Adding green space to a non-profit housing redevelopment project creates a cultural and social hub for Newburgh, New York
Location: Safe Harbors Green, Newburgh, New York
Client: Safe Harbors of the Hudson
Client website: www.safe-harbors.org
Products used: 3 Sol GreenWay Series park lights
Landscape designer: One Nature, LLC
Safe Harbors of the Hudson is a mixed-use, non-profit housing and arts redevelopment project in Newburgh, New York. What began in 2002 with the purchase of a deteriorating hotel is now the Cornerstone Residence, a home for 128 residents, including the formerly homeless, those living with mental illnesses and physical disabilities, veterans, low-income working adults, and artists requiring affordable live-work space. With onsite support services, job training, a fitness center, an art gallery, a community theatre, and more, this thriving community is a success story for similar projects. In fact, it has won numerous awards, including the 2007 Residence of the Year Award from the Supportive Housing Network of New York State.
In 2016, Safe Harbors of the Hudson decided to purchase the vacant lot next to their facilities, which had been empty for decades. The lot would be transformed into a fully accessible urban park, adding green space in the community while also creating a cultural and social hub that would enhance the existing programming Safe Harbors was already facilitating. Improving public safety was also part of the plan, and one aspect of this was adding effective lighting that would encourage positive park use.
“We had some lighting installed on the side of our adjacent building, but those lights were very bright and intrusive,” says Lisa Silverstone, Executive Director of Safe Harbors of the Hudson. Finding a different type of lighting was preferable.
One Nature, LLC, the landscape designer and project manager, highly recommended Sol’s solar lighting systems, which would provide directional light, focused on the ground. The solar-powered solution would not require intrusive trenching or other costly disruptions to the landscape. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh donated the labor for the installation of three GreenWay Series solar lighting systems from Sol.
“The Sol lighting is down facing and subtle, while ensuring safety and security in the park,” says Silverstone. “Now, residents and visitors can safely cross through the park increasing downtown pedestrian traffic to and from our local businesses and restaurants.”
One Nature worked with Sol throughout the process, but Silverstone says that she also had a positive experience speaking with Sol’s customer service team after the lighting installation. “I needed backup documentation for a grant, and the staff was incredibly helpful and responsive to our needs,” she says.
Silverstone and the team at Safe Harbors are very happy with Sol’s solution. “We love the lights,” she says. “They are 100% reliable and, as a model redevelopment project in our community, we are proud to have a fully solar lit park space.”
The revitalization now complete, the new green space has hosted everything from theatrical events to a salsa night. “The Safe Harbors Green has transformed a blighted corner of our community into a beautiful park,” says Silverstone. “Having solar lighting, all-natural plantings, rainwater gardens, and full ADA accessibility was the responsible, sustainable, and environmentally sensitive way to grow our project.”
We love the lights. They are 100% reliable and, as a model redevelopment project in our community, we are proud to have a fully solar lit park space.” – Lisa Silverstone, Executive Director, Safe Harbors of the Hudson