maguire. “It will help make one of the area’s natural treasures more visible and usable, while at the same time preserving its health and beauty.”