The aim of the HHLT Hudson Highlands Regional River of Words Program is to educate and connect children throughout the region to the natural resources and scenic beauty of the Hudson Highlands and instill a sense of stewardship in our youngest residents.

We've updated and refreshed our River of Words (ROW) program website to make it easier for teachers, administrators and parents to access information about this unique education program offered free to local public schools by HHLT. Please visit the new site to discover HHLT's ROW program for yourself.

Experience poetry in its natural habitat with HHLT and the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary at the Poetry trail -- free and open to the public from dawn to dusk Sunday, July 20th -- sunday, August 17th.

The River of Words Poetry Trail is a series of unique, temporary installations celebrating the nature-inspired poetry of local students winding through one of the Hudson Highlands most inspiring natural settings: Constitution Marsh in Garrison, NY. The featured works represent poetry created during HHLT’s River of Words environmental education workshops throughout the 2013-14 school year.

The Poetry Trail is free and open to the public from dawn to dusk from Sunday, July 20th -- Sunday, August 17th. If you are planning to visit, we recommend that you:

  • Dress comfortably for a walk on the trail.
  • Try your own hand at writing nature-inspired poetry with our Poetry Rocks! basket found at the beginning of the trail.
  • Take only photos, leave only footprints.


Hudson Highlands Regional River of Words Program

For Teachers: go directly to some of our workshop descriptions flyers


HHLT launched the Hudson Highlands Regional River of Words Program in 2009, as part of an international poetry and art program created to promote literacy and environmental stewardship. HHLT’s regional version is designed to educate, collaborate, and celebrate the natural resources and scenic beauty of the Hudson Highlands through Hudson River watershed-inspired poetry created by fourth and fifth grade students at area schools.

River of Words (ROW) is an international poetry and art program created to promote literacy and environmental stewardship. Affiliated with the Library of Congress Center for the Book and co-founded by US Poet Laureate Robert Hass, ROW sponsors a free annual environmental poetry and art contest on the theme of watersheds, open to children ages 5 to 19. Since 1995, River of Words has trained teachers, park naturalists, grassroots groups, state resource agencies, librarians and others to incorporate observation-based nature exploration and the arts into their work with young people. In addition to helping improve children’s literacy—and cognitive skills like investigation and critical thinking—River of Words’ multidisciplinary, hands-on approach to education nurtures students’ creative voices as well, through instruction and practice in art and poetry.


The Hudson Highlands Regional River of Words program uses the resources and materials of the national program to focus on our own watershed -- the Hudson River. The program consists of the following components:

  • Annual regional program workshop(s) and in-district training sessions for educators, providing a foundation for incorporating this program seamlessly into existing curriculum.
  • A variety of in-class student workshops and outdoor field study experiences conducted by our program team in collaboration with class teachers that educate on environmental science, poetry writing and local history and inspire students to participate by creating a body of work inspired by the Hudson River watershed.
  • Culminating events including poetry readings and displays in community settings, the publication of a Hudson Highlands Regional River of Words anthology.
  • A conduit for students to participate in ROW’s international contest.


By developing and managing a regional River of Words program, HHLT hopes to bring this extraordinary program to the Hudson Highlands region, creating a collaborative connection between area school districts focusing on local environmental study. This program can provide a forum for students to connect with each other thoughtfully and creatively through a common theme: the Hudson River.

Launched as a pilot program beginning in the ’08-09 school year, the HHLT Regional ROW program will expand to a full scale program in the ’09-10 school year. Fourth and fifth grades in the following school districts are eligible to participate:

  • Haldane
  • Garrison
  • Putnam Valley
  • Cornwall
  • Highland Falls/Fort Montgomery

For information on implementing the HHLT ROW program in your school, or to schedule workshops, please contact Andrea Maasik, ROW Program Manager, at or 845-424-3358.

HHLT ROW Brochurepdf file(154k pdf)

This program is made possible in part through the generous support of the Vidda Foundation, The Ettinger Foundation, the Charlotte Cuneen Hackett Charitable Trust, and the Royal Bank of Canada Foundation -- USA. The Poetry Trail is sponsored by Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp.