- Join Us/Donate
- About Us
- Board of Directors
- Photo Gallery
- Catskill Mountain Region
- Catskill Region Resources - Links
- Contact Us
- Catskill Center Programs
- Arts & Culture
- Natural Resources
- Regional Planning
- Catskill Fire Tower Project!
- News & Events
- Regional Advocacy
Sign-Up for our Newsletter and BulletinsKeep up with what’s going on at the Catskill Center and our Region!
Blog subscriptionReceive email notification when a new item is added in this blog.
Ten Days of Hiking, Paddling and Outdoor Education!Monday, 05 November 2012 12:45
During ten days in late September/early October, several hundred people came out to enjoy the Catskills during dozens of group hikes, paddling on the newly opened Pepacton Reservoir, and a great variety of outdoor workshops teaching about everything from fly-fishing to nature photography, flatwater kayaking to leave no trace. By the end of Lark in the Park, 300 people had enjoyed 40 group activities taking place throughout Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties.
This, the 9th annual Lark in the Park, saw a lot of people learning about the Catskills and working to improve them. There were trail maintenance workshops improving trails on Dry Brook Ridge, Frick Pond area, Romer Mountain, and the much anticipated Kaaterskill Rail Trail.
There was also a great variety of outdoor education workshops attended by scores of people. SUNY Delhi offered a flatwater kayaking workshop—free of charge and all equipment included. Michael Forster Rothbart held an exceptional Nature Photography workshop at the Platte Clove Preserve. Forest Historian Mike Kudish offered two hikes, filled to the group limit size, where participants searched for old growth forest and learned about old railroad beds on the mountain top. The Andes Roundtable had a screening of “Living with Black Bears”. And Jeff Senterman of the New York New Jersey Trail Conference gave a talk about the history of the Catskills and its trails.
Wildlife is always a special part of Lark in the Park. Catskill Mountain Club Board Member Howard Raab, led a group up Kelly Hollow in the evening where they watched active beavers in Beaver Pond. A dozen people hiking to Mayham Pond on the Catskill Scenic Trail saw a bald eagle perched on a tree, then soar over the lake.
The feature event of this year’s Lark in the Park was the Catskill Mountain Club’s first Annual Dinner. Over sixty people came out to enjoy a wonderful evening and support the Catskill Mountain Club (CMC). Guest speaker Alan Via told tales of his adventures hiking in the Catskills, and CMC President Steve Berg announced the incorporation of this growing organization.
Catskill Mountain Club Dinner to Celebrate Lark in the ParkFriday, 07 September 2012 18:15
The 9th Annual Lark in the Park offers over 40 hikes, paddles, bike rides, cultural and outdoor education programs from September 29 to October 8.
This year, there is a special event that we are all looking forward to. Please join us on Sunday evening, September 30, for the first Catskill Mountain Club Dinner to celebrate Lark in the Park. The Catskill Mountain Club (CMC) invites you to come and meet Board Members and dedicated volunteers, learn about CMC activities offered throughout the year, sign up for Lark in the Park Events, and enjoy dinner at the beautiful Hanah Mountain Resort.
We are excited to have as our guest speaker, Alan Via, author of The Catskill 67: a Hikers Guide to the Catskill 100 Highest Peaks under 3500’. His book, complete with maps, color photos, and trail descriptions, is an invaluable guide to the lesser-known peaks of the Catskills and his stories from the trail promise to entertain and inform.
The Catskill Mountain Club Dinner will be held at the Hanah Mountain Resort and Golf Club, just north of Margaretville, on Sunday, September 30. Hors d’oeuvres will start at 4:30 and the dinner will be served at 5:30 PM.
The Catskill Center would like to thank CMC for hosting this wonderful celebration of Lark in the Park. We hope you will join us there.
Lark in the Park 2012Wednesday, 08 August 2012 14:15
Hiking, paddling, mountain biking and road cycling, backpacking, fishing, natural history walks, birding, writing and photography workshops, and all types of outdoor activities are on the schedule for Lark in the Park 2012—and we hope you will be a part of it.
Lark in the Park is a 10-day celebration of the Catskill Region. From Saturday September 29 through Monday October 8, we will host over 40 outdoor events in the Catskills. Anyone is welcome to join in these group activities and almost all of them are free.
This is the 9th Annual Lark in the Park. Two years ago, there were over 330 participants in over 30 events, and last year the Lark served as a catalyst to reopen hiking trails in the Forest Preserve after Hurricane Irene—we ran over 25 events and we raised over $1,000 to help with flood relief. The Lark is coordinated by a partnership of the Catskill Mountain Club, the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference, and The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development.
There are a dozen volunteers working hard to plan Lark in the Park 2012, and our goal is to get everyone outdoors to enjoy the Catskills. For the schedule of events visit: www.catskillslark.org or call 845-586-2611. Events are being added every week to the schedule, and in September we will be distributing a printed schedule.
So JUMP IN and enjoy the fun during the 9th Annual Lark in the Park.
Fire Towers in the Catskill Park are Open for the SeasonFriday, 25 May 2012 11:01
The Catskill Fire Tower Project is looking forward to the 2012 season! The fire towers on top of Balsam Lake Mountain, Hunter Mountain, Mount Tremper, Overlook Mountain, and Red Hill will be staffed by volunteer interpreters on weekends from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day. While hikers can climb the stairs to the top landings of the towers at any time--interpreters open the cabs at the top of the towers so you can enjoy the view from inside.
Mount Tremper, Hunter Mountain and Balsam Lake Mountain had training sessions last Saturday for new volunteers. We are thankful to have so many new volunteers this year, and glad it was such good weather for the training day (this photo is of the Mount Tremper volunteers during the training on Saturday).
We all look forward to greeting a lot of visitors to the towers through the course of the summer.
A Call for Volunteers from the Catskill Fire Tower ProjectSunday, 22 April 2012 18:42
The Catskill Fire Tower Project is looking forward to
another season of opening up the fire towers on top of five mountains in the Catskills so thousands of hikers can enjoy the spectacular, 360-degree views from the top.
We are looking for a few people who are interested in volunteering as Fire Tower Interpreters at Mount Tremper and possibly Hunter Mountain. This is a unique opportunity: volunteers hike to a mountain summit, open the cab at the top of a historic fire tower, welcome scores of hikers to enjoy the view, ensure the tower is in good condition and help with other volunteer activity.
The five fire towers in the Catskill Park are on Balsam Lake Mountain, Hunter Mountain, Overlook Mountain, Red Hill, and Mount Tremper. The Catskill Fire Tower Project is committed to maintaining these historic structures and staffing the towers with volunteer interpreters—allowing the cab to be open for visitors during summer and fall weekends.
At Mount Tremper, it is a steep 3-mile hike that ascends 2,000 feet to the 2,770 foot summit. Interpreters are asked to open the cab by 11 AM and keep it open until at least 4 PM. Volunteers are asked to commit to volunteering three days between Memorial Day and Columbus Day and attend a one-day training session on May 19. On Hunter Mountain there may still be an opportunity to volunteer—here volunteers can stay overnight in an observers cabin at the summit.
If you like talking to people, love to hike, and enjoy heights, volunteer for the Catskill Fire Tower Project.
Lark in the ParkThursday, 20 October 2011 13:16
The 8th Annual Lark in the Park was not without its challenges. Forest Preserve hiking trails were closed throughout Ulster and Greene counties due to flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee leading to revising the event schedule and delaying event promotion. Fortunately, thanks to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a prompt, large-scale volunteer effort by the 3500 Club, the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference, the Catskill Fire Tower Project, and the Catskill Center, most of these trails were reopened in time for the Lark. We were able to proceed with Lark in the Park and turn it into a fundraiser, directing donations to local flood relief funds.
This year, Lark in the Park offered over 30 opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation throughout the Catskills. Close to 175 participants enjoyed hiking, paddling, cycling, education programs, and much more.
Lark in the Park is organized by the Catskill Mountain Club and The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development. We are already looking forward to next year. For more information visit: www.catskillslark.org. Group on Hunter Mountain
Escarpment photo taken by Gordon Hoekstra
Sustainability is the word at 42nd Annual Membership MeetingFriday, 22 July 2011 13:32
The Catskill Center enjoyed a wonderful Annual Meeting on Saturday with one common theme throughout: Sustainability. With our newly installed solar array as a backdrop, the meeting was addressed by state agency directors, elected officials, nonprofit organizations, and forward thinking individuals who all reflected a bright future of preserving resources for future generations.
The Alf Evers Award for Excellence, awarded annually to recognize outstanding contributions to communities and the protection of natural resources in the Catskills, went to an individual and an organization for their commitment to sustainability. Armand Boyer (on left in photo with Alan Strout) was awarded for his mastery of reusing practically anything that has potential for continued life and for his use of skill and intellect to create environmental solutions to reduce his resource use. He stated: “this all comes naturally to me…and now I’m being awarded for it”.
Students at the Manhattan Country School Farm, the second Alf Evers Award for Excellence recipient, eat zero mile meals while at the farm: eating dairy, protein, fruit and vegetables all produced on the farm. They monitor daily energy production of their 14-panel solar array and learn about the importance of all aspects of a healthy ecosystem. [Photo of Virginia Sheer receiving award for Manhattan Country School Farm]
The meeting’s guest speaker Francis R. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research Development Authority, stated that “We are succeeding in the green-tech economy in New York State, and success takes partnerships. The three important factors to success are government cooperation, academia research and innovation, and private sector investment. “
Assemblymember Kevin Cahill spoke of new legislation passed in New York State: Power New York will provide green jobs and provide a major boost to solar power in the state.
We highlighted our new solar array and our grass-pellet stove as two examples of renewable energy that we look forward to teaching about beginning this fall through our newly designed education program “Sustainable Catskills”. Alan White stated:”These are examples of renewable energy sources that residents of the Catskills can use in their homes or businesses.”
Michael Shamma, of the New York State Department of Transportation, also spoke at the Annual Meeting, introducing the new Catskill Park signs and positive impact they can have on the region.
We also elected six new members to the Catskill Center’s Board of Directors. Stephen Berg, Markley Boyer, Armand B. Erpf, Jean Orr, Michael Sparer, and Michael Williams were all confirmed as Board Members.
Recognizing those who Live SustainablyFriday, 01 April 2011 20:12
The Catskill Center’s 42nd Annual Meeting will be held on July 16, where we will be recognizing individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in community development, education, arts & culture or natural resource protection in the Catskills.
Each year the Annual Meeting focuses on a theme that we consider to be currently prominent in the Catskills and relates to our activity. In 2011, the theme of the Annual Meeting is “Living Sustainably.” We will showcase a solar array we are installing at the Catskill Center and the release of the new curriculum developed by the Catskill Center: Sustainable Catskills. We will also recognize Catskill Region residents and organizations that practice sustainable living, using a system to meet present needs without compromising those of future generations.
We seek your help in finding individuals and organizations who deserve recognition for displaying through their behavior and lifestyle: the ability to meet their resource needs while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems; efficient practice in renewable energy; measures to reduce environmental impacts (including carbon footprint) and abate climate change; planning and acting for the ability to maintain economic potential and preservation of natural resources for future generations.
Grass pellet stove at the Catskill Center
Historic Route 28Tuesday, 30 November 2010 17:02
The Catskill Center is currently showing an informative and intriguing exhibit highlighting Route 28: past, present and future. Historic Route 28, the Making of a Scenic Byway will be on exhibit in the Catskill Center’s Erpf Gallery in Arkville from November 20 until Spring 2011.
The collection of maps, aerial photos, and historical documents paints a fascinating picture of one of the most unique roads in all of New York State. The exhibit was born out of the Catskill Center and Central Catskills Collaborative (CCC) partnership to designate a 45-mile section of Route 28 as the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway. From the effort to apply for Scenic Byway designation, came a wealth of information on the evolution of the historic route and the rich history of the communities along it. The designation project also brought together local communities to work together and create the CCC, including the towns of Hurley, Olive, Shandaken, Middletown, and Andes and the villages of Fleischmanns and Margaretville.
“ A byway is a catalyst for inter-municipal cooperation”, says Catskill Center Regional Planner Peter Manning, “and the cooperation we have in this project illustrates peoples’ commitment to bringing the region the greater recognition it deserves.”
Jo Margaret Mano, associate professor of geography at SUNY New Paltz, has a special interest in historical cartography and collaborated with Manning on the exhibit. She says “ I’ve made several discoveries while exploring the history of this route from Kingston into the Catskills. Early maps, a surveyor’s journal, and accounts of the route as a turnpike and plank road all help tell the story of what we know today as Route 28.”
The exhibit also features work to revitalize the Route 28 Corridor by partners from SUNY Delhi and SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry, as well as the Water Discovery Center and others.
You can be a part of the Catskill Mountains Scenic Byway. Join our logo design contest. The CCC is accepting entries for the Logo Contest. The winning logo will be used on official documents for the byway and the contest winner will receive a prize of $100. Submissions are due by February 14, 2011. CLICK HERE FOR CONTEST RULES AND CREATIVE BRIEF
Sustainability Tour - Renewable Energy SystemsTuesday, 19 October 2010 22:11
For the October Catskill Cornucopia we are doing something a little different. We invite you to join us for a driving tour of Catskill homes and businesses to learn about solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal systems. On Saturday, October 23, from 9:15 am to 4 pm, the Sustainability Tour—Renewable Energy Systems will wind its way from Woodstock to Highmount, visiting a handful of businesses and homes who use these alternative energies.
On hand at each site will be the specialists who installed the solar, wind and geothermal systems, including Jason Spiotta of Solar Generation, Paul Auerbach of Total Green, Lenny Busciglio of Lenny’s Bee Productions, and Scott Gould of Energy Alternatives. We’ll see solar panels that are used in private homes and businesses, a wind turbine at a favorite area shop, and enjoy a PowerPoint presentation on the nuances of geothermal.