Guest Post: Meet our Intern, Christiane!

Hi there!

My name is Christiane Lee, and I am the new intern at the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, you can find me writing letters, emails, and blog posts at our office in Delmar. Let me take this time to tell you a little bit about myself and how I became the intern at your local land trust.

I am a junior English major and writing minor at the College of Saint Rose. I am both the intern at the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy in Delmar, NY, and an office clerk at the Hubbard Interfaith Sanctuary in Albany, NY. Although I live in Albany for my schooling, I am not actually from the area. I was born and raised in Tolland County, Connecticut, with my two younger sisters and older brother. When I’m not at school or my jobs, I enjoy reading, writing, playing the piano and ukulele, hiking, and painting.

A typical day at my internship consists of a lot of writing and reading. Over the course of the day, I work on numerous projects, like drafting and editing blog posts, social media posts, and press releases about our upcoming events. I put my English major skills to work and carefully proofread our newsletters and flyers. I have recently been addressing and mailing out hundreds of our Nature Passports, and have also been working on the early stages of some new and exciting projects which MHLC will be releasing later in 2017.

Christiane prepares Nature Passports to be mailed.

I applied for this internship at the Conservancy back in December. I believe conserving land, air, water, and other natural resources is crucial for our development as part of the global community. Without the Earth, we have no home. I, too, spend a lot of time on our nature trails, and recognize the inner peace fresh air, singing birds, and tall trees gives us. I want to make sure that future generations have places where they can play and learn about the Earth and its other inhabitants. As an environmental advocate, I wanted to work with a team that holds similar values, and found the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. With this organization, I am able to express my fervor and passion for environmental conservation, and help the MHLC give back to the public by providing clean and safe spaces to explore and reconnect with nature. I greatly appreciate all of the knowledge and guidance my mentors here have given me.

I hope to meet some of you, our supporters, in my time working at the Conservancy, and want to thank you for letting me work at your local land trust!

Sincerely,

Christiane

Strawberry Fields Forever: Grand Opening of Our New Preserve!

MHLC welcomes the public to the grand opening of a new preserve in Montgomery County, the first of our 25th anniversary year!

On May 20th, you are invited by the Conservancy, and hosts Jeff and Judy Leon, to join our growing community of Capital Region conservationists at the grand opening of Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve, located on Cranes Hollow Road in Amsterdam. The celebration begins at 10 AM with a light breakfast, followed by a grand opening ceremony at 10:30. After the ceremony, guided tours of the new trails will head out to explore the blooming, spring-time landscape of this “oasis for flowers and birds.”

This event is free, but you must reserve your spot by registering online. Please RSVP by May 12th.

RSVP Today!


Strawberry Fields
is 118 acres of protected land. The property includes the nature preserve, a family homestead, and a working farm. It was protected in 2013 under a conservation easement with MHLC. For more information about Strawberry Fields Nature Preserve, visit our Preserve page. We also recommend “Strawberry Fields is an oasis for flowers, birds” – a piece written by Karen Bjornland in The Daily Gazette:

It will not be long before the spring flowers are blooming off Cranes Hollow Road in Amsterdam. At the Strawberry Fields Farm Preserve, you will see bloodroot, trout lily, marsh marigold, trillium and mayapple. In July, tiny wild strawberries, the namesake plants of the preserve, will pop up all over the fields.The Daily Gazette

The property provides habitat to abundant and diverse wildlife, and protecting that life is a primary purpose for the preserve. Over 300 vascular plant species, over 100 bird species, and uncounted other members of the food chain have been identified here. Visitors can often spot American woodcock, turkey, ruffed grouse, pileated, red-bellied, downy, and hairy woodpeckers, Northern harrier, bluebirds, bobolink, meadowlark, osprey, red-tailed hawks, and Baltimore orioles. Deer sightings are common, as are squirrels, woodchucks, rabbits and chipmunks. Less commonly sighted are fishers, foxes, bobcats, weasels, and coyotes.

We hope you will join us on May 20th for the grand opening of this ecologically unique and stunningly scenic preserve. RSVP Today!

 

 

April Events: Hiking and Backpacking Workshop and Schoharie Creek Preserve Hike

April Precipitation Brings More Conservation

Dave Muska leads a naturalist workshop

As the first, wintry quarter of 2017 comes to a close, we are gearing up to celebrate spring during our 25th anniversary year! MHLC is hosting two hikes in April, and preparing for several more events in May. Join us and get your nature fix at some of our fun, educational, and recreational community events.

On April 8th, we are partnering with Ondatra Adventures for a Hiking and Backpacking Workshop featuring tips and tricks to have a safe and fun hiking excursion. This interactive workshop is led by David Muska, a licensed NYS Wilderness Skills Instructor and owner of Ondatra Adventures. The event will begin at 10 AM  at our Bennett Hill Preserve in New Scotland, and is expected to end at 1 PM. Space for this popular event is limited, so reserve your spot now by visiting our events page!

Photo of Schoharie Creek Preserve by Catherine Abida

The second guided hike we are offering this April is at the Schoharie Creek Preserve. On Sunday, April 30th, join us for an educational, guided hike led by the Schoharie River Center. This hike will start at 1:30 p.m. and explore the 198-acre Schoharie Creek Preserve in Charleston, NY. This preserve features several beautiful waterfalls along Wilsey Creek at the northern border of the preserve. Be prepared for some steepness along the trail, and enjoy the fresh air and incredible views!  Space for this outing is also limited, so register today.

We hope to see you at these events in April- both hikes are an excellent opportunity to fill out a few pages in your Capital Region Nature Passport!  See you on the trails!

Sunshine and Snow: February Fat Biking at Keleher Preserve

On Saturday, February 18th, MHLC held its first fat biking event: A Day of Fat Biking at Keleher Preserve. The unexpectedly warm weather made for a beautiful day of biking.

On top of Wolf Hill, bikers gathered in the parking lot of Keleher Preserve. The bright morning sun sparkled on the deep snow that had piled up over the past few weeks. A small bonfire filled the lot with the smells of wood smoke, and Bountiful Bread, generous sponsor of MHLC, brought hot soup, baked goods, and hot cocoa. Mark King, Executive Director of MHLC, and Brian White, owner of Bountiful Bread, greeted everyone before the first group hit the trails for the 10 AM ride, led by Brian.

We would like to thank the many partners that made this wonderful event possible. Thank you to Brian for leading the tours and the event, to Bountiful Bread for sponsoring the morning and keeping the participants fed and energized, and to Jim Smith of Red Maple Land Services LLC for grooming the trails so that our athletes could enjoy the snowy landscape. We are also grateful to the neighbors on Gulf Hill Rd and to our dedicated Preserve Steward at Keleher for maintaining access to the preserve and protecting the beauty of this forested haven on the Helderberg Escarpment.

Enjoy this gallery of photos from the event! MHLC is celebrating 25 years of conservation in 2017, and we hope to see you at our next public event. Visit our events page for a list of upcoming events.

 

Protected Forever: 218 More Acres Preserved in Rensselaerville

The hamlet of Rensselaerville is one of Albany County’s most beautiful locations.  Recognized on the National Register of Historic places, it is steeped in historic character; to visit is to step back in time to an earlier era.  MHLC is pleased to announce the preservation of a key parcel that contributes to the area’s historic and scenic landscape.  Working together with the Eldridge family and the Open Space Institute, we have closed on a conservation easement which now protects 218 acres along the ridge on the eastern side of the hamlet. This easement will ensure that the views of the property will remain undeveloped and open for future generations to enjoy.

The Eldridge property is situated across the Ten Mile Creek valley from the Hilltown Café and post office. The property dominates the view from this center of community activity, and by protecting the property, we have saved the characteristic, rural setting of this part of the hamlet.  The 218 acres include forests, fields, and headwater streams of the Ten Mile and Catskill Creeks. The property is directly across Albany Hill Road from the Conkling Farm, a spectacular property which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been protected by a conservation easement secured by the Open Space Institute.

By connecting easements and focusing on critical conservation areas, we create corridors of conserved land. The Eldridge property is part of a ring of protected lands surrounding the hamlet which now stretches for more than five miles.  The conservation of this property preserves a wonderful legacy for the Eldridge family, who have a long history with the community of Rensselaerville.

What is a conservation easement?

A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement to permanently limit the development of a property.  The property remains privately owned and stays on the local tax roles.  MHLC holds more than 1100 acres of easements in the Helderberg Hilltowns and works with partners such as the Open Space Institute and the Huyck Preserve to preserve the scenic and ecologically important landscapes of the Helderberg Escarpment.

If you are interested in conserving your land, visit our “Conserve Your Land” page to learn more about whether a conservation easement is the right choice for you.

 

 

A Day of Fat Biking at Keleher Preserve: February 18

February 18 will be MHLC’s first fat biking event on a public preserve.

Join MHLC at the first outdoor event of our 25th anniversary year: A Day of Fat Biking! Fat biking, a special kind of mountain biking with wide tires to trek through soft terrain, provides a fun and fast way to explore the snowy landscape. Grab your fat bike and meet us out on the trails!

On Saturday, February 18th, the Conservancy is hosting its first-ever day of fat biking at our beautiful Keleher Preserve in New Scotland. Featuring two guided fat bike rides by Brian White, owner of Stuyvesant Plaza’s Bountiful Bread, the event will allow visitors to experience Keleher Preserve in a completely new way. Keleher Preserve, situated at the top of Wolf Hill, is part of the Helderberg Escarpment and features sweeping vistas of the Capital Region. The bike tours will kick-off at 10 am and 12:30 pm, and soup and hot cocoa will be provided by Bountiful Bread between tours and after the second ride. There will be a bonfire in the parking lot of the preserve for all those who need to warm themselves up!

MHLC is excited to work with the active mountain biking community in the Capital Region to enjoy and celebrate the lands we have worked to conserve. Let us know if you enjoy your ride by sending your photos and comments to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Click here to reserve your spot today!

Keep your New Year’s Resolution and stay active this winter! After our day of fat biking at Keleher Preserve, pick up your free copy of MHLC’s new Preserves & Map Brochure at the preserve kiosk. This brochure lists all of our preserves that are open for winter recreation, and includes an icon key to help you find which preserves are best for winter recreation – such as snowshoeing, skiing, tracking, winter photography, wildlife viewing, hiking, and more.

As the weather begins to warm in April, MHLC will partner with Ondatra Adventures to host a Hiking and Backpacking Tips and Tricks Workshop. In the summer and fall, the public is invited to a series of programs including birding hikes, new preserve openings, family wilderness craft programs, a Hike-a-Thon in July, and a special gala affair at Thacher Park’s new visitor center in September. More information on all events can be found on our events page.

After 25 years, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy continues to expand and connect the network of preserved lands across Albany, Montgomery, and Schenectady Counties. The growing community of conservationists and supporters who make this preservation work possible are a group of people dedicated to protecting the scenic, recreational, and environmental value of the Capital Region landscape. In celebration of its silver anniversary, MHLC invites friends both old and new to join in a year of conservation, recreation, and connection.

See you on the trails!

Times Union: Were you Seen at MHLC’s 25th Anniversary Celebration?

Photos from our 25th Anniversary Annual Dinner are now featured on the Times Union’s website.

Click here to see photographs of this sold-out event, which honored Matthew Bender IV, a local philanthropist and conservationist, and Stewart Dutfield, the Rail Trail Ambassador Coordinator.

“On Saturday afternoon, conservationists from across the Capital Region met at the Corning Tower in downtown Albany to celebrate 25 years of land conservation with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC). The sold-out crowd filled the observation deck, enjoying drinks and a light buffet as a cloudy sky opened and rays of light from the setting sun spread across the breathtaking landscape below.”

Read more about the event on spotlightnews.com.

The annual dinner was our first of many special events planned throughout 2017 in celebration of our 25th year. Visit our events page to learn about upcoming events throughout Albany, Montgomery, and Schenectady counties.

Didn’t make it to the dinner? Be sure to join us at our next event: A Day of Fat Biking at Keleher Preserve on February 18th!

 

Celebrating 25 Years of Conservation: Cocktail Party Honoring Matt Bender and Stewart Dutfield, Nature Hikes, and the Capital Region Nature Passport

Photo by Robert Stone: A View of the Catskills from the Bolotsky property, protected by MHLC in 2016.

Photo by Robert Stone: A View of the Catskills from the Bolotsky property, protected by MHLC in 2016.

Join us as we kick off a year of celebration and conservation with our annual dinner, which has been moved up to January 28th! MHLC has been your local land trust for 25 years, and we have so much to celebrate together.

On Saturday, January 28th, we will start a year of special celebrations with our annual dinner: a cocktail party honoring Matthew Bender IV, local philanthropist and conservationist, and Stewart Dutfield, Rail Trail Ambassador Coordinator. Join MHLC board, staff, and friends to experience the breathtaking view of the winter sunset over the preserved lands of the Capital Region from the Corning Tower Observation Deck while enjoying cocktails and a light buffet. Click here for tickets to this one-of-a-kind event!

This party will be the first of dozens of celebratory, conservation-focused events on MHLC’s calendar this year. In February, we will host our first outdoor event of the year with a day of fat biking on the trails of Keleher Preserve, with food and beverages provided by Bountiful Bread of Stuyvesant Plaza. As the weather begins to warm in April, we are excited to renew our partnership with Ondatra Adventures to host a Hiking and Backpacking Tips and Tricks Workshop. In the summer and fall, the public is invited to a series of programs including birding hikes, new preserve openings, family wilderness craft programs, a Hike-a-Thon in July, and a special gala affair at Thacher Park’s new visitor center in September. Visit our events page for more information on all events.

In February, MHLC will also be releasing the Capital Region Nature Passport, a new, free resource for explorers, adventurers, and naturalists of all ages and expertise levels. The passport is a collection of 25 micro-adventures which can be completed entirely within the forests, streams, and fields of MHLC’s public preserves and protected lands. From finding hidden habitat gems to trying out new trails, the passport encourages visitors and citizens to pull on their boots, get out the door, and get some dirt under their nails, exploring the spectrum of nature experiences waiting to be enjoyed in the Capital Region. Free copies of the passport will be available at all MHLC preserve kiosks and at the Conservancy’s office at 425 Kenwood Avenue in Delmar.

After 25 years, we continue to expand and connect the network of preserved lands across Albany, Montgomery, and Schenectady Counties. The growing community of conservationists and supporters who make this preservation work possible are a group of people dedicated to protecting the scenic, recreational, and environmental value of the Capital Region landscape. In celebration of MHLC’s silver anniversary, we invite friends both old and new to join in a year of conservation, recreation, and connection.

Stay Active This Winter on MHLC Preserves

Snowshoers enjoy Bennett Preserve. Photo by Alan VIa.

Snowshoers enjoy Bennett Hill Preserve. Photo by Alan Via.

Snowshoeing, skiing, tracking, winter photography… what’s your favorite outdoor winter activity? Keep your body moving and invigorate your winter spirit by exploring the snowy beauty of our preserves this year. Whether you enjoy vigorous aerobic activity or are looking for a family-friendly adventure, there are 17 preserves currently open for visitors to enjoy and explore.

Bennett Hill Preserve is a favorite for visitors who enjoy snowshoeing, and the scenic vistas stretch for miles on a clear winter day, making for stunning winter photographs.

Following and identifying animal tracks in the snow can be a fun and educational activity for both adults and children. We recommend visiting www.naturetracking.com, which features galleries of common animal tracks and an article on tracks commonly seen in the snow.

Pick up your preserve brochure and use the icon key to find the right preserve for your winter adventure.

Pick up your preserve brochure and use the icon key to find the right preserve for your winter adventure.

In 2017, we will open trails for mountainbiking at Keleher Preserve! Once these trails are open, bring your fat bike out to Keleher and explore the preserve on two wheels.

For more information on the recommended activities for each of our preserves, stop by the MHLC office in Delmar or a preserve kiosk to pick up your free copy of the Preserves & Map Brochure, which includes an icon key to help you find which preserves are best for winter recreation, scenic views, wildlife viewing, family-friendly trails, and more.

Snap some photos of your snowy adventures and share with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy community on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also enter our Photo Contest to receive a chance to win free ice cream and tickets to the Albany Symphony in June!

 

Historic Hilton Barn: A Permanent Home and a New Park

This project completes a multi-year collaboration between town government, dedicated citizens, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, and generous donors Peter Kelly and Jennifer Hilton…
Hilton Barn Relocation

The green circle indicates the new site of the Hilton Barn. The red circle shows the former site.

 

On Wednesday, December 14th, 2016, the Town of New Scotland’s Town Board officially approved the creation of the Captain Joseph Hilton Town Park, the new home of the historic Hilton Barn. The creation of the park completes a multi-year collaboration between town government, dedicated citizens, the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, and generous donors Peter and Barbara Kelly and Jennifer Hilton. The park will provide an attractive setting for the Hilton Barn and will enhance the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail (ACHH Rail Trail) by creating a new recreational and educational destination for pedestrians and cyclists.

The park is located on a 14-acre parcel at the intersection of Hilton Road and Route 85A in the Town of New Scotland.  It expands upon the current 1.1 acre site, which was acquired by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy earlier this year and donated to the Town for the relocation of the Hilton Barn. The historic Hilton Barn was constructed in 1898 for Captain Joseph Hilton. It is believed to be the largest post and beam structure still standing in Albany County and was built primarily for hay storage at a time when horses were the primary means of transportation.

“The Hilton Barn is a spectacular example of what could be constructed by one family with a grand vision in a bygone era, when wood and slate were abundant. Its loss would have been a catastrophe for our community. My wife Barbara and I hope that the purchase of the 14 acre parcel, with the major contribution from Jennifer Hilton, will make it possible for the Town of New Scotland to develop the land into an imaginative park, which will integrate the Barn with the Albany County Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail. We wish to thank the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy for their efforts to help save the Barn, when so many times it was on the verge of being destroyed,” said donor Peter Kelly.

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy was approached by Town of New Scotland officials in early 2015 for assistance in finding a new location for the historic Barn, which was threatened by an expanding housing development. MHLC Executive Director Mark King recognized an opportunity to enhance the ACHH Rail Trail while also protecting vital green space and local history. With the creation of the Captain Joseph Hilton Town Park a year and half later, this vision has been fulfilled. “The area surrounding the new park is undergoing rapid development; more than 200 houses are planned or being constructed within a mile of the property. This park could be one of the few open spaces left in the area. The Hilton Barn and the green space protected by the park will be a visual reminder of the Town’s agricultural history,” said King. “This project would not have been possible without the exceptional donor generosity of Peter and Barbara Kelly and Jennifer Hilton.”

When the Conservancy began the search for the new home for the historic Hilton Barn in 2015, it was discovered that Hilton family heirs still owned land across Route 85A from the former location of the barn and next to the ACHH Rail Trail.  MHLC facilitated the purchase of the 1.1 acre site, finalized in March 2016, again with the support of donors Jennifer Hilton and Peter and Barbara Kelly. States Jennifer Hilton, “Preservation of this barn is important to me in so many ways.  Built by my great Grandfather, Captain Joseph Hilton, it is the last vestige of the Hilton Farm.  It is also an important landmark heralding New Scotland’s agricultural heritage.  My hope is that this structure becomes a town focal point for many to enjoy now and in the future. Many thanks to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, the Town of New Scotland and all who have worked so hard to make this a reality.”

Doug LaGrange, Town of New Scotland Supervisor said, “The Town is grateful for the generosity of the Hilton family, private donors, and the efforts of the Conservancy. With the addition of 14 acres of parkland, the Town will have the space needed for a community meeting place and recreation area—centered around the Hilton Barn and Rail Trail. The Hilton Park will be a destination not only for residents of the Town but visitors from all over the Capital District using the Rail Trail. With direct access to the trail, visitors will have a place to rest, picnic, and enjoy the historic barn. It is our hope that the park, and the Hilton Barn, will be a community meeting place to bring residents together and enjoy the history of the area. The Town’s planning process identified this area as the perfect location for a park. Thanks to the efforts of private donors and MHLC, we have now achieved that goal.”

The Historic Hilton Barn after moving to its new home in early 2016

MHLC Acquires 32 More Acres In Helderberg Conservation Corridor

By conserving the escarpment itself, we conserve the view of the Helderbergs, as well as the view from the Helderbergs…

Executive Director Mark King spotted this porcupine while touring the donated property.

2016 has been a record year of land conservation for Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. We are set to end the year with over 1,000 acres conserved in the past twelve months, and many of the preserved parcels are in key conservation areas which provide critical habitat for indigenous plants and animals.

With a generous donation of 32 acres on the Helderberg Escarpment above the hamlet of New Salem, we are adding to the Helderberg Conservation Corridor. This corridor is an area of connected, preserved lands between Indian Ladder Farms and Thacher State Park. The newly-donated parcel includes extensive frontage on Thacher Park Road; by protecting this land, we are ensuring that part of the gateway to the iconic Thacher Park will remain forested with the maple, hickory, chestnut oak, hemlock, and white pine which are typical of the steep slopes of the escarpment. The property also includes wetland areas, which have been found in other areas along the Helderberg Escarpment and provide key habitat to several amphibian species in the region. Connie Tedesco, Stewardship Director at Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, has noted several species of regionally-rare plants on the properties.

Outcroppings of bedrock occur throughout the parcel, creating a fascinating topography.

Outcroppings of bedrock occur throughout the parcel, creating a fascinating topography.

This acquisition protects habitats, recreational opportunities, and protects the visual impact of the Helderberg Escarpment. Thacher Park, known for the panoramic views from its hiking trails, is a significant and beautiful topographic landmark in the region. By conserving the escarpment itself, we conserve the view of the Helderbergs, as well as the view from the Helderbergs.

We are grateful to the anonymous donor who made this incredibly generous gift of his home and land. Did you know that you can donate or bequeath your home to Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy? If you’re interested in talking about donating or bequeathing land or a building, e-mail Stewardship Director Connie Tedesco at connie@mohawkhudson.org or call the office at 426-6346.

MHLC is celebrating 25 Years of Conservation in 2017… and we need your help today!

Watch MHLC's latest video to learn more about our conservation work

Watch MHLC’s latest video to learn more about our conservation work

Since its founding, MHLC has protected close to 5,000 acres of land in Albany, Schenectady and Montgomery counties, with almost 50% of its growth taking place in the past 3 years. This exponential expansion is fueled by generous funding by devoted supporters who have enabled the Conservancy to protect air and water quality, local food supplies, and critical habitats.  But there’s still so much more to be done!

In celebration of the Conservancy’s coming 25th Birthday, the Conservancy has received a wonderful and unexpected anonymous pledge for $25,000.  If we raise $25,000 in donations by December 31st, 2016, the donor will match it, dollar-for-dollar. This doubles the impact of your year-end gift!

It takes many hands to conserve the Capital Region’s natural lands and heritage—please lend a hand by contributing what you can, and by telling your friends to do the same.  Every dollar makes a difference—today and for future generations.

Once we develop our natural areas, we cannot get them back.  Please donate today!

Photo of Holt Preserve taken by Alan Via

Photo of Holt Preserve taken by Alan Via

We have big plans for our silver anniversary in 2017. Visit our 25th Anniversary page to learn about events and plans for this celebration of 25 years of conservation.

PHOTO CONTEST: MHLC through the years

We want to hear from you!  Have you documented your years with MHLC– your hikes on the preserves, your fun times with friends and family, your special moments at our events? 

mr-and-mrs-knox-on-bridge-dedicated-to-carol-knox

Carol Knox’s parents sitting on the bridge dedicated to Carol in 2010.

Help MHLC collect pictures for its 25th Anniversary in 2017 by submitting your photos of MHLC through the years.  And receive a chance to win free ice cream and tickets to the Albany Symphony in June!

To enter, email your photos to lea@mohawkhudson.org along with this mhlc-photo-license-agreement_2016. Each week, photos will be posted on Facebook for your “likes”.  The photographer of each week’s winning photo will receive Stewart’s ice cream coupons for four.  At the end of the contest period, all photographers will be entered into a grand drawing for two Festival Passes for the Albany Symphony’s American Music Festival in June. 

  • Who: Individuals of all ages may participate
  • Contest Dates: October 24th through May 31st.
  • What: Submit your MHLC photos (any photos from 1992 through 2017 are eligible) for publication in the Conservancy’s 2017 Photo Collage and other 25th Anniversary materials and receive a chance to win ice cream and Albany Symphony tickets.

Fall Fundraiser a Great Success!

On Thursday, September 22nd, many good friends and supporters gathered at the New York State Museum to celebrate twenty four years of conservation by the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and to honor John and Peggy Sherman for their dedication to the Conservancy.  The night was a great success with the sold-out event raising more than $50,000 to support the Conservancy’s land conservation efforts.

Executive Director Mark King and Board Chair Cathie Love with guests of honor Peggy and John Sherman

Executive Director Mark King and Board Chair Cathie Love with special guests of honor Peggy and John Sherman

The speaking ceremony began with a celebration of honorees John and Peggy Sherman.  Together, Peggy and John represent the best of MHLC.  Peggy was a board member through a transformative time for the organization and served as President from 2007-09.  Since stepping down from the board, Peggy has continued her service as Preserve Steward and Advisory Council member.  John also faithfully champions the Conservancy through his many volunteer roles.  He serves as a Preserve Steward with Peggy and consistently helps with many stewardship projects.  Together, they have introduced countless people to the work of the Conservancy leading to new relationships and wider recognition.  They are tireless volunteers and encouraging voices for the organization.  And they lead quietly through positive action.  We are so delighted to have been able to honor them in this way and to thank them for all they have given to help lead the way for MHLC.

In addition to the recognition of John and Peggy, Executive Director Mark King updated guests on the organization’s important conservation achievements of 2016 and introduced them to MHLC’s new stewardship partnership with Living Resources.  The speaking ceremony ended with a special viewing of MHLC’s new promotional video, expected to be released in 2017.

Guests to the event enjoyed beer from the new Indian Ladder Farmstead Cidery and Brewery, wine generously donated by Peter Stoj and Mona Wasserman, cuisine from Bountiful Bread, music by Spiral Tango, and many fabulous auction items.

Thank you to all of those who contributed to the event’s success!  Your support has provided vital resources for land protection and stewardship for the benefit of all in the Capital Region.

Event Pictures

Drum Circle

On the morning of Saturday, September 17th, MHLC will be holding a Drum Circle at the Winn Preserve in honor of Daniel Driscoll.  For those who did not know Dan, he was a founding board member and past President of MHLC as well as the Preserve Steward at the Winn Preserve next to his home for many years.

Sign up

Drum CircleLongtime MHLC supporter Lois Porter will lead a facilitated drum circle beginning shortly after 10 AM (meet in the parking area at 10 AM) on Saturday, September 17th.  The first 10 people to sign up will have drums supplied.  If you can bring your own “body drum” (conga, ashiko, djembe) we can accommodate more people.  No experience required.  Drumming in a group has been scientifically proved to be good for health and well-being.  In addition, it’s a lot of fun!  Lois has been leading drum circles for over 20 years.

For information, visit mohawkhudson.org or call 518-436-6346.

Who: Individuals of all ages

When: September 17th, 2016 at 10 am (Rain date is Saturday, October 8th)

Where: MHLC Winn Preserve, Delmar, NY

Cost: Free

Please come prepared with: Water, bug spray, a snack, appropriate outdoor footwear, and sunscreen.

Sign up

 

In memory of MHLC founding member, Dan Driscoll

DSC_0013

Dan, happily lost in the tall ferns along the Bozen Kill stream

Dear friends,

It is with great sadness that I’m writing to share the news that MHLC founding member Dan Driscoll passed away earlier this week.

The Altamont Enterprise ran a beautiful story about Dan yesterday.  I’m also attaching Dan’s obituary.

A Memorial Mass will be held on 10:00 AM Tuesday, Aug. 2, at St. Matthew’s Church at 25 Mountainview Street in Voorheesville with a reception to follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, 425 Kenwood Ave., Delmar, NY 12054, www.mohawkhudson.org

For those who did not know Dan, he was a founding board member and past President of MHLC as well as a major force in the development of the organization and its continued success for the past 24 years.  Dan always stayed involved with MHLC, along with a myriad of his other activities and passions.  He was the preserve steward at the Winn Preserve next to his home for many years and as recently as a month ago was working on a new trail with a local eagle scout despite his declining health.

Dan’s enthusiasm, commitment and the ever present twinkle in his eye will truly be missed.

Mark king signature- transparent

Family Wilderness Crafts

 Friday, August 19

Photo courtesy of Dave Muska

Photo courtesy of Dave Muska

 

Reserve my spot!

 

In our modern world we often forget the abundance nature provides. Join the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and Dave Muska of Ondatra Adventures for a family friendly workshop in Wilderness Crafts at MHLC’s Van Dyke Preserve in Delmar, NY.  In this class you will make a small melon basket from local and wild-harvested vines, learn the art of making cordage from natural fibers, and how to make stone necklaces.  Be prepared to hear some stories, learn natural history, and have fun with your family outdoors!

Who: Families and children of all ages
Parents, please plan on accompanying your children to this program.

Photo courtesy of Dave Muska

Photo courtesy of Dave Muska

When: August 19th, 2016 from 9am-Noon

Where: MHLC Van Dyke Preserve, Delmar, NY

Cost: Free

Please come prepared with: Water, bug spray, a snack, appropriate outdoor footwear, and sunscreen.

Reserve my spot!

 

 

Summer Festival

 

Aerial Photo by Dylan Longton

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Senator George Amedore and Peter Ten Eyck shake hands. Photo by Brian Sweeney.

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Indian Ladder Farms historic marker unveiling. Photo by Dylan Longton.

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Indian Ladder Farms Historic Marker

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Indian Ladder Farmstead Cidery and Brewery Ribbon Cutting. Photo by Brian Sweeney.

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Summer Festival Face Painting. Photo by Brian Sweeney.

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Summer Festival guests toast with commemorative beer glasses.

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A young Festival participant enjoys a pony ride. Photo by Brian Sweeney.

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Summer Festival volunteers oversee the event coloring contest. Photo by Brian Sweeney.

 

2016 Summer Festival Aerial Photo by Dylan Longton

“The Conservancy’s Summer Festival and Hike-a-thon was a celebration to be remembered! 

The combination of great weather and so many wonderful accomplishments made for a perfect summer afternoon.  The 100th year of Indian Ladder Farms and the opening of their newest endeavor, the brewery and cidery, were reason enough for a celebration and combined with Conservancy’s Summer Festival and Hike-a-thon, there was truly something for everyone to enjoy.  Many thanks to everyone who made the day such a success.”

States MHLC Executive Director Mark King, about the 2016 Summer Festival, which took place on Sunday, July 17 at Indian Ladder Farms.

2016 marked the fifth year of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy’s Summer Festival and the first to take place at Indian Ladder Farms. This year’s event celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Indian Ladder Farms and the grand opening of the Indian Ladder Farmstead Cidery and Brewery. Over 3,000 guests and 50 exhibitors enjoyed a perfect summer day at the farm. Kids could ride a pony or get their face painted, while guests of all ages could see wild birds, snakes and lizards up-close, learn how to Irish stepdance, take a hay ride around the farm, or simply enjoy an ice cream cone while listening to a band play. The event commenced with speeches by local dignitaries, the unveiling of a new historic marker, a ribbon cutting ceremony and an aerial photo.

Albany County Executive, Daniel McCoy, New Scotland Town Supervisor, Doug LaGrange, Congressman Paul Tonko, Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball, Senator, George Amedore, Senior Vice President of the Open Space Institute Erik Kulleseid, Indian Ladder Farms owner Peter G. Ten Eyck III, and MHLC Executive Director Mark King all spoke during the event opening ceremonies in the Apple Barn. Each speaker congratulated Indian Ladder Farms on its 100th Anniversary and shared their excitement at being a part of the momentous occasion.

In addition to celebrating the 100-year milestone, Indian Ladder Farms unveiled a new historic marker in front of a crowd of onlookers at the Summer Festival. The blue and yellow sign now stands in front of the farm, commemorating its establishment in 1916 by Peter G. Ten Eyck.

Across the street from the historic marker, towering hop plants reminded visitors to stop in to the Indian Ladder Farmstead Cidery and Brewery for a glass of beer or cider, made with locally grown ingredients. Sunday marked the grand opening of the Cidery and Brewery and included a ribbon cutting ceremony on the front steps of the newly created tasting room.

The farm’s landscape and picturesque views of the Helderberg Escarpment provided a perfect backdrop for the festivities. Thanks to a conservation easement with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, the fields, forests and gently rolling hills will remain undeveloped landscapes for the next 100 years, and beyond.

The Summer Festival enabled visitors to celebrate with the Ten Eyck family, and experience local musicians and artists alongside thousands of other community members, all while being surrounded by protected forest and farmland. We couldn’t have asked for more!

To our volunteers, sponsors, exhibitors, partners and Board of Directors:  thank you for your support, time and hard work. Without you, the work that the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy does would not be possible.

More event photos

 

New trail at the Winn Preserve

By Dan Driscoll

WinnphotoA new half-mile long trail (the easternmost White Trail) was completed at the Hudson and Nancy
Winn Preserve in 2015.  This remarkable trail runs along the edge of the Helderberg Escarpment with occasional views to the north, and many other interesting features.  The trail was built by Boy Scout Earl Barcomb and his family and friends as his Eagle Scout project.  To hear a short explanation of the land donation that permitted construction of the trail, and the purpose of an Eagle Scout project, scan the Quick Response (QR) Code to the right.

By the way, there are QR Codes at ten points throughout the Preserve; each describes important nearby features.  If you are not able to scan a QR Code, you can download the text from the MHLC website to carry with you as you hike the Preserve.

winnQRUntil the Eagle Scout Trail was built, the only place walking fern (Asplenium rhizophyllum) had been found on the Preserve was along the Red Trail (listen to QR-7).  Walking fern is a unique fern.  It can reproduce by means of spores like other ferns, but each frond has a long tapering tip, like a spear point, which can take root when it touches a suitable spot.  You will find more walking fern along the new trail, directly above the Red Trail.

A few hundred feet farther east of the walking fern is an area directly above a continually flowing spring at the base of the talus slope.  The Eagle Scout Trail goes through extensive areas of deeply creviced limestone (karst terrain); weakly acidic water creates the crevices by slowly dissolving the limestone over time.  Rainwater flowing into the crevices is a source of the spring’s water.

Over thousands of years, limestone blocks along the edge of the Escarpment have separated from the rock wall (along the crevices) and tumbled down the talus slope.  You will see some limestone blocks that have separated but have not fallen yet.

Since the land along the new trail is fully wooded, there are only a few spots where you have an unobstructed view to the north.  On a clear day you can see the Adirondack Mountains in the distance.  Directly below is the hamlet of Township on Route 146 at its intersection with Middle and Street Roads.  Street Road, the road furthest to the left, leads to the Winn Preserve parking area.  Just before turning onto Street Road, on the north side of Route 146, is the Township Tavern, a good place to stop for dinner on your way home from the Preserve.EarlHike 03