​Landis Meeting House Shelter Benefits Community

By Lora Tryon

In 2011, Hur­ri­cane Irene brought unprece­dent­ed flood­ing to the Esper­ance area, although Lan­dis’ high­er ele­va­tion allowed the Arbore­tum to remain rel­a­tive­ly unscathed. Through NY Ris­ing and the Governor’s Office for Storm Recov­ery (GOSR), local com­mu­ni­ties planned to not only repair the dam­age but also to become more resilient in the event of future events.

Lan­dis’ founder, Fred Lape, wel­comed all to his farm to enjoy the grounds and the panoram­ic views. In keep­ing with that wel­com­ing spir­it and because of Lan­dis’ geo­graph­ic advan­tage, the Arbore­tum was select­ed over sev­er­al oth­er local pos­si­bil­i­ties to house an emer­gency shel­ter. Prepa­ra­tions began short­ly after Hur­ri­cane Irene to pro­vide emer­gency assis­tance to those area res­i­dents impact­ed by any future flood­ing. The shel­ter was built with the help of Fed­er­al, State, and Local monies. The Shel­ter was designed by Frank Gilmore of Stra­cher-Roth-Gilmore, locat­ed in Sch­enec­tady; Hoosic Val­ley Con­trac­tors is respon­si­ble for the con­struc­tion. Con­struc­tion is sched­uled to be com­plet­ed in May of 2020.

The Red Cross will begin train­ing Lan­dis in emer­gency man­age­ment to ensure that this vital com­mu­ni­ty resource will be ready for action.

In the event of an emer­gency dec­la­ra­tion, the shel­ter will open its doors to a max­i­mum of 18 peo­ple. The shelter’s posi­tion, nes­tled next to the Meet­ing House high above Schoharie Creek, allows for over­flow from the shel­ter into the Meet­ing House’s cen­tral room. In keep­ing with this loca­tion, the shel­ter will have sky­lights and win­dows bring­ing in the beau­ty of Lan­dis as it pro­vides a short term respite to those in need.

Although the shel­ter won’t have a kitchen, it will be stocked with Meals Ready to Eat and, if nec­es­sary, can be accessed by heli­copter in the near­by field. There will be three restrooms, one of which will be hand­i­cap acces­si­ble. Our com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers’ four-legged fam­i­ly mem­bers are wel­come too and will be housed in their very own pet hotel. Hope­ful­ly, those in need of the shel­ter, both two and four-legged, will find solace at the Arbore­tum — as so many vis­i­tors have done in the past.


Spring 2020

Volume 38 , Number 1

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