Ten days of Catskill discovery and adventure kick off September 30 via the 14th annual Lark In the Park

Over the course of the Lark’s 10 days, hundreds of people get outside and annually enjoy the late-summer Catskills, take group hikes and paddle on the Pepacton Reservoir.

Outdoor workshops are offered as various as fly-fishing to nature photography, from kayaking to leave-no-trace. Edu- cational walks and talks about the local Catskills history, ecology, invasive plants, mushrooms and local wildlife are also offered.

Maintenance workshops to improve the Park’s 350 miles of foot trails and lean-tos are another part of the annual programming.

Says Executive Director Jeff Senterman, "The Catskill Center couldn’t be more excited for Catskills Lark in the Park 2017. With hikes to the fire towers, trail maintenance and volunteer clean-up days, and new activities like outdoor yoga sculpt, this year’s Lark promises to have something for everyone.

Early October is my favorite time of year to recreate in the Catskills and I encourage everyone to get out and enjoy one or many events during Lark in the Park!"

Lark events are held throughout the Park within Delaware, Greene, Sullivan and Ulster counties. Events are open to the public — many require pre-registration.

A sample of thisyear’s schedule includes:

Three day/Two night Backpacking Essentials Hike September 30 @ 2:30 pm - October 1 @ 5:00 pm
An experienced long distance hiker will host a backpacking hike/workshop for aspiring and novice backpackers.

Paddle on the Pepacton
September 30 @ 11:00 am - 3:00 pm, Shavertown Boat Launch on NYS Rte 30
Kick off the Lark in the park witha beautiful paddle on the scenic Pepacton Reservoir.

Film Screening: America’s First Forest: Carl Schenk and the Ashville Experiment September 30 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm , Open Eye Theater in Margaretville, NY
Sponsored by the Catskill Forest Association, America’s First Forest explores how, at a critical time, an extraordinary group of men converged at the magnificent Biltmore Estate in North Carolina to address a critical question: Could the Scientific Revolution stop the Industrial Revolution from destroying America’s forests?

Yoga Hike to Terrace Mt, via Wittenberg Trail October 8 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Nothing like the mountains, yoga and friends. Come keep this Yogi company for this LARK IN THE PARK day in the Catskills.

Catskill Mountain Club’s Annual Dinner October 8, 5 pm
The feature event of the Lark is the Catskill Mountain Club’s annual dinner, this year being held October 8th at the Em- erson Resort in Mt. Tremper. Take a chance on winning a new Kayak or snowshoes and learn DEP’s role in the Catskills along with a great meal.

All events, as well as the dinner, can be viewed and registered for on the Lark’s website at catskillslark.org, or follow the Lark on Face book (www.facebook.com/CatskillsLarkinThePark).

The Lark was started in 2004 by the Catskill Mountain Club (CMC), also founded in 2004 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Catskill Park. The Lark was created to recognize and celebrate the 1904 creation of New York’s Catskill Park.

Since its inception, the Lark has brought together thousands of people as dozens of organizations host hundreds of recreational events, all aimed at heightening the awareness of the Catskill Mountain region of New York State and the Catskill Park.

Activities have included organized hikes, bicycle trips, paddles, stewardship, cultural and educational events. The co- ordination of the Lark is managed through a partnership between the Catskill Mountain Club, The Catskill Center, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference

The Catskill Park and its Forest Preserve is a 705,000-acre patchwork of public and private lands in the Catskill Moun- tain Region of New York State. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is responsible

for managing the 350,000 acres of "forever wild" forest preserve lands within the Park. The primary objective being to provide public outdoor recreation and access. In addition to the forest preserve lands, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) owns and manages over 150,000 acres, protecting New York City’s watershed for drinking water. The remaining property withinthe Park is owned privately.

For more information about Catskills Lark in the Park please visit catskillslark.org or call 845-586-2611.

Mount Tremper Fire Tower Celebrates 100th Anniversary!

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Mount Tremper Fire Tower, volunteers of the Catskill Fire Tower Project are hosting a gathering at the tower Saturday, September 23, at noon.

Tremper Mountain has some of the best views of the Catskill Mountains. While standing in the cab of the tower, one can see over twenty of the high peaks.

Hikers climb to an elevation of 2,740 feet, and are met by the tower. Standing only 47 feet high, the tower itself is one of the smaller towers in the Catskills. When standing inside the tower, one feels as if they are inside of a teacup, sur- rounded by 360 degree views of the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley.

The trail to the top of Mount Tremper is approximately three miles long. The trail is rated as moderate to difficult, but breathtaking views at the top are worth every step up the trail.

Fun Fact: Tremper Mountain is part of the Long Path. The Long Path is from NYC to Altamont (Albany co). It is current- ly 358 miles, but it is still being developed. The long path will eventually connect with the Northville-Placid Trail at Northville.

Tremper tri-fold link: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54984d33e4b0fd2ebe2b6881/t/5541281ae4b0aa77c377389e/1430333466208/ Mount+Tremper+Map.pdf

For more information about the Mount Tremper Anniversary Celebration or the Catskill Fire Tower Project, please visit catskillcenter.org or contact cccd@catskillcenter.org, 845-586-2611.

 

Erph Gallery One-Person Show of Quilts Makes Public the Piecework of Patricia Clark

Patricia Clark, a quilter for over 30 years will be honored September 23, with a public reception from 2-4pm, at the Catskill Center’s Erph gallery in Arkville, NY to celebrate the gallery’s one-person exhibit of her work.

In 1979, Patricia took her first quilting class and was immediately bitten by the quilting bug. In 1980, Patricia joined the Wiltwyck Quilters Guild where many (eventual) friends shared their knowledge.

Pat eventually became the program chair for the guild, a position she held for over 10 years. During that time she con- tinued to take lessons, as well as share her skills via demonstrations, lectures, special activities and workshops.

She continues to be active in WQG as well as the First Dutchess Quilters and the Skyllkill Chapter of the Embroidery Guild of America (EGA), where she participates in shows and works on community service projects.

Pat says that the recognition she received at her technical job as well as ribbons at shows was sweet, but paled in comparison to being inducted into the Catskill Mountain Quilters Hall of Fame in 1998.

Patricia’s hand appliqued and hand quilted piece "The Competition", which was inspired by Japanese family crests won Best of Show in 2000 at the Wiltwyck Quilters Guild Show in Kingston and is on display in Arkville.

 

 

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New pavilion at Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper

MOUNT TREMPER, N.Y. >> State officials unveiled a new pavilion at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center on Monday.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Deputy Commissioner of Natural Resources Kathy Moser spoke at a ground-breaking ceremony for a new pavilion at the center in Mount Tremper Monday afternoon.

Joining her were DEC Regional Director Kelly Turturro, Executive Director for Catskill Center for Conservation and Development Jeff Senterman and Shandaken Town Supervisor Robert Stanley.

The new pavilion “will provide the public with a picnicking location, venue for CIC educational programs, and a place for groups to meet and start their Catskill adventures,” according to the Department of Environmental Conservation in a prepared statement.

DEC Breaks Ground on New Outdoor Pavilion at Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Cen

New Pavilion Supports Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY Initiative to Connect New Yorkers with Nature

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced plans for a new outdoor pavilion at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center (CIC) in Mt. Tremper, town of Shandaken, Ulster County, during a formal groundbreaking ceremony. The new outdoor pavilion will provide the public with a picnicking location, venue for CIC educational programs, and a place for groups to meet and start their Catskill adventures. The improvements are part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Adventure NY Initiative to connect more New Yorkers with nature.

"DEC is committed to making the outdoors more accessible and enjoyable for all New Yorkers and this new, impressive outdoor pavilion will help make this a reality in the Catskills by helping visitors and locals make the most of their outdoor recreational experience," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "These improvements, through Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY initiative, are just a sample of the recreational upgrades that New York has underway to better serve everyone who wants to enjoy our state's great outdoors."

The Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center serves as a gateway for outdoor enthusiasts to learn about the Catskill Park's vast opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The center showcases the Catskills' natural resources and recreational opportunities by providing information about the 700,000-acre Catskill Park, New York City's one million-acre Catskill/Delaware drinking watershed, and ways to recreate and enjoy these treasured natural resources.

Senator James L. Seward said, "The new Catskill Interpretive Center is helping highlight all the Catskills has to offer - drawing new explorers to the region and offering area families and residents with yet another terrific outdoor resource. Adding new features at the center, like the outdoor pavilion, will enhance the visitor experience and increase usage, unlocking the full potential of this wonderful venue."

Ulster County Executive, Mike Hein said, "The construction of a new pavilion is a wonderful addition to the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center, which is already a true gem of the Catskills. Natural beauty and countless outdoor activities already make Ulster County a world-class destination and the new addition to the CIC will be another asset by providing space for meeting, picnicking, education and more. I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo and Commissioner Basil Seggos for their commitment to the outdoors in Ulster County as well as the people of New York State."
Town of Shandaken Supervisor, Robert A. Stanley said, "Shandaken prides itself as "The Heart of the Park" and we are thankful for Governor Cuomo's continuing support for projects such as this that will help appeal to and educate more New Yorker's to the benefits of the abundance of outdoor resources available to the public in the Catskills. Continued investments of this nature prove that we are making a difference in Albany."

The overall pavilion space is 1762 square feet, including 234 square feet of enclosed storage space. The structure will be constructed with an exposed laminated arch beam with stone fascia on posts. The enclosure walls are designed to complement the existing CIC building. The pavilion will also include interior and exterior lighting and electrical convenience outlets. DEC expects the structure will be complete by next spring. Maeda Construction Inc. from Aatsburg, New York, has been selected to construct the pavilion at a cost of $282,828. Funding is provided by the state's Environmental Protection Fund.

"Breaking ground on the Pavilion at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center represents the tremendous strides being taken at this facility to improve our outreach and services to all users of the Catskill Park," said Jeff Senterman, Executive Director of the Catskill Center. "I would like to thank DEC for taking on this this project. The Pavilion, and future projects such as building a fire tower on site, are a testament to their commitment to the Catskill Interpretive Center."

Under Governor Cuomo's Adventure NY Initiative, DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies. This initiative will support the completion of more than 75 projects over the next three years, ranging from improvements to youth camps and environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds, and hiking trails. Read more about Adventure NY.

For more information on the Catskill Forest Preserve, including park maps, guides and links to the CIC, visit DEC's website.

 

The Catskill Center offers Three Fall Foraging Workshops

The Catskill Center offers Three Fall Foraging Workshops

Two with Chef Rob Handel and one with Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower

September 6, 2017 ARKVILLE, NY — The Catskill Center’s series of foraging, identification and cooking workshops with Chef Rob Handel, of Heather Ridge Farm and The Bees Knees Café in Preston Hollow, NY, continues this weekend at the Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Interpretive Center in Mt. Tremper.

Attendees will learn to identify edible native spring greens, be introduced to food preparation techniques like fermentation, infusion and pickling and learn best practices for wild foraging.

Following the walk, Rob will offer a wild food tasting.

Registration is required. Visit CatskillCenter.org/events for full details and to register. Thursday, September 7, 6-8 pm

$22 per person(program limited to 20 people)

Register online or call (845) 586-2611 x112

The Catskill Interpretive Center 5096 Route 28, Mt. Tremper, NY.

October 7th, Rob will offer his final foraging walk from the 2017 series at the Catskill Center’s Platte Clove Preserve. Foraging Walk, Talk and Tasting at Platte Clove

Learn more about the fall flora of the Catskills and Hudson Valley with chef and forager Rob Handel from Heather Ridge Farm and The Bees Knees Café. Rob will lead an hour long walk through the Platte Clove trails during which we’ll learn to identify wild edibles common in the region. The walk will be followed by a short presentation outlining how to use some of the products found on the walk, and a tasting of some of these wild foods.

Saturday, October 7, 3-5 pm
$20 per person(program limited to 20 people)
Register online or call (845) 586-2611 x112 The Catskill Center’s Platte Clove Preserve
2504 Platte Clove Road, Elka Park, NY

On Saturday, September 9th Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower, R.N., Herbalist and Plant Pioneers director will lead an edible foraging walk and talk at the Catskill Center’s Platte Clove.

Marguerite’s walk will include a deep inquiry regarding mutual forest intelligence. Harvesting with our senses. She sees as allies, weeds as dense nutrients and all plants as teachers of living an ecologically balanced life.

Marguerite feels, the foundation of our future resides in our ability to taste our roots (past)..

The afternoon will include a wild food tasting, as well as a sampling of drinks and their recipes. While we sit and enjoy weed foods made by Marguerite, there will be a live introduction that demonstrates - there’s a lot more going on with our plants than meets the eye. Music of the Plants technology liberates plant frequencies into sound giving them a voice, so to speak, that up until recent years has not been heard. Validating scientific literature is reviewed from the

Society of Plant Signaling & Behavior and the MINT Lab in Spain is relayed. By attending this workshop, part of the proceeds goes to bring this same workshop to children of all ages.

Through human-plant investigations and other programs (www.PlantPioneers.org), Marguerite believes one can learn to work with plants as food and medicinal virtues, jump start genetic memory; develop human-plant reciprocity where its purpose confirms a viable future, regardless of a plants utility and restore our connection to place.

 

Foraging Walk & Talk and Music of the Plants September 9, 2017
Time: 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Fee: $35/person
Location: Platte Clove, 2504 Platte Clove Rd, Rte 16, Elka Park, NY
Registration: on-line or call 845-586-2611 x112

 

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Take a Streamside Stroll along the Windham Path (with scientists!)

ARKVILLE, NY, August, 30, 2017 — The morning of September 9th, tap those in-the-know about invasive plant identifica- tion, watershed protection and stream restoration while catching breathtaking Catskill Mountain views.

Staff from the Catskill Center’s Streamside Acquisition Program and Catskill Regional Invasive Species Partnership are leading a guided stroll along the Batavia Kill stream in Windham as a part of the Hudson River Valley Ramble.

The scientists guiding the walk are local experts in their fields and will be sharing their expertise and enthusiasm regarding the care of streamside lands and their crucial importance for the well-being of Catskill plants, animals, and people.

The walk will be a mile-and-a-half along a level gravel path, beginning and ending at the Windham Path parking area on NY Route 23 in Windham.

Other than a water bottle, weather-appropriate clothing, and perhaps a jogging stroller for the littlest ones, no equip- ment is necessary. The walk is scheduled to begin at 10am and will take two hours. All ages are welcome to soak up a morning of family-friendly environmental education.

This event is sponsored by the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development.

For more information, please contact Julia Solomon at jsolomon@catskillcenter.org or 845-720-0088. Where: The Windham Path (parking area on Route 23)

When: Saturday, September 9, 10:00am - noon

Invasive Species Experts work to stop the clock on Mile-A-Minute in the Catskills and look to the public for aid

New Mile-A-Minute Infestations have been found in Woodstock, New York

MileAMinute.jpg

ARKVILLE, NY, August, 31, 2017 — The Catskill Mountains, one of the most unique landscapes in New York State, are un- der threat from an aggressively invasive plant that could diminish the stream and forest habitats that the Catskills are so well known for.

Mile-a-minute is widespread in the lower Hudson Valley, but these are only the second and third populations that we know about in the Catskill region, with the other infestation along the Delaware River.

Now is the time to look for this plant. It is growing vigorously over other plants and is currently in flower and fruit, which makes it easier to recognize. CRISP is hoping that Catskill visitors and property owners will help to find and remove this plant.

Mile-a-minute vines have alternate, 4-7 cm long and 5-9 cm wide, light green triangular leaves. The vines are light green and become reddish as they mature. The vine stems and the undersides of leaves are covered with recurved barbs that help it to hold onto objects and climb. A unique feature of mile-a-minute is that it has 1-2 cm diameter round, flat leaves, called "ocreae," that encircle the stems at the nodes. The green fruits become blue when ripe.

Mile-a-minute is a highly invasive, herbaceous annual vine native to eastern Asia. It was unintentionally introduced in contaminated soil into the United States in Pennsylvania and Maryland in the 1930’s. It is an aggressive invader, earning its common name by its fast growth. The plant can grow up to six inches a day.

It grows as a vine, using its spines to hold and climb over other plants. It reproduces by seed and Mile-a-Minute weed is a prolific seeder. The plant flowers from late summer through October and can produce many fruit during one sea- son. Vines are killed by fall frost, but the seeds overwinter in the soil. Seeds can be viable in the soil for up to 6 years and germinate at a high rate.

Mile-a-minute colonizes disturbed areas of full sun and moist soils, along stream banks, wetlands, roadsides and in old fields. Mile-a-minute outcompetes native species by its rapid growth and ability to grow over other plants and shade them out. Its seeds can float and they can be carried downstream, which aids the spread of this plant to previ- ously uninfested areas. The main vector for seed dispersal are birds that eat the fruits and deposit the seeds in their droppings, as do mammals such as deer, chipmunks and squirrels. Recent research has found that ants may also move seeds.

MileAMinute.Sample.jpg

Please report any observations of this plant at http://catskillcenter.org/mileaminute. If you are willing to help us survey for this plant, or if you would like us to survey your property for this plant, please reach out via this link: http:// catskillcenter.org/mileaminute

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ABOUT THE CATSKILL CENTER

 Since 1969, the Catskill Center has led the effort to protect the more than 700,000 acres of the Catskill Park and Catskill Forest Preserve. We are the major force advocating for the Catskill region.

Our Mission is to protect and foster the environmental, cultural and economic well-being of the Catskill Region

Finding authentic inspiration in the Catskills

by DANIEL MOORE
for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

From the edge of the peak, the view unfolded like a Romantic painting. 

Below us, verdant ridges rippled as far as the eye could see, like a stormy green ocean. Placid streams dissected deep valleys. The candy-blue sky was clear save some wisps of cirrus clouds and a pair of hawks floating contentedly on the soft breeze. A haze hung in the offing, some indeterminate distance away.

It was like America’s wilderness from another time, vast and mighty, there to be revered. It didn’t seem real.

Such are the meditations when taking in the Catskill Mountains after a rigorous hike up to the aptly named Giant Ledge — a rock feature rising above the surrounding area with a series of cliff-like overlooks that offer arguably the most satisfying perspective.

For as long as they’ve been known, the Catskills, a mountain range roughly 100 miles north of New York City that’s loosely connected to Pennsylvania’s Poconos, have captured the imagination in this way. Artists, musicians and writers have long explored the region as an idealistic rebuttal to the country’s rapidly expanding urban and industrial landscape.

Artists involved with a 19th-century movement dubbed the Hudson River School for the nearby waterway were among the first to immortalize the Catskills’ natural scenes as a sublime experience. In 1902, the Byrdcliffe Arts Colony was established on the side of a mountain providing a permanent retreat for people fleeing an increasingly complex society.

 

Suffice it to say that legacy has endured — perhaps to the pleasant surprise of the early pioneers. In a post-industrial world saturated with mobile information and noise, a trip to the Catskills still offers an escape that is increasingly hard to find.

My girlfriend Katherine and I took a five-day camping trip in the middle of July, sleeping in a tent in a state-run campground during the week, from Sunday until Thursday. It had always been on our map, but, a seven-hour drive from Pittsburgh, was impractical even if we had a long weekend. Knowing we had an open week coming up, we decided to go.

Planning where to stay and what to do can seem like a daunting task. 

Catskill Park, governed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, is officially about 700,000 acres spread across four counties. By design, it’s sparsely populated as far as towns go. A topographic map shows not much but rising peaks — there are 35 peaks at an elevation of 3,500 feet or higher — with some towns nestled within the valleys. 

As with any vacation centered on the outdoors, there are differingn degrees of ruggedness. For us, we owned a tent and recently bought camping equipment — a propane stove and sleeping ground mat are necessities well worth the expense — so we felt ready for several nights outside of four walls. 

When trying to pick from the several campgrounds across the park, I simply put my finger in the center of the map. We settled on a place called Woodland Valley. 

Though campground names tend to exaggerate natural features, we found it was, indeed, a breathtaking woodland valley at the base of the Giant Ledge on one side and Slide Mountain, the Catskills’ tallest peak at nearly 4,200 feet, on the other. We erected our tent on a generous patch of a nearly empty campground, as most come to stay on weekends. A brook rhythmically flowed nearby.

There are signs, too, that the Catskill wilderness framed by the Hudson River School paintings faces some encroachment today.

Where the artists truly charted new territory, a sleek marketing campaign from the Catskill Association for Tourism Services, driven by photos and short videos showing attractive and diverse millennials enjoying nature, only sells the idea of discovery.

Along with regular camping, the visitors bureau advertises to New England city dwellers places such as the Blue Hills Farm Tent & Breakfast, described as “a glamping experience reminiscent of an African safari outing” with “a plush queen-size bed” and heated bathroom. Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel, founded by Kate Pierson, a former member of the B-52s, has “rustic luxury cabins” that offer “seclusion on a beautiful nine-acre meadow setting,” according to the website.

A ski resort distracted, if not tainted, the view from the summit of Plateau Mountain, one of the 3,500-foot peaks Katherine and I climbed our first afternoon there. And it’s easy to get lost in the abundance of hiking blogs that analyze the trails down to precise mileage and elevation.  Compare photos to decide which one has the best payoff for your exertion.  

But, taken together, the region has managed to maintain an unexpectedly authentic feel.

Although bustling with shoppers, the Catskill towns of Phoenicia, Tannersville and Woodstock avoid the degradation found in places with high tourist traffic. Quaint cafes, quiet bookstores, boutique shops and galleries line the main drag of Woodstock, most famously the namesake of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. (That was actually held 60 miles southwest in Bethel, N.Y.) 

Sure, there are a few tourist havens, if you insist on buying a tie-dye shirt or peace sign memorabilia. But the Catskills are clearly still held by artists exploring the intersection of creation and conservation.

And it doesn’t take long, pinching yourself on the peak of the Giant Ledge, to understand why. 

Daniel Moore: dmoore@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2743 and Twitter @PGdanielmoore.