General Questions

Mahicantuck is the Indigenous name for the Hudson River. Mahicantuck-means “great waters in constant motion” or, more loosely, “river that flows two ways.” It highlights the fact that this waterway is more than a river-it is a tidal estuary, an arm of the sea where salty sea water meets fresh water running off the land.

Developing this land will have major impacts on the local neighborhood, the city as whole, and the wider region. Because of the shale formation, any construction will most likely involve major blasting activities — disrupting the neighborhood for possibly months. At the same time, developing this land will increase risks and costs for the neighborhood and the city — increased flood risks, stormwater impacts, combined sewage overflow and associated fines, pollution and other impacts on the Hudson River and downstream communities, increased traffic, increased costs for the already strained school district, the loss of an important part of Tory’s history, … 
 
At the same time, there are many neglected and abandoned sites in the direct neighborhood readily available for development. Developing this untouched site instead redirects important resources from reviving sites that deserve the attention of development.

We have many ways to get involved ! Check our the How You Can Help! tab in the main menu to learn more about our current campaigns, actions and how you can be part of saving this land and preserving history and the environment.

The City of Troy lists their meetings on their website:

Troy City Council Meetings
City of Troy Planning Commissions Meetings

 

 If you want to join the meeting and have found any issues in doing so – please contact us immediately and let us know about the situation – especially if it is in regards to a residency requirement which is a violation of NYS Open Meetings law. Please let us know and we will take action.

Friends of the Mahicantuck is a grassroots community organization working to preserve and protect indigenous land in Troy, NY. Currently, we are focussing our efforts on protecting an indigenous heritage site at 1011 2nd Avenue in Troy, NY; which is also the last untouched waterfront forest with in the city. 

Our mission is to prevent the proposed large-scale development project at this site, prevent the city from rezoning the land, work on a solution with the involved stakeholders, and achieve the long-term protection of the land, its forest and indigenous heritage from destruction. We are also working on the long-term preservation of this land, its full protection, and the maintenance of the heritage sites and forest. 

This land is significant in multiple ways: It is a critical ecological connector land between the wetlands to the north, peeples island and downstream communities; it is a critical habitat for rare damsel and dragonflies, and an important part of the habitat of a local bald eagle population.

Recently rare Scrub Oak were found on the property – which are also habitat indicators of globally rare Buck Moths – which could be nesting on this property.

In it’s natural state, it an important buffer to prevent soil erosion, downstream-flooding and stormwater runoff into the sensitive ecology of the Hudson River. It is also a critical factor in the city’s microclimate — providing cool air in the summer, absorbing rainwaters and stormwater runoff and importantly contributing to the city’s air quality. It also plays a major role in preventing soil erosion, flooding and storm impacts as a buffer for the city’s downstream communities. 

The land is the site of unique archeological sites with national-scale importance. Human activity on this land dates back to 1500-3000 B.C.. It is also suspected as one of the potential sites for an indigenous village located in this area. For its significance, the site is eligible for listing in the National Register. Mahican, Lenapee and Schaghticoke peoples all maintain close ties to this land, grown over centuries. 

This land is in the Golub family’s private estate. Kevin Vandenburgh, who wants to develop this land, has an option to buy however does not currently own this land. Without the rezoning, there is little interest for the developer to actually further pursue this land. There is also the risk that the developer sells the land after a rezoning is granted to another developer who then could apply for tax credits with the city. 

Most likely: no. There are several reasons to think that the tax revenue for the city and school district will quickly evaporate. The local police station is already at capacity, as is the fire department. Increased traffic on the narrow street along the property will increase maintenance costs. The anticipated 30 new students entering the local school district will cause more costs than the anticipated revenue for the district, according to calculation that we provided to the city in collaboration with experts. The increased pressure on the old sewage infrastructure will lead to additional fines for sewage overflow. Increased road maintenance, public safety, public services, etc. all quickly exceed the tax revenue, according to our calculations. 

No. 
There are several significant issues that we will hold the city accountable for: Already, the city engaged in discriminatory practices by imposing a resident requirement to speak at public meetings, while allowing non-resident representatives of the developer’s engineering consultants to speak at the hearing. A New York State Department of State clarification additionally clearly states that this requirement and the associated City Code are inconsistent with state law. 
 
Additionally, during public hearings, multiple members of the city council expressed their close relationships and friendships with the developer and explicit support for the development. This violates their responsibility to maintain neutrality and evaluate the request objectively. 
 
Multiple experts expressed during hearings that this rezoning most likely will constitute an illegal spot-zoning — potentially exposing the city to further costly litigations. 

Our long-term goal is to oversee the protection and preservation of this land by placing it into trust with its original custodians or a local Land Trust. We are working with multiple organizations on creating the capacities to bring this land into long-term preservation and create direct community benefits; Some ideas we are working on include the creation of a cultural educational center or program, a community food and medicine garden, trails and a preservation area to secure the land, its archeology and ecology for the public and for generations to come. 

We are advocating for a win-win-win solution that would work for everyone. We urge the city to work with us, our partners, the current owner of the land, and the developer on:
–  identifying an alternative site for the proposed development
– protecting the land through prober zoning designation and by working with us and our partners on placing the land into trust
– collaborate with us and our partners on creating our vision of a preserve on this land that will serve the good of the community for generations to come. 

Donation Questions

Information on donations will be forthcoming as we are currently working to get ourselves set up to receive them. If you are interested in donating and would like to be kept up to date on when this will be available – please sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page. Thank you for your support !

We are currently raising funds for legal representation and fees associated with any litigation, legal review necessary to ensure we do everything we can to #Save1011. Additionally, donations will also go towards fees incurred for evidentiary expert reports as needed.

Friends of the Mahicantuck is a community grassroots group, and not a non-profit at this time. We have partnered with Schaghticoke First Nations who is serving as our fiscal sponsor that is a registered non-profit and your donation is 100% tax deductible.

At this time we accept PayPal donations through or donation form on our website, in addition to Venmo – which is preferred. We also can accept check donations. Please see the info below for each mode of payment to make it easy to submit your donation:

PayPal : Please use our donation form on this website.

Venmo (PREFERED) : @Schaghticoke

  • In the message section – please write For Friends of the Mahicantuck

Check :

  • Mail : Pay To The Order Of :Schaghticoke First Nations 
  • Reason : Friends of the Mahicantuck Donations
  • Mail To : PO BOX 32 Round Lake, NY 12151

Yes absolutely. We understand that supporting these types of issues can be sensitive – we want to ensure that if you choose, your donation and support will remain anonymous. 

All funds that have been raised but unused for their intended purposes of legal aid and fees, administration costs (printing etc.) will be donated in full to the Schoaghticoke First Nations.

These funds will be used for the Schaghticoke Land Reclamation Project.

The Schaghticoke First Nations Land Reclamation Project seeks to restore the physical and spiritual connection of the indigenous Schaghticoke Peoples in the Hudson Valley to conserve land for future generations, repair the damaged ecosystem, increase biodiversity, contribute to the mitigation of climate change, and promote sustainable agro-food-forestry using indigenous traditional knowledge. In 2019, SFN completed the first phase of the Schaghticoke Land Reclamation Project with the acquisition of 73 acres of land in Columbia County, New York. SFN is currently engaging in the second phase of the project with the development of its agro-food-forestry initiative. The land is called Caskoak meaning “a safe place” or “place of the heron.”

still need help

Still have a question ? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to email us at friendsofthemahicantuck@gmail.com !