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The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area was designed by Congress to recognize the importance of the history and the resources of the Hudson River Valley to the nation. These resources represent themes of settlement and migration, transportation and commerce. The cities, towns, and rural landscapes of the region display exceptional surviving physical resources spanning four centuries.

The Hudson River Valley played an important role in the military history of the American Revolution. The region gave birth to significant developments in American art and architecture and played a central role in the recognition of the esthetic value of the landscape through the work of Andrew Jackson Downing, Alexander Jackson Davis, Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Dutch and Huguenot settlements, the Knickerbocker writers, early labor cooperatives and the first women's secondary school are all significant contributions to the development of our country and are products of the Hudson River Valley.

The mission of the National Heritage Area program is to recognize, preserve and promote the natural and cultural resources of the Hudson River Valley. This will be accomplished through a voluntary partnership with communities and citizens, and local, state and federal agencies emphasizing public access, economic development, regional planning and interpretive programs.

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area includes 250 communities in ten counties bordering the Hudson River for 154 miles of tidal estuary. This area is approximately three million acres of Hudson Highlands, Catskill Mountains, rolling farmland and compact villages, small cities and hamlets. The region extends from the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, south to the northern border of New York City.

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area is managed by the Greenway Conservancy for the Hudson River Valley, a public benefit corporation, and the Hudson River Valley Greenway Communities Council, a state agency. These organizations were established in the Executive Department of New York State Government in 1991 and are governed by boards of directors representing numerous public and private constituencies and interest groups in the region. The office for these programs is located in Albany, New York.

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