Having recently moved to Kingston, New York, we delve into the journey that drew us to this storied city and community.
When we began our search for a new place to call home for Keap, the top of our list was finding a place with its own exciting vision of a just and regenerative economy, where we could see ourselves in 50 or even 100 years.
The Hudson Valley is home to a number of beautiful and progressive towns and cities, with unique and varied identities, that also offer compelling propositions for a young company like ours.
In our journey with Keap, we have come to believe that a healthy future for our planet will require more than a tweak to the status quo: it needs a total reimagining.
So we sought out communities, businesses, and local governments supporting a radically different way of doing things, geared towards a compelling and just vision of the future.
Throughout our research, one place kept coming up over and over again: Kingston!
From its forward-thinking local government to its many local business institutions, co-ops, and not-for-profits, Kingston’s social landscape gave us a sense that something special had been happening in the city over these last few decades.
An example project from The Kingston Land Trust: the Greenline is a system of trails, linear parks and streets that connect the communities of Kingston to natural, historic, cultural and commercial areas.
To give you a taste, here are just some of the people, institutions and places that we learned about:
- The Kingston Land Trust is a not-for-profit that helps protect environmentally and socially significant land through perpetual stewardship. This means that the land they buy is protected for the common good, forever.
- Good Works Institute is another not-for-profit working to support the local people, projects and organizations working towards an economic and ecological future that works for all.
- The Kingston Food Coop is a community-owned food market sharing profits with, and governed by, its customer members. They aim to provide access to local, nutritious food that helps uphold the well-being of both the city and the planet.
- Visionary County Leadership that has focused on strategic priorities that are in keeping with a regenerative future including a green new deal, tackling the opioid epidemic, ensuring justice for all residents (funding was recently approved for a local Restorative Justice Center), and increasing the responsibility and responsiveness of local government for the people.
- Farm Hub supports local farmers with education, research and innovations with a view to ensuring an equitable and ecologically resilient food system in the Hudson Valley.
- Radio Kingston is a noncommercial platform dedicated to a vibrant, just and healthy Kingston centered around community storytelling, artistic and musical expression, conversation and connection. We’ve noticed they play an impressive role in activating civic discussion around local community issues.
- We came across many other people, places, organizations (too many to list here) that demonstrated Kingston's unique dynamism and vision for a thriving future!
We were lucky enough to be able to meet with members of the County Executive’s office, and we saw firsthand that a company like ours would be both supported by and expected to play a role in bettering the local community.
Jalani Crooks @iamyounglion2 and his Black Lives Matter mural at 695 Broadway, part of O+ Festival's Mural Program.
In all our conversations, we felt a shared sense of purpose: to reimagine a new economy for the 21st century. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Kingston was also a place of inspiring architecture and stunning natural beauty.
So with a sense of excitement about the place, the people, and the purpose of Kingston, it’s perhaps easy to understand why we fell in love.
We’re still learning more as each week goes by, and we will continue to share our personal discoveries in the coming months as we settle into our new home.