Katharine Gates's blog

Bike Raffle winners donate bike back to the Friends!

The Wang family of Ardsley New York won our Bike Raffle on October 20th, 2012. They generously donated the bike right back to us! Thank you to all who participated.

In photo: Mavis Cain, Friends President, the Wang Family, Jason of Endless Trail Bikeworx who originally donated the bike to us for the raffle.

Aquefest 2012 photos

Check out our photo albums of this wonderful event!

Teens Run Yonkers



Dobbs Ferry

New York Public Library tour June 2012

Did you know that the New York Public Library sits atop the site where an Old Croton Aqueduct reservoir once distributed Croton River water to a thirsty NYC? That it took 5 times as many years to demolish the reservoir and build the NYPL as it took to construct the 41-mile long Old Croton Aqueduct? Back by popular demand, on Saturday we are repeating our March NYPL tour. Hear the stories and inspect old documents, maps and photographs from the NYPL's and other archives. View the underground foundation of the NYPL, with its base of Old Croton Aqueduct Distributing Reservoir stones.

Thank you Volunteers for a Spectacular Vine-Cutting Day May 5!

The Friends’ first vine-cutting, invasive plant removal and trash bagging event, held on May 5th in the Quaker Bridge Road section of the Aqueduct in Cortlandt, was a smashing success. Some 35 volunteers, ages 13 to 70+, turned out for a half-day of hard work and good fellowship. All were pleased with the striking change in before-and-after conditions to show for their labors. The event was part of the first I Love My Park Day, a statewide initiative by Parks & Trails NY and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Good Reads

Aqueduct buffs may find two reports of interest. One is the excellent final report of a Columbia University graduate preservation studio, held in the spring of 2011, during which the Friends, among many others, provided assistance. The title is The Croton Waterworks: A Guide to the Preservation and Interpretation of Historic Infrastructure. To view this 291-page illustrated report, go to

Trail Closures in Van Cortlandt Park

NYC Parks Department announced a start of improvements to Aqueduct Trail in Van Cortlandt Park. They have requested that visitors avoid these parts of the trail until work is completed.

2011 Brought More Visitors to the Aqueduct Tunnel

School groups from NYC, Brooklyn and Westchester - as well as adult groups - have discovered that the Friends give an exciting presentation of the history of the Aqueduct with tours inside the tunnel and to the Croton Dam.

Here's a sample of the groups:

  • 2nd Graders from the Buckley school for boys in NYC (see image right)
  • Students from Eugene Lang College (part of the New School)
  • The Columbia University Preservation department. (This group did an impressive study of the Aqueduct)

Ribbon Cutting event a big success!

The opening of the Friends' trail improvement project in Dobbs Ferry was enthusiastically attended by local residents, state officials, Dobbs Ferry trustees and, of course, by the Friends.

Mayor Connett; Mavis Cain, Friends President; Patrick Kozakiewicz, State Project Manager; Commissioner Rose Harvey; Gary Ricci, site Manager; Bob Kornfeld, Friends Vice President.

Obit: Bill Frost, Aqueduct Enthusiast

We are saddened by the news of the death of our member, friend, and benefactor, William Lee Frost, on September seventh.

Bill, an early Aqueduct fan, started collecting Aqueduct material long before there was FOCA, or even the Croton Aqueduct Committee. In later years, he donated the bulk of his collection to the Croton-on-Hudson Historical Society -- with one exception: A piece of the original old wooden pipe of the Manhattan Water Company, founded by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr in 1799. This he donated to FOCA.

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