2018 is here!

It's so hard to believe. Where does that time go? 

2017 was a year of exciting accomplishments for the Catskill Center.  This past year we: 

- Embarked on a redesign of the exhibits at the Catskill Interpretive Center

- Finalized our new strategic plan, which will clarify our direction as we head towards our 50th anniversary in 2019

- Secured more than $7 million for the Catskill Park via our advocacy efforts

- Reconstructed and rehabilitated the cottage at the Thorn Preserve, which will increase our ability to hold events and have a caretaker present at the Preserve

- Invested in public access improvements at the Platte Clove Preserve (thanks to support from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program)

- Held an amazing variety of events including:   Taking Flight 2017, a Catskill Book Fair, the Catskill Cuisine series and the 2017 Membership Series which offered our members exclusive access to top-notch researchers and scientists from across the Catskills

- Welcomed our new Catskill Interpretive Center Director and Communications Director to the team

- Greeted tens of thousands of visitors to the Catskill Park through the Catskill Interpretive Center, the Catskill Fire Tower Project and at our Preserves

- Officially began the process of becoming an accredited land trust to help steward our preserves and conservation easements

- Brought our members, friends and supporters together at our Summer Gathering and at our Fall Gala.

When I think about how much we accomplished in 2017, I know it was only possible because we have assembled what has to be the finest team of staff and volunteers in the Catskills, if not anywhere. 

We’re supported by a dedicated Board of Directors and most importantly by our members and donors. Our work to conserve, protect and improve the Catskills and its communities is your work, and we are grateful for your generosity. 

Your donation powers our work across the region and the Catskill Center is only as strong as those who support us and share our vision that "Conservation Creates Opportunity" here in the Catskills. 

Our success is your success. I ask you to be part of the Catskill Center and to support our work. 

And thank you for all that you do, 
Jeff Senterman

Stuff the Turkey, Not the Trash

Holiday season panic, we all experience it.

How much food do I buy? Is this turkey big enough? Are you sure we have enough food? Where am I going to put all of these leftovers? Who is going to eat all of these leftovers?!

Millions of pounds of leftover food is thrown away every year. In fact, it is estimated that Americans throw away 204 million pounds of turkey meat during the Thanksgiving holiday (Natural Resources Defense Council, 2016). What if there was a way to plan more accordingly and load off some of those leftovers? To reduce wasted food this holiday season...

  • Plan ahead: Have an accurate head count to plan portions accordingly. Use Save the Food's new Guest-imator calculator to help estimate how much food you will need based on the head count and number of desired leftovers.
  • Cook with imperfections: Purchase imperfect produce to use in cooked dishes, such as bruised apples for apple pie.
  • Share: Encourage your guests to bring a container they can take leftovers home in.
  • Make creative leftovers: Enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers days after by creating new dishes like turkey soup or hot turkey sandwiches.
  • Freeze: Be realistic about the leftovers you can eat; freeze the extra that won't last in the fridge.

From our family to yours, be grateful and not wasteful this holiday season and help us reduce wasted food in New York State.

Reposted from


Need some creative leftover recipes? Catskill Center staff are providing their favorites to creatively use Thanksgiving leftovers!


Stuffing Egg Nests: Too much stuffing leftover, check out this recipe from Collin Adkins on our staff:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Coat a muffin tray with a thin layer of olive oil or non-stick spray.
Scoop stuffing to into each cup of the tray 3/4 full.
Press the stuffing to the edges of the cup to form a small basin.
Crack an egg into each cup. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake 10 minutes for slightly loose yolks, 15 for hard-cooked.


Pumpkin/Sweet Potato Muffins: Lots of sweet potato or pumpkin left over? Here's a great recipe from Sarah McGinnis!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen - https://smittenkitchen.com/.../promise-keeper-pumpkin-eater/

1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 - 1 1/3 c mashed pumpkin or sweet potato (canned works too - just make sure it's 100% pumpkin, not sweetened pie filling) 
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(optional) - raw sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350. Put liners in a standard 12-cup muffin pan. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. 

In a larger bowl, whisk pumpkin, applesauce, eggs and brown sugar.

Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups (about 3/4 full) 

(optional) sprinkle the tops with a little raw sugar

Bake 25-30 minutes (rotating muffin pan halfway through the bake time) until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 

Cool in pan for a few minutes before serving or moving to a cooling rack. 

* Can easily be made vegan by substituting flax eggs or other egg substitute

Support the Catskill Center in Style (and cozy warmth)!

Support the Catskill Center in Style (and cozy warmth)!

Buy Your Limited Edition Catskill Center T-Shirt or Sweatshirt Now!

The Catskill Center works tirelessly across the Catskills and is your voice in Albany for the region. It is our goal to ensure the wellbeing of the environmental, cultural and economic resources of the Catskills.

Mountain Top Arboretum

One of the core jobs of the Catskill Center is that of a land trust.

As such, we protect over 2200 acres of land either by owning the property outright or by holding conservation easements. We hold seventeen conservation easements where the land owners have agreed to give up their development rights forever so that no matter who owns the land in the
future, it will remain wild and natural.

This does not mean a land owner is forbidden to do anything with their land. For example, with some conservation easements a land owner is still entitled to do agriculture or harvest timber.

One of the Catskill Center’s conservation easements is on property owned by Meg and Adam
Waldron in East Jewett. They are also big supporters of the Mountain Top Arboretum.

The Arboretum is 178 acres and beautiful mountain top environment for a living sanctuary of
native and exotic trees and shrubs. The Arboretum is currently constructing a unique Education
Center. It is like an old fashioned barn but with a very earthy and natural design.

Mountaintop Arboretem Construction 4 - Michael Drillinger.jpg

The building is being constructed without nails and with only mortise and tenon construction.
The trees selected for the Education Center were harvested with the permission of the
Catskill Center, under the provisions of the Conservation Easement, from the property of Meg
and Adam Waldron.

Tree Harvest with Horses 2017 - 1 - Michael Drillinger.jpeg

To minimize the impact to the land, the cut trees were transported out of the forest by a team of draft horses. The Catskill Center is proud that it could support the efforts of the Mountain Top Arboretum, with whom we have worked on other projects, and still fulfill our duty as stewards of our conservation easements.

You can learn more about the Mountain Top Arboretum’s new Education Center at:
https://www.mtarboretum.org/articles/2017/3/11/new-building- is-a- natural-fit- at-arboretum

You can learn more about conservation easements by calling me, Land Trust and
Stewardship Manager Michael Drillinger, at the Catskill Center, or by sending me an email:
mdrillinger@catskillcenter.org.

New trail markers for old and new trails at the Platte Clove Preserve

New trail markers for old and new trails at the Platte Clove Preserve

On your next visit to the Catskill Center's Platte Clove Preserve, there aren't just new trails to explore, but all of the Preserve's trails have been marked with new trail markers.

Catskill Digest October 19th 2017

Catskill Digest October 19th 2017

This week on Catskill Digest on WIOX Jeff chats with Cara Cruickshank about her upcoming event, The Halloween Journey.