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Stream Management Funds Available

Posted on: September 16th, 2020 by Leslie_Zucker

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram is now accept­ing appli­ca­tions for stream projects in the Ashokan Reser­voir water­shed.

Appli­ca­tions must be sub­mit­ted to the pro­gram office by Wednes­day, Octo­ber 14. Elec­tron­ic sub­mis­sions are accept­ed. For more infor­ma­tion and appli­ca­tion mate­ri­als, vis­it the web­site https://ashokanstreams.org/projects-funding/.

Eli­gi­ble appli­cants include local, coun­ty, state or fed­er­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies; 501©3 orga­ni­za­tions; and sec­ondary school dis­tricts, col­leges, or uni­ver­si­ties. For-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions are eli­gi­ble to apply in the Research, Assess­ment, and Mon­i­tor­ing cat­e­go­ry only.

Please review pri­or­i­ty needs iden­ti­fied by the AWSMP in stream man­age­ment plans, the pro­gram’s annu­al action plan, and research agen­da before apply­ing.

Fund­ing is avail­able for pri­or­i­ty projects to:

- Improve water qual­i­ty and enhance stream sta­bil­i­ty
- Pro­tect or improve stream infra­struc­ture
- Enhance stream access and recre­ation
- Plan and imple­ment flood haz­ard mit­i­ga­tion
- Increase pub­lic knowl­edge and skills for stream stew­ard­ship
- Pro­tect and enhance aquat­ic and ripar­i­an habi­tat and ecosys­tems

Please note: Replace­ment or repair of fail­ing infra­struc­ture due to aging or decay is not eli­gi­ble for fund­ing. Only the por­tion of costs asso­ci­at­ed with the enlarge­ment or improve­ment of struc­tures to meet stream man­age­ment objec­tives is eli­gi­ble for fund­ing.

Fund­ing for the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Imple­men­ta­tion Pro­gram is pro­vid­ed by the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and admin­is­tered by Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty.

For more infor­ma­tion or to sched­ule a meet­ing or site vis­it, con­tact AWSMP at (845) 688‑3047.

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Watershed Animal Spotlight: Bald Eagle

Posted on: September 1st, 2020 by Brent Gotsch

Bald Eagle Title Slide

 

 

Catch­ing a glimpse of a bald eagle soar­ing through the air can be incred­i­bly excit­ing. This expe­ri­ence is becom­ing increas­ing­ly com­mon here in the Ashokan Water­shed. The reser­voir and its sur­round­ing forests and streams pro­vide ide­al habi­tat for these large birds of prey.

Your best chances of spot­ting an eagle local­ly are while walk­ing on the prom­e­nade at the Ashokan dam, explor­ing the open-water sec­tions of the Ashokan Rail Trail or by spend­ing time along the Upper Eso­pus Creek. It is not unusu­al to see a bald eagle silent­ly glid­ing above the water’s sur­face in search of a meal.

If you are for­tu­nate enough to encounter one, it is an expe­ri­ence you are like­ly to not soon for­get. To learn more about these majes­tic birds, check out our bald eagle resource page. The site includes videos, fact sheets, activ­i­ty pages, relat­ed links, and a quiz. For more infor­ma­tion about the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram, vis­it ashokanstreams.org.

 

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Living in the Watershed Presentation August 19th

Posted on: August 14th, 2020 by Brent Gotsch

The sub-basins of the Ashokan Watershed

The sub-basins of the Ashokan Water­shed

 

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) is pleased to announce an addi­tion to its Ashokan Water­shed Week­end slate of pro­grams this sum­mer. On Wednes­day, August 19 start­ing at 7:00 p.m. there will be an online Zoom pre­sen­ta­tion of the pro­grams and ser­vices avail­able to landown­ers in the Ashokan Reser­voir Water­shed and the greater Catskill and Delaware por­tions of the New York City Drink­ing Water Sup­ply Water­shed. This pro­gram is geared for cur­rent or poten­tial landown­ers, but oth­er inter­est­ed indi­vid­u­als are wel­come to attend.

Landown­ers in the NYC Water­shed have access to a wide vari­ety of assis­tance pro­grams that aren’t avail­able in oth­er areas of the state. Dur­ing this help­ful pro­gram, some of the part­ners who deliv­er NYC’s Water­shed Pro­tec­tion Pro­gram will dis­cuss resources avail­able to landown­ers who are man­ag­ing streams, flood­plains, waste­water, forests and agri­cul­tur­al lands, and who want to improve and pro­tect their prop­er­ty while ben­e­fit­ing the envi­ron­ment. Landown­ers will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to ask ques­tions about the pro­grams and AWSMP pre­sen­ters will pro­vide guid­ance on where to seek addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion.

The pro­gram is free to attend, but reg­is­tra­tion is required. For more infor­ma­tion or to reg­is­ter for the event please vis­it https://tinyurl.com/AshokanLandowners.

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Flash Flood Watch in Effect for Ashokan Watershed

Posted on: August 4th, 2020 by Brent Gotsch

High flows on the Esopus Creek in September 2018.

High flows on the Eso­pus Creek in Sep­tem­ber 2018.

 

The Nation­al Weath­er Ser­vice has cur­rent­ly issued a flash flood watch for the Ashokan Water­shed and much of the rest of the region. Trop­i­cal Storm Isa­ias is cur­rent­ly track­ing up the east­ern seaboard and bring­ing heavy rains and dam­ag­ing winds in its path. While the region has been abnor­mal­ly dry this sum­mer and the rain itself is wel­come, the poten­tial inten­si­ty of the down­pours could cause local­ized flood­ing.

Our Water­shed is no stranger to floods but it is still a good idea to be pre­pared. Through­out the day today, mon­i­tor the Nation­al Ocean­ic and Atmos­pher­ic Admin­is­tra­tion’s (NOAA) weath­er radio and/or local weath­er sta­tions to get updat­ed infor­ma­tion about con­di­tions. You can also mon­i­tor local stream gages by going to the Unit­ed States Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey (USGS) web­site. The Allaben and Cold­brook stream gages are two major gages on the Eso­pus Creek.

If pos­si­ble, please stay home. High winds could top­ple trees and pow­er lines mak­ing roads impas­si­ble. In addi­tion, flood waters across road­ways are par­tic­u­lar­ly dan­ger­ous and lead to a high num­ber of injuries and fatal­i­ties each year because water depths are often deceiv­ing. Remem­ber, it only takes one foot of mov­ing water to move most pas­sen­ger cars and six inch­es of mov­ing water to knock a per­son over. If you come across a flood­ed road­way always Turn Around Don’t Drown!

If your local­i­ty issues evac­u­a­tion orders please evac­u­ate to your near­est emer­gency shel­ter imme­di­ate­ly and fol­low all instruc­tions from local offi­cials and emer­gency respon­ders.

For more infor­ma­tion on flood pre­pared­ness and what to do in an emer­gency you can view the AWSMP Flood Emer­gency Pre­pared­ness Guide. Also be sure to check out resources from FEMA’s Ready.gov web­site and the NY Exten­sion Dis­as­ter Edu­ca­tion Net­work (NY EDEN) web­site.

 

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Join AWSMP for a Series of Youth Hikes This Summer

Posted on: July 16th, 2020 by Brent Gotsch

Join AWSMP for series of youth hikes this summer

Join AWSMP for a series of youth hikes this sum­mer

 

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) presents the Sum­mer Youth Hike Series on Tues­days this sum­mer begin­ning July 21st 2020. Mid­dle and High School youth age 10 and up liv­ing in the Ashokan Water­shed are invit­ed to join in a series of trail hikes to learn more about the Ashokan Watershed’s creeks and streams. Hikes will be led by Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion Ulster Coun­ty edu­ca­tors and fea­ture a local stream/watershed pro­fes­sion­al to share their expe­ri­ence and exper­tise.

The first hike is Tues­day, July 21 and meets at DEC’s McKin­ley Hol­low Road trail­head park­ing lot at 10 a.m. and returns at 2 p.m. Reg­is­ter now online or call Lin­da Gonel­la at 845–688-3047 ext. 0 or email her at lg457@cornell.edu.

A series of hikes are planned for Tues­days from July 14th through August 11th. Each hike will meet at a trail­head at 10 a.m. and con­clude by 2 p.m. Youth are required to bring a lunch, water and be dressed for the weath­er. Par­tic­i­pants will be asked to phys­i­cal­ly dis­tance dur­ing hikes and wear face cov­er­ings when stopped for group dis­cus­sion. Masks will be pro­vid­ed for those who need them.

These hikes are free to res­i­dents of the Ashokan Water­shed. Gen­er­al­ly, the Ashokan Water­shed over­laps the towns of Shan­dak­en, Olive, Wood­stock, and Hur­ley in Ulster Coun­ty, and Lex­ing­ton and Hunter in Greene Coun­ty.

For more infor­ma­tion, call the AWSMP office at (845) 688‑3047 or email Matt Helf­frich at mdh268@cornell.edu.

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Hike with a Bike for Ashokan Watershed Weekend on August 7

Posted on: July 16th, 2020 by Brent Gotsch

Join AWSMP for a socially distanced bike hike on the Ashokan Rail Trail on August 7.

Join AWSMP for a social­ly dis­tanced bike hike on the Ashokan Rail Trail on August 7.

 

Let’s go hik­ing on a bike! As part of its Ashokan Water­shed Week­end series of events, AWSMP will be host­ing a “bike hike” along the Ashokan Rail Trail on August 7 from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.

This excit­ing new pro­gram is open to any­one, but is designed for youth and fam­i­lies. Par­tic­i­pants must be at least 8 years old (youth under the age of 14 must be accom­pa­nied by an adult). AWSMP staff will lead a bike ride along the trail to learn about Ashokan Water­shed, the Ashokan Reser­voir and the New York City drink­ing water sup­ply sys­tem. We will also spend time learn­ing about the plants and ani­mals along the trail and will stop to study how But­ter­nut Creek cross­es the trail and emp­ties into the reser­voir. Due to NYS phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing guide­lines, the ride will be lim­it­ed to 10 indi­vid­u­als. All par­tic­i­pants must agree to fol­low pub­lic health poli­cies out­lined for the event.

This event, which is free of charge, is open to res­i­dents of the Ashokan Water­shed. Gen­er­al­ly, the Ashokan Water­shed over­laps the towns of Shan­dak­en, Olive, Wood­stock, and Hur­ley in Ulster Coun­ty, and Lex­ing­ton and Hunter in Greene Coun­ty.

We will meet at the Boiceville Rail Trail park­ing lot at 8:30 am and will return by 12:00 pm. The Boiceville Trail­head is locat­ed at 5080 Route 28A in Boiceville. The Trail­head entrance is off Route 28A approx­i­mate­ly 16.5 miles west of the NYS Thruway Exit 19 Traf­fic Cir­cle. Cold Brook Road is direct­ly across Route 28A from this entrance.

The group will spend approx­i­mate­ly 3 hours on the trail and will ride about 6 miles round-trip at a leisure­ly pace. Par­tic­i­pants will need to bring their own bike and wear a hel­met while rid­ing. The wear­ing of face masks is manda­to­ry when stopped for edu­ca­tion or con­ver­sa­tion. It is also rec­om­mend­ed that each rid­er bring plen­ty of water and a snack.

Space is lim­it­ed so reg­is­ter today. Be sure to fill out your safe­ty pledge and insur­ance and pho­to waiv­er and return them to Lin­da at lg457@cornell.edu

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Celebrate Ashokan Watershed Weekend July 9 — 10!

Posted on: June 26th, 2020 by Irene Foster

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Look­ing for some­thing fun and edu­ca­tion­al to do this sum­mer? If you are, the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) is plan­ning Ashokan Water­shed Week­end over sev­er­al week­ends this sum­mer start­ing July 9–10, 2020.

AWSMP is offer­ing a vari­ety of events where Ashokan Water­shed res­i­dents can learn more about the watershed’s creeks and streams, how they behave, and what we can do to ben­e­fit (and ben­e­fit from) them. These events are open and free to any res­i­dent of the Ashokan Water­shed, and you can look at this map to see if you are a water­shed res­i­dent.

July 9th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm is Munic­i­pal Offi­cials Day. The event is offered online and all munic­i­pal offi­cials and agency staff work­ing in the Ashokan Water­shed are encour­aged to attend. A cer­tifi­cate of train­ing for those seek­ing munic­i­pal edu­ca­tion cred­it will be offered. The first pre­sen­ta­tion is “Streams 101” which will cov­er a basic under­stand­ing of how streams func­tion. The sec­ond pre­sen­ta­tion is “Get to Know Your Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram” which will share what the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram offers to landown­ers, munic­i­pal­i­ties, and water users.

July 10th is Youth and Fam­i­ly Day. The first event will be the “Kanape Brook Stream Walk” from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. This is a hike along the beau­ti­ful Kanape Brook in West Shokan, NY. We will talk about stream ecol­o­gy and phys­i­cal fea­tures, and stream­side veg­e­ta­tion. We will also spend time near a large North Amer­i­can Beaver lodge com­plex and learn more about these amaz­ing mam­mals. The hike will be about 3 hours long and about 4 miles. There will be two groups, one leav­ing at 9:00am and one leav­ing at 10:00am. Each group will only have 10 par­tic­i­pants, so make sure you reg­is­ter ear­ly!

The sec­ond event of Youth and Fam­i­ly Day on July 10th will be the pre­mier of the “Love Your Stream Video Project” from 4:00 pm‑5:00 pm.  To show how much we love our streams in the Ashokan Water­shed, AWSMP will be com­pil­ing a col­lec­tion of videos about activ­i­ties tak­ing place on the streams in our water­shed. Fam­i­lies or indi­vid­u­als are invit­ed to sub­mit a short video (no more than 5 min­utes) of you doing an activ­i­ty that you love by or on your stream. You are also invit­ed to sub­mit pho­tographs or orig­i­nal art­work. Please read the Sub­mis­sion Guide­lines. All sub­mis­sions are due by Fri­day, July 8, 2020. Con­tact Brent Gotsch at bwg37@cornell.edu to sub­mit your work. The video com­pi­la­tion will be shared at an event streamed online at 4:00pm on July 10th. After we share the videos, AWSMP staff will be on hand to answer any ques­tions you have about stream man­age­ment.

For more detailed infor­ma­tion on Ashokan Water­shed Week­end and for links to reg­is­tra­tion please vis­it AWSMP’s web­site  devot­ed to Ashokan Water­shed Week­end.

Stay tuned for more Ashokan Water­shed Week­end events this sum­mer! They will be focused on the needs of stream­side landown­ers in the Ashokan Water­shed.

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Birding in the Ashokan Watershed

Posted on: June 17th, 2020 by Irene Foster

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)

Belt­ed King­fish­er (Megac­eryle alcy­on)

 

Are you look­ing for a fun, safe activ­i­ty to try now that the weath­er is nicer and reopen­ing is ramp­ing-up? If so, con­sid­er stream­side bird­ing in the Ashokan Water­shed. In the Ashokan Water­shed there are many oppor­tu­ni­ties to hang out near streams while you are pic­nick­ing, hik­ing, or just relax­ing.  While you are there, you can spot many types of wildlife, espe­cial­ly birds. Also, you can look for birds while obey­ing social dis­tanc­ing rec­om­men­da­tions.

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

Com­mon Mer­ganser (Mer­gus mer­ganser)

 

Some com­mon bird species you are like­ly to encounter are the red-winged black­bird, belt­ed king fish­er, great blue heron, Cana­da geese, and sev­er­al species of ducks such as mal­lards, wood ducks, and the com­mon mer­ganser.  In addi­tion to those com­mon aquat­ic birds, there are many song­birds that rely on the ripar­i­an areas for their habi­tats.  The ripar­i­an zone is the area along the sides of streams. If you are spend­ing time on the Eso­pus Creek, you might catch a glimpse of bald eagles, who work their way upstream from the reser­voir in search of food.

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

Wood Duck (Aix spon­sa)

 

To go bird­ing, you do not need to be an expert on ornithol­o­gy (the study of birds) or have any fan­cy equip­ment. How­ev­er, if you want some help get­ting start­ed and learn­ing more about bird­ing, there are many smart­phone apps that can help you. Bird­ing apps offer a wide vari­ety of fea­tures such as iden­ti­fy­ing birds, iden­ti­fy­ing bird songs, track­ing which bird species you find, or view­ing oth­er bird sight­ings that have been logged near you.

A female and male pair of Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos)

A female and male pair of Mal­lard ducks (Anas platyrhyn­chos)

 

If you are look­ing for more infor­ma­tion on iden­ti­fy­ing stream­side birds, check out the Cor­nell Lab of Ornithol­o­gy.

Some more resources on bird­ing are the Young Bird­ers Net­work through the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion, the Audubon Guide to North Amer­i­can Birds, or this Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram Newslet­ter from 2014 that has more bird species to look for and sug­ges­tions of where to look for them.

If you would like to learn more about a com­mon water­shed and back­yard bird species, the Amer­i­can Robin, you can view Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Program’s new video on our YouTube chan­nel.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea hero­dias)

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Stream Management Funds Available

Posted on: June 10th, 2020 by Leslie_Zucker

The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram is now accept­ing appli­ca­tions for stream projects in the Ashokan Reser­voir water­shed.

Appli­ca­tions must be sub­mit­ted to the pro­gram office by Wednes­day, July 8. Elec­tron­ic sub­mis­sions are accept­ed. For more infor­ma­tion and appli­ca­tion mate­ri­als, vis­it the web­site https://ashokanstreams.org/projects-funding/.

Eli­gi­ble appli­cants include local, coun­ty, state or fed­er­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies; 501©3 orga­ni­za­tions; and sec­ondary school dis­tricts, col­leges, or uni­ver­si­ties. For-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions are eli­gi­ble to apply in the Research, Assess­ment, and Mon­i­tor­ing cat­e­go­ry only.

Please review pri­or­i­ty needs iden­ti­fied by the AWSMP in stream man­age­ment plans, the pro­gram’s annu­al action plan, and research agen­da before apply­ing.

Fund­ing is avail­able for pri­or­i­ty projects to:

- Improve water qual­i­ty and enhance stream sta­bil­i­ty
— Pro­tect or improve stream infra­struc­ture
— Enhance stream access and recre­ation
— Plan and imple­ment flood haz­ard mit­i­ga­tion
— Increase pub­lic knowl­edge and skills for stream stew­ard­ship
— Pro­tect and enhance aquat­ic and ripar­i­an habi­tat and ecosys­tems

Please note: Replace­ment or repair of fail­ing infra­struc­ture due to aging or decay is not eli­gi­ble for fund­ing. Only the por­tion of costs asso­ci­at­ed with the enlarge­ment or improve­ment of struc­tures to meet stream man­age­ment objec­tives is eli­gi­ble for fund­ing.

Fund­ing for the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Imple­men­ta­tion Pro­gram is pro­vid­ed by the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion and admin­is­tered by Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty.

For more infor­ma­tion or to sched­ule a meet­ing or site vis­it, con­tact AWSMP at (845) 688‑3047.

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Dining Out on Ashokan Streams

Posted on: June 10th, 2020 by Irene Foster

As Ulster Coun­ty begins Phase Two of Reopen­ing, many restau­rants are now offer­ing out­door seat­ing. Sev­er­al restau­rants even offer a view of our local streams!

Dining out at the Peekamoose Restaurant in Big Indian puts you near Birch Creek.

Din­ing out at the Peekamoose Restau­rant in Big Indi­an puts you near Birch Creek.

 

If you’re in Big Indi­an, the Peekamoose Restau­rant offers out­door din­ing with an over­look of Birch Creek. Orig­i­nat­ing on Hal­cott Moun­tain, Birch Creek is a trib­u­tary of the Eso­pus Creek. Birch Creek was dammed to make Pine Hill Lake. In 1988, the New York State Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Con­ser­va­tion (NYSDEC) rebuilt Pine Hill Lake after the dam had been washed out twice.  In their design, the NYSDEC made sure the lake was hab­it­able for the cold-water trout that live there. Since warm water stress­es trout, the NYSDEC built a dam that is locat­ed off the stream to keep the water cold.  Addi­tion­al­ly, a “fish lad­der” was con­struct­ed to help trout trav­el over the dam.

The Phoenicia Diner and Woodnotes Grille are all within walking distance to the Esopus Creek.

The Phoeni­cia Din­er and Wood­notes Grille are all with­in walk­ing dis­tance to the Eso­pus Creek.

 

The Phoeni­cia Din­er in Phoeni­cia and the Wood­notes Grille at the Emer­son Resort and Spa in Mount Trem­per offer an excel­lent view of the Eso­pus Creek while you are din­ing out­doors or wait­ing for take­out. The Eso­pus Creek is the largest and most well-known stream in the Ashokan Water­shed.  The Eso­pus Creek pro­vides water, eco­nom­ic oppor­tu­ni­ties, and recre­ation­al oppor­tu­ni­ties to our local com­mu­ni­ties.  It also pro­vides aquat­ic habi­tats and ripar­i­an habi­tats for an assort­ment of plants and ani­mals. It is divid­ed into the Upper Eso­pus locat­ed above the Ashokan Reser­voir and the Low­er Eso­pus locat­ed below the Ashokan Reser­voir. The Upper Eso­pus has at least 330 miles of trib­u­taries and drains some of the largest moun­tains in the Catskills. It is used for many recre­ation­al activ­i­ties such as fish­ing, canoe­ing, kayak­ing, and tub­ing.

The Catskill Rose is just a stone's throw away from the Beaver Kill.

The Catskill Rose is just a stone’s throw away from the Beaver Kill.

 

One restau­rant with a view of the Beaver Kill is Catskill Rose in Mount Trem­per.  The Beaver Kill starts on Plateau and Sug­ar­loaf moun­tains in the Town of Hunter and con­tains three dif­fer­ent geo­mor­phic sec­tions.  It starts as a very steep, nar­row stream. In the mid­dle sec­tion, it flat­tens and widens out and has lots wet­lands next to it. Even­tu­al­ly, it becomes steep and nar­row again until it flows into the Eso­pus Creek.

To learn more about parts of water­sheds and riv­er sys­tems check out the new video on Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Program’s YouTube Page.

For a com­plete list of restau­rants that are cur­rent­ly open in Ulster Coun­ty please vis­it the Ulster Coun­ty Alive Take Out and Deliv­ery Guide.

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