Thai Fresh Pea Soup Is a Spring Dinner Staple in the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / nerudol

Loaded with the crisp and vibrant flavor of peas, plus green curry paste, toasted mustard seeds, and mint, this spring soup shines.

Hudson Valley recommendations are objective, unbiased, and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

In early spring, farm markets will put out their first crops of the season, including peas and asparagus. In fact, there is an old Irish tradition of planting peas on St. Patrick’s Day. The sturdy peas take root in the cold ground and provide the spring kitchen with one of the sweetest green treats. In addition, green peas are just bursting with health benefits: they are high in fiber, low in calories, and have almost twice the protein of other vegetables.

Mid-spring is also prime harvest season for asparagus in the Hudson Valley. Not only are the vivid green spears powerful in both color and flavor, they provide a healthy dose of folic acid; potassium; vitamins A, C, and B6; and fiber. Early Native Americans used asparagus for medicinal purposes, including as a remedy for kidney and bladder problems (dried asparagus is a natural diuretic).

The Culinary Institute of America’s Thai fresh pea soup recipe uses fresh peas and green curry to create a subtle twist on an old spring classic. It can be prepared in under half an hour, so you’ll have plenty of time to get outside and celebrate the warm weather. For a smoother texture, pour the soup through a strainer to remove the skins before serving.

Thai Fresh Pea Soup

Serves 8


6 cups vegetable broth, plus as needed
1 cup chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tsp green curry paste
8 cups shelled peas (thawed if using frozen)
Salt and pepper as needed
1 tsp lightly toasted mustard seeds
¼ cup chopped mint


Add about ½ cup of the broth to soup pot and bring to simmer over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and curry paste. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and translucent, about five minutes.

Add remaining broth to pot and bring to a boil. Add peas; cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and let soup cool for at least 10 minutes before puréeing with handheld blender.

Strain soup through sieve; reserve liquid if using countertop blender or food processor. Add the solids to blender jar or food processor bowl; do not overfill. Add some of the liquid, replace cover (without the vent from lid or feed tube), and purée until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to help purée the solids.

Transfer puréed soup to a clean pot. Continue until all solids are puréed.

Blend soup and adjust consistency by adding some of remaining reserved liquid. (Soup is ready to finish now or it can be cooled and stored up to two days in refrigerator or up to one month in freezer).

Return soup to a simmer over low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve soup in heated bowls, garnished with toasted mustard seeds and chopped mint.

Nutrition analysis per 11-ounce serving: 140 calories, 8g protein, 26g carbohydrate, 1g fat, 860mg sodium, 0mg cholesterol, 8g fiber

This recipe can be found in The Culinary Institute of America’s Vegetables Cookbook (2007 Lebhar-Friedman).

Related: Make This Vegan Black Currant & Almond Tart for Dessert

This Leek Tart Recipe Celebrates the Bounty of the Hudson Valley

Adobe Stock / anna_shepulova

A cousin to quiche, this classic leek tart recipe uses some of the best seasonal ingredients found in the Hudson Valley.

Leeks are members of the onion family, chubby relatives of chives and scallions, with a mild, sweet flavor. Who doesn’t like leek and potato soup? When you’re buying leeks, choose straight, firm ones; those with bulbous ends will probably be woody inside. Use the white and pale green parts and save the dark green leaves for stock. Split them lengthways and wash them carefully under cold, running water — they’re often gritty inside. You can use leeks in any dish in which you’d use an onion or shallot. They add a bright flavor to soups and stews. Tarte aux poireaux is just French for leek tart. If you want to jazz it up, you can add herbs or wild mushrooms or ribbons of Swiss chard.

Tarte aux Poireaux


4 to 8 trimmed leeks (about a pound)
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs butter
Salt and pepper
Pastry for a 9- or 10-inch pie (your own short crust, or ready-made)

Adobe Stock / Valery121283


Heat oven to 400°F. Line a pie or quiche pan with pastry, cover with wax paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 10 minutes, remove weights and paper, and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350°F.

Trim, split, and carefully wash the leeks. Chop crosswise into fine rounds. You should have about 5 cups.

Combine the eggs, egg yolk, and half a cup of the cream in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the leeks, salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add the remaining half cup of cream to the leeks and simmer gently for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then add to the egg and cream mix and blend well.

Pour the mix into the part-baked pie shell and bake at 350°F for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden.

A note to gardeners: Leeks are easy to grow, as long as you have the patience to set out plants that are like little green hairs. They have stumpy roots, so they need a bed rich in nutrients. I give the plants a dose of fish emulsion every three weeks when I water, too. If you take the trouble to hill them up, you get longer white parts. Homegrown ingredients taste even better in this leek tart.

Related: This Savory Spring Crostata Recipe Is Perfect for Brunches

Think Green With These Earth Day Facts and Statistics

Read up on these Earth Day stats. Adobe Stock |  lovelyday12

In honor of Earth Day, we break down the numbers behind the conservation efforts in the Hudson Valley, how to protect the river, and the greatest threats to nature in the region.

Earth Day is right around the corner, which means the Hudson River is on our minds now more than ever.

In New York, biodiversity includes all of the different animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and microorganisms living in the state. While the exact number of species in the Empire Region is unknown, it includes tens of thousands of plants and animals, many of which are dependent on the Hudson River Estuary.

Read up on the Hudson Valley’s eco-footprint, by the numbers:

Our region, which comprises only 13.5 percent of the land area of the entire state, contains arounds 86 percent of the bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species found in New York State.

Over 50 percent of the state’s population resides in the corridor bordering the estuary from Albany to New York City.

To date, over 250 projects in NYS have been funded by Return a Gift to Wildlife, a contribution made through tax returns.

Since the first Riverkeeper Sweep in 2012, volunteers removed more than 300 tons of debris from shorelines, including 1,675 tires. They’ve also planted or maintained thousands of trees. More information on this year’s sweep on May 6 can be found here.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Riverkeeper (@riverkeeper)

There are more than 200 direct tributaries to the Hudson River, the DEC estimates.

In Poughkeepsie, the Hudson River’s average annual water temperature increased by 2 degrees Fahrenheit between 1940 and 2011.

Over two billion gallons of sewage were poured into the Hudson River in 2018.

Biodegradable fishing line only takes five years to break down. Monofilament lines take 500!

One adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water a day. To make up for the loss of oyster habitat from the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge construction, NYSDEC and the New York State Thruway worked to restore five acres of oyster habitat at three sites.

There are 7,000 acres of vital fish and wildlife habitat in the tidal wetlands that reside between the George Washington Bridge and Troy.

Views like this are exactly why our hearts will forever be in the Hudson Valley. â € â € Reposting @newyorktrails:â € â € The view from Breakneck Ridge. Argueably one of the busiest trails in NY; don’t do this one for seclusion, do it for the amazing views and fun rock scrambling. It’s a much more enjoyable experience in my opinion if you can go early midweek. Also, know what you’re getting into with this one!â € *â € *â € *â € #neverstopexploring #scenic #hiking #ourwild #wearethewild #outdoorsnewyork #newyorkexplored #scenicnewyork #naturalnewyork #ispyny #wildernessculture #stayandwander #exploremore #seekthetrails #iloveny #nysdec #upperrightusa #upstateclub #ny #newyorkonly #exploreny #natureny #goatworthy #llbeancontest18 #beanoutsider #hudsonvalley #hudsonhighlands #coldspring #beacon #hvmag

A post shared by Hudson Valley Magazine (@hudsonvalleymag) on

PLOS One estimates that global waters contain over 5 trillion particles of plastic, translating to over 250,000 tons.

Starting March 1, 2020, New York’s plastic bag ban went into effect. Individuals are encouraged to bring reusable bags everywhere from boutiques to the grocery store.

Over 800 plastic bottles were collected from the Hudson River in the 2018 Riverkeeper Sweep alone.

The Billion Oyster Project has restored more than 100 million live oysters and collected two million pounds of shells.

In 2020, the Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Sea Report named food wrappers, cigarette butts, and plastic beverage bottles to be the top three most common items found in U.S. waters.

Related: How to Live an Eco-Friendly Hudson Valley Lifestyle This Year

This Vanilla Cloud Cheesecake Recipe Will Lift Your Spirits

Vanilla cloud cheesecake. Adobe Stock / MissesJones

In the warmer months, there’s no better dessert than this refreshing treat that tastes even better after an overnight chill in the fridge.

Few things compare to a light, airy cheesecake for an afternoon dessert. This sweet, refreshing treat—courtesy of Unwritten Recipes blogger Felicia Levinson—will have you on cloud nine. Garnish with anything from bee pollen to candied lemons to rosemary to change up the characteristics of this simple and delicious dessert.

Vanilla Cloud Cheesecake

Serves: 8-10


1½ cups ground almonds
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing pan
1½ lbs. brick cream cheese, softened
4 egg whites
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 pint sour cream


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix together the almonds and brown sugar. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Pour the melted butter into the almond mixture and combine well. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan only, making sure it’s evenly distributed.

In another small saucepan, over low heat, warm the cream cheese. Stir often. When it’s very smooth, remove it from the heat and set aside.

Place the egg whites into the large bowl of an electric mixer. If using a stand mixer, attach the whisk attachment, otherwise just use the regular beaters for a handheld mixer. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat on high until the whites hold soft peaks. Remove from the mixer and gently fold in the warmed cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of the vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out only slightly moist. You don’t want the top of the cake to get brown.

While cake is baking, whisk sour cream and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla together in a small bowl until well combined. When cake appears done, remove from the oven, turn the heat up to 450°F and carefully spread the sour cream mixture over the top of the cake. Once oven temperature is reached, return the cake to the oven for 5 minutes. Don’t leave it in any longer or it will crack and turn brown.

Cool cake in pan on rack. When completely cool, wrap well and chill in refrigerator for at least 8 hours and preferably overnight. The flavors really need a chance to develop. To serve, run a knife around edge of pan and loosen sides off. Cut into wedges.

Cheesecake can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for several days.

Note: Recipe adapted from The Tasting Room via the New York Times and Amanda Hesser.

Related: Where to Take Home the Tastiest Pie in the Hudson Valley

How to Run Properly and Avoid Injury in the Hudson Valley

Run safely without injury in the Hudson Valley. Adobe Stock / Dirima

Jogging is a great way to stay fit, but improper form or overtraining can put serious strain on your joints when you run.

We asked Jeff London, founder and head trainer of Quick Body Solutions, to share some tips on how to run properly so you’re ready to go the next time you tighten your laces in the Hudson Valley.

1. Accept the Risks. First, says London, accept that no physical activity, particularly if you exercise or work out often, is without risk “of some sort of injury or discomfort. When you push your body for long periods of time, you will occasionally tweak something. It comes with the territory.”

2. Easy Does It. “One of the most common mistakes is doing too much, too fast,” says London. “Beginners need to start off slowly and give their body time to adjust to running, while experienced runners must ease into new training programs.” London suggests that new runners start with short jogs only once or twice a week.

Related: 6 Ways Walking Will Put Your Mind at Ease

3. Listen to Your Body When You Run. “If you are experiencing pain above a five out of 10, I would recommend resting. You may be causing more harm than good,” says London.

4. Go for Quality, Not Quantity. Running too much “can stress your body, causing extreme muscle soreness or stress fractures,” says London. “Running too much can also negatively affect your hormones, causing cortisol, a stress hormone, to rise.”

5. Practice Proper Form. Runners should maintain a short, quick stride and keep their knees in line as their feet hit the ground when they run. “Focus on pushing up and off the ground behind you and engage your core,” says London.

6. Warm up and Cool Down. “Runners should warm up by first engaging in a brisk walk or light jog for five to 10 minutes,” advises London. This should be followed “by a short, dynamic stretch routine and then runners should slowly ease into their run.” Afterward, London says, you should “walk or jog slowly for five to 10 minutes, then stretch the entire body.”

Make Your Own Kimchi With This Surprisingly Easy Recipe

Adobe Stock / Vm2002

The classic, fermented Korean recipe is an instant upgrade for everything from sandwiches to soups, and is healthy for you, too.

Kimchi is Korea’s national dish, made of fermented vegetables, typically cabbage and daikon radish, spiced up with seasonings. It’s commonly served as a side dish, but Korean households also use it as a condiment and an ingredient in cooking — and now, apparently, so do many American chefs (and home cooks in the Hudson Valley!). You can use it to flavor soups, stews or stir-fries, braise it along with short ribs, or add it to any dish you think would be perked up by a sour/spicy note.


1 Napa cabbage, about 2 lbs
½ cup of coarse salt
10 to 12 cups cold water
8 oz daikon radish, peeled and julienned
4 scallions, chopped
¼ cup fish sauce
2 Tbs Korean chili powder
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp sugar

Adobe Stock / Popova Olga


Cut the cabbage into 2-inch pieces; discard the stalk. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle it with salt, tossing to coat evenly. Add enough cold water to cover. Let soak at room temperature, covered, for 12 hours.

Drain into a colander, rinse with cold water and gently squeeze out as much water as possible.

In a large bowl, blend the fish sauce, chili powder, garlic, ginger and sugar. Add the radish, scallions and cabbage, and toss to coat evenly.

Pack the mixture into a large, clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and leave in a cool, dark place for a day or two. When it starts to bubble, your kimchi is fermenting. Refrigerate for 3 or 4 more days. It’s best after a week and will keep in the fridge for about a month.

Related: 8 Hudson Valley Breweries With Top-Tier Food and Beer

Upstate Taco Dishes Mexico City-Inspired Eats in Stone Ridge

Photos courtesy of Upstate Taco

Mexico City-inspired tacos shine at Upstate Taco, a casual-cool eatery owned by a foodie couple in Stone Ridge.


Mauricio and Sasha Miranda opened Upstate Taco last August on Route 209. Mauricio grew up on his family’s farm in Guerrero, Mexico, where he learned to grow corn and other produce and cook alongside his grandmother. When he moved to New York as a teen, he began at the bottom as a dishwasher and gradually honed his skills to full-fledged restaurateur, working in many high-end spots including the distinguished Union Square Café. Sasha grew up in Queens, attended the Culinary Institute of America, and studied Italian cuisine in Northern Italy. After returning to the U.S., she helped open Gigi Trattoria in Rhinebeck, and cooked at several Manhattan restaurants including Verbena—which is where she met Mauricio. In 2007, the couple opened their first restaurant, Miranda, in North Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It became a neighborhood go-to for Italian-Latin fusion fare. Luckily for us, the couple relocated to Marbletown with their young daughter in 2017. After an inspirational trip to Guerrero, Pueblo, and Oaxaca in Mexico—Upstate Taco was born.

upstate taco


There are six Mexico City-inspired tacos on the menu such as pollo (marinated chicken), tinga (chipotle-braised chicken), and vegetales (sautéed zucchini, tomato, jalapeños, onion, and cilantro). The best-seller is taco de carne asada, made with marinated flank steak. Each taco is topped with cilantro and fresh onion, plus a choice of “SOS”—sauce on the side—such as pico de gallo, salsa roja, and salsa verde. Upstate Taco also plates up innovative quesaburros (quesadilla meets burrito): folded flour tortillas filled with meat, rice, beans, three types of cheese, kale, crema, and sauce. Mauricio says customers rave about the quesaburro de cochinita pibil—slow-braised pork with achiote, citrus, spiced with cumin, Mexican cinnamon, and star anise. He says their tostada de tinga de pollo is a big hit, too. “It was the first meal I made for Sasha when we started dating!” Their specialty drinks include the Mezcalita—a staple in Southern Mexico—made with passionfruit, mezcal, and Crimson Amaro from Catskill Provisions. There are also fresh margaritas, micheladas, and Mauricio’s personal favorite, Tía Flor, made with mezcal, orange liqueur, hibiscus, and lime.

upstate taco tacos


“Having always cooked tacos and other Mexican dishes at home, we wanted to bring the foods we love to our neighbors in Stone Ridge,” says Sasha, “Our goal is to create an approachable menu and cook delicious food that everyone can enjoy.” Upstate Taco leans on Hudson Valley-based ingredients and offers several plant-based and gluten-free options.


Route 209 in Ulster County is undergoing a slow—but exciting—revitalization. Upstate Taco is between Stone Ridge and Accord at 4293 Route 209—a few blocks from Cherries Ice Cream. Mauricio sources some ingredients from his native Guerrero in addition to local farms, like Saunderskill in Accord.

upstate taco dining


Upstate Taco is open Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m; hours will be extended starting in May.

Related: Where to Find Mouthwatering Tacos in the Hudson Valley

3 Trails Perfect for Spring Hikes in the Hudson Valley

Ready to hike these trails during the spring season? Photo by Darren Mcgee, NYSDED/ I Love NY

Three treks—from strenuous to simple—with sweeping mountain, river, and waterfall views to sample in the Hudson Valley this spring.

Sam’s Point and Verkeerderkill Falls

Minnewaska State Park Preserve
Difficulty: Challenging
Length: 8.3 miles
Route Type: Loop

8.3 miles hike
Photo by Darren Mcgee, NYSDED/ I Love NY

This hike begins on the western tail of the Shawangunks with a steady incline toward Sam’s Point—the views of the jutted rock formations and rolling hills of Orange County are breathtaking. Then you’ll head northeast for three miles toward the spectacular Verkeerderkill waterfall. On the way back, venture down to the Ice Caves (reopening mid-spring) for a bit of exploring, they are very cool! Parking ($10, or free with an Empire Pass—details on following page) is at the base of Sam’s Point; reservations required on weekends.

.9 miles
By Francesca Furey

Little Stony Point

Hudson Highlands State Park
Difficulty: Easy
Length: .9 miles
Route Type: Loop

Perfect for families and four-legged friends, this is a breezy walk along the eastern bank of the Hudson. Views of Storm King Mountain and the Hudson Highlands will greet you at the peak. Parking is free at the lot on Route 9D.

3.4 miles hike
Courtesy of Rockland County Tourism

Perkins Memorial Tower

Bear Mountain State Park
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 3.4 miles
Route Type: Out and Back

Consider this trail your outdoor Peloton. Stone steps wind up the side of Bear Mountain—with an elevation gain of over 1,000 feet—offering spectacular views of the river valley. There’s a free lot at Bear Mountain Inn; $10 parking fees begin in June. Or use an Empire Pass ($80/annual;, a membership that allows unlimited vehicle entry to most New York State parks.

People walking on the Empire State Trail
Photo courtesy of the Empire State Trail/ Hudson Valley Greenway

Did You Know?

Travel + Leisure recently named the Empire State Trail one of the 15 best rail trails in the country. Over a quarter of the 750-mile expanse (the longest multi-use state trail in the country) belongs to the Hudson Valley Greenway Trail, which connects NYC to the Capital Region, passing through towns like Elmsford, Brewster, Pawling, Poughkeepsie, New Paltz, Kingston, Tivoli, Hudson, and Albany. To plan your next hiking or biking trip, check out – Emma Lawrence

bikers on trail
Photo courtesy of the Empire State Trail/ Hudson Valley Greenway
Empire State Trail
Photo courtesy of the Empire State Trail/ Hudson Valley Greenway

Plan a Perfectly Organized Hudson Valley Pantry With These Tips

Adobe Stock | Photo by Milan Markovic78

Organize your cooking supplies and ingredients while maximizing space in your pantry with these tips from a Hudson Valley designer.

Virginia Cocca, design consultant at California Closets, explains how to organize your cooking supplies and ingredients.

First Thing to Consider

Who is using the pantry? Do you buy in bulk? Are there any pets in the family or special needs? Some people prefer to see everything at a glance, which is usually easier when you have a lot of open shelving, while others prefer to hide the “mess” with cabinet doors or drawers. Generally, ample shelving and some drawers or baskets can make finding kitchen and food items much easier.

Location is important for your pantry
Adobe Stock | Photo by Navintar

Where to Put Your Pantry

Close to the fridge, or in close proximity to the family table.

Favorite Detail

Labeled and decorative containers will clean up your space and help you identify items needed quickly or daily. Additional shelves can be added to maximize the height between shelves and help manage smaller objects.

If your space allows for a countertop, great! It can be multi-functional and serve as a landing pad or as a place for appliance storage or even a decorative vase or lamp. Having drawers or wine storage incorporated can also make the space easier to use and more enjoyable aesthetically.

Maximize space in your pantry
Adobe Stock | Photo by Valerii Honcharuk

Biggest Mistakes

Too much wasted space between shelving. Also, building shelving that is too deep makes it very difficult to access items at the rear of the shelf.

Lighting Your Pantry

The more light, the better. In a space such as a pantry, the more you can see, the more likely you are to use what you have. Forgotten items at the back of a deep shelf are easy to miss when the space is dark and overcrowded.

Related: Canning 101: How to Preserve the Hudson Valley’s Fruits and Veggies

5 Inspiring Women Who Made History in the Hudson Valley

Margaret “Daisy” Suckley on the veranda of her family estate, called Wilderstein. Rhinebeck, NY, 1988. Photo courtesy of Wilderstein Preservation

These Hudson Valley women created lasting legacies in the world, ranging from environmental conservation to women’s rights victories.

Jane Bolin
Judge Jane Bolin, first black female judge to occupy a court bench | Photo by employee of the US Office of War Information

Jane Bolin

Jane Bolin was a woman of many firsts. She was the first black woman to graduate from Yale Law School, the first to join the New York City Bar Association, and the first black woman to serve as a judge in the United States. But before she made history, Bolin was born in Poughkeepsie in 1908.

Her father, Gaius C. Bolin, was the first black president of the Dutchess County Bar Association. In 1939, Bolin was appointed as judge of the Domestic Relations court and remained the only black female judge in the country for 20 years. She was the driving force behind many court rulings that shaped the criminal justice system in the U.S., such as the assignment of probation officers to cases without regard for race or religion.

Bolin also worked with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to support the Wiltwyck school, a program to fight juvenile crime among boys. Poughkeepsie native Jane Bolin fought to defend the voiceless — allowing true change to occur in the United States.

Jean Murphy

At first, Jean Murphy was just another 1950s mother and housewife living in Poughkeepsie. Then she decided to do something for herself and joined The Hudson Valley Philharmonic, The League of Women Voters, and the Dutchess County Women’s Republican Club.

The latter club sparked her interest in politics, which led her to run in, and eventually win, the election for Republican Committeewoman. In 1967, she became the first woman elected to Dutchess County government and participated in Dutchess County Legislature for six terms. She spearheaded many projects, including a prison initiative reform and funding for daycare budgets to assist working mothers.

Murphy caused a stir in 1976 when she made the front page of the New York Times because of her switch to the Democratic Party. She continued public service for the rest of her days, acting as head of the Town of Poughkeepsie Historic Commission and Town Historian.

Margaret Suckley
Margaret “Daisy” Suckley on the veranda of her family estate, called Wilderstein. Rhinebeck, NY, 1988 | Photo courtesy of Wilderstein Preservation

Margaret “Daisy” Suckley

Margaret “Daisy” Suckley was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s friend and confidante, and went on to become one of his most trusted advisors throughout his presidency. Born in Rhinebeck in 1891, Suckley enjoyed the lifestyle of a wealthy Hudson River family.

She kept FDR company in Hyde Park, where he struggled to regain control of his legs. Suckley even gifted the president his beloved dog, Fala. She was invited to Roosevelt’s 1933 inauguration and stuck by the president’s side ever since. In 1941, Suckley became the archivist at the FDR library in Hyde Park, where she remained for 22 years. But she held her own archives secret, keeping her journals chronicling the time spent with FDR in a suitcase under her bed.

Her perspective on some of the most significant moments in history was revealed when those journals were discovered after she died in 1991 — six months before her 100th birthday.

Frances “Franny” Reese

The world’s largest hydroelectric power plant was almost built on Storm King Mountain, but Frances “Franny” Reese stopped production in its tracks when she and the Scenic Hudson Preservation Committee challenged Consolidated Edison in court.

The legal battle was the first of its kind; citizens were allowed to intervene even though the environmental effects would not directly damage their properties. It was also the first court case in which citizens took part in a site-licensing decision, and the first of many preservation successes from Scenic Hudson.

Reese served as chairwoman from 1966 to 1984 and, under her leadership, Scenic Hudson stopped a massive coal plant from settling in Hudson. Without Frances Reese, who knows what the Hudson Valley would like today.

Margaret Sanger
Margaret Sanger | Photo by Underwood & Underwood

Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger was a liberal feminist before it was cool. Known as the founder of Planned Parenthood, she advocated for women’s reproductive rights in New York for most of her life. Yet before becoming a birth control proponent, she served as a nurse in White Plains and studied at Claverack College and the Hudson River Institute. Eventually, she switched her nursing career for a writing one and began a column for New York Call entitled, “What Every Girl Should Know.” It was through writing that her passion for sex education and women’s health ignited and her uphill battle for birth control rights began.

From the start, it wasn’t easy. Sanger was indicted in 1914 for violating the Federal Comstock Law, which prohibited the distribution of any contraceptives. The nine charges against her — which were eventually dropped — didn’t slow Sanger down and, in October of 1916, she and her sister opened the first birth control clinic in the United States.

The clinic was short-lived; it was closed by police nine days later, and Sanger spent 30 days in jail. Her arrest brought the public’s attention to the birth control controversy, and Sanger found herself a new set of supporters. In 1921, she initiated the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Sanger served as president of the group for seven years and, in 1923, her dream came true.

The first legal birth control clinic opened its doors, finally allowing women access to contraceptives and reproductive medical practices.

Related: Visit These Hudson Valley Sites to Celebrate Women’s History