GREENWICH, N.Y. -- As part of the It’s Your Battenkill, Explore It campaign, the Battenkill Conservancy will offer the Battenkill Picnic Plate to kayakers & canoeists who arrive by boat at the Battenkill Runs Through It Beach, Music & Food Festival that will take place at the Town Beach in Greenwich on Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m.
Battenkill Conservancy is encouraging people to launch a kayak or canoe at the Rock Street Park in the Village of Greenwich and paddle the short distance to the Town Beach.
While the route entails paddling upstream, the current is usually negligible with mostly still water from the park to the beach.
A Color Guard Ceremony in recognition of Memorial Day and organized by George Perkins of the Greenwich VFW kicks off festival while members of the Saratoga Fiddlers Club entertain early guests and paddlers. The popular DJ, Dave Micheals from WEXT, 97.7 will be emceeing the event and introducing our Local 518 musicians including Bob Warren & Joy Mackenzie, Roadside Blue Band, Heard & the Roadhouse Rhythm & Blues Band.
The "Upstream Paddle" is a precursor to what Battenkill Conservancy hopes will become an annual event associated with the festival while encouraging the public to get out and explore the river and its scenic, recreational and historical sights scattered throughout the watershed.
Anyone who arrives at the festival by kayak or canoe is entitled to the Battenkill Picnic Plate, paying $6 for entry which entitles them to an afternoon of music and river related activities.
Children under 12 who arrive by kayak or canoe pay only $2.50 and eat for free.
During the festival, Battenkill Conservancy will present its annual Community Citizen Award to long-time Greenwich resident and businesswoman, Sally B. Tefft. The sharp-minded and sprite nonagenarian who moved to Greenwich in 1941 will be presented with the award at The Battenkill Runs Through It Beach, Music & Food Festival.
Up until last fall, Tefft was actively involved in running one of the oldest independently published newspapers in the country, the Greenwich Journal Salem Press and served as Publisher Emeritus during the paper’s transition to new ownership. Originally from Connecticut, Tefft attended Middlebury College in Vermont where she met her future husband, Richard S. Tefft, son of one of the paper’s original publishers and partners. In 1941, the newly married couple returned to Greenwich where she has lived ever since.
She remembers her first few years in the Village as the United States entered World War II and how residents took precautions by turning off all the lights. In between raising four children, she began working at the paper, first helping with collating duties and later with advertisers in the Troy area. In 1969 when the Journal Stationers (then located on Hill Street) began selling school supplies, she began working full time. Taking on more responsibilities, she has ensured the paper provided uninterrupted service through its various management transitions right up until last year’s sale of the paper to Atticus Communications.
She recently retired from her final position as Publisher Emeritus believing the ownership transition is now complete. Many in the village of Greenwich can attest to her work ethic, her commitment to the paper and her daily walks to the paper’s former office on Salem Street from her current home on Church Street.
The Battenkill Conservancy chose Tefft as the recipient of this year’s award based on her nearly 75 years of community service to the area and her recognition of the Battenkill as one of the area’s most important natural resources. Over the years the paper has featured the Battenkill’s importance to the community as both a recreational and economic driver for Washington County.
She has many fond memories of bringing her children to the beach and how its was always being well maintained with qualified lifeguards.
When asked about her thoughts on the river, her response "the Battenkill has been a wonderful friend." Tefft will be presented with the award the day of the festival, Saturday, at approximately 3 p.m.
The festival’s ain date is Sunday, June 1.
Battenkill Conservancy is an all-volunteer, non profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the Battenkill watershed through education, conservation, advocacy and the River Watch Program. Battenkill Conservancy is managed by a board of directors and maintains an office in Cambridge, New York.