Our community has lost a dedicated advocate for the conservation and preservation of nature. On January 6, 2018, John Abbuhl – pediatrician, philanthropist, and MHLC founding member – passed away peacefully at the Hospice Inn of St. Peter’s Hospital.
To say John was passionate about nature was an understatement. A casual mention of anything relating to trees was enough to trigger a long and fascinating conversation, tapping John’s wealth of knowledge of all things relating to trees. The same could be said of his deep understanding of and passion for Albany history, wine, medicine, suburban development, and a vast array of other topics. John was energized by life and he threw himself into all of his passions. His sought to preserve nature so that current and future generations could connect with the land and develop an appreciation for nature, which he felt so deeply in his own life. He loved life, people, and nature, and those passions fueled him to work towards improving the community. To channel this love of the natural world, John helped found the Conservancy in 1992, and he remained an active Advisory Board Member for the rest of his life. Throughout his time on the Board, John’s influence and energy helped us to preserve more than five thousand acres of land in the Capital Region. His exuberance in life and his love for the environment helped shape not only MHLC, but the whole Capital Region.
John’s enthusiasm for the outdoors helped drive conservation efforts for a number of organizations, not just MHLC. He also created the Cornwallville Conservation Corporation to protect over a thousand acres of land in the Catskill Mountains. Yet he was best known for founding the Pine Hollow Arboretum. What began as planting trees and shrubs for his yard blossomed into a commitment to preserving the nature surrounding him and sharing it with the Community. Today, the Arboretum carries on John’s legacy by hosting over three thousand trees, most planted by John himself. John spent his life working to preserve the nature around us and to better the lives of those in the community. His dedication to the environment will continue to live on through the organizations he founded and the people he inspired.
The staff and Board of the Conservancy offer our sympathy and condolences to John’s wife Kay and his children. Although John has left us, we will continue to honor his memory by working towards conservation efforts in the Capital Region for years to come.
Dr. Abbuhl will be honored at the upcoming Annual Awards Dinner on February 27.