Meet MHLC: George Bailie

George Bailie, MHLC Volunteer

George serves as the Preserve Steward at MHLC’s Holt Preserve in the town of New Scotland. Before joining us as a volunteer, George taught and researched aspects of the appropriate use of medications in patients with kidney failure as a professor of pharmacy at Albany College of Pharmacy. He is a dedicated volunteer who has given countless hours to help maintain the trails of Holt and other MHLC Preserves. 

When did you begin volunteering with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy?

Over the years, I had been to many of the preserves, but I had not visited Holt for some time. In Fall 2017, I met with MHLC staff and expressed a desire to be a volunteer Preserve Steward. When the MHLC Stewardship staff reintroduced me to Holt, I was quite impressed by its varied trails. It was then that I decided to help maintain these trails as a Preserve Steward.

What inspires you to support MHLC?

I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors. Since moving to the northeast in 1988, I have been an active hiker, runner, and bicyclist. The Adirondacks and Catskills hold a very special charm for hikers throughout the year as it is still possible to find remote and beautiful places with relative ease. Now that I am retired, I have time to facilitate the enjoyment of local preserves by other people. By assisting with preserve and trail upkeep, I can help to ensure each visitor to the preserve has a memorable experience.

Volunteers help with essential trail work.

How would you describe your role as a volunteer at MHLC?

Most of my time is spent sharing the maintenance of Holt Preserve with other stewards through routine trail checks and tasks such as clearing fallen trees. The amount of time varies with the season, from weekly visits during the growing season to every couple of weeks in the winter. Periodically, we host group efforts tending to trails that need significant upgrades or mending. Additionally, I enjoy the opportunity to work with volunteers at other preserves during MHLC’s planned workdays.

Which is your favorite aspect of volunteering with MHLC?

I particularly enjoy the opportunities to meet new people who have a shared passion to look after natural spaces. I also appreciate the opportunities MHLC provides for volunteers to learn new skills, such as chainsaw training, building and maintaining water management structures, and fabricating new trails. 

George Bailie and fellow Preserve Steward Peter Richards received the Dan Driscoll Leadership Award at the Annual Awards Dinner on February 23, 2020. The Dan Driscoll Leadership Award is given annually to those who give outstanding efforts to advance the mission on MHLC. Congratulations to George and our other 2020 award winners!

Read more about MHLC’s 2020 Annual Awards Dinner and this year’s award recipients.

L to R: MHLC Board Chair Sarah Carroll, George Bailie, Peter Richards, and MHLC Executive Director Mark King

Meet MHLC: Anita Sanchez

Meet MHLC volunteer Anita Sanchez, Preserve Steward for Mosher Marsh. Anita worked as an environmental educator for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation where she developed environmental science programs serving thousands of students. Anita is also the award-winning author of many books on environmental science for children and adults. As a science writer, Anita is especially fascinated by plants and animals that no one loves. Her books are intended to get kids excited about science and the wonders of the natural world. 

When did you begin volunteering with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy?

I began a couple of years ago when I discovered MHLC was working to save land in Montgomery County. I was excited to explore the Mosher Marsh, the Conservancy’s beautiful preserve just outside Amsterdam, only a few miles from my house.

What inspires you to support MHLC?

More and more of our precious green space is being lost to a rising tide of blacktop, buried under condominiums, houses, and strip malls. When I drove past yet another sign that proclaimed the advent of yet another housing development and the loss of yet another meadow, pasture, or forest, I knew I had to get involved somehow. That led me to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy.

Beaver lodge at Mosher Marsh.

How would you describe your role as a volunteer at MHLC?

I mostly work as a steward for the Mosher Marsh Preserve in Amsterdam. It’s a beautiful cattail marsh, surrounded by meadow and a strip of woodland. It’s very pleasant work—I check the sign-in sheet, peek inside the bluebird box to see if there are any signs of activity (last year tree swallows nested there!) and walk the trails. Mosher Marsh isn’t used much in the winter—by humans. But there are lots of signs of wildlife—tracks of fox, rabbit, squirrel, wild turkey—even a fisher! On summer evenings I’ve seen beavers and muskrat gliding through the marsh.

I’ve also helped out with work days at the marsh, doing weed-whacking and trail clearing.

Which is your favorite aspect of volunteering with MHLC? 

I love the fact that it reminds me of how important it is to spend part of each day outdoors. 

Check out Anita’s website to read her posts about Mosher Marsh featured in the Unmowed Blog!  Anita will be leading MHLC’s Winter Wildflowers Hike on March 8th. To learn more and to register, please visit our Events web page.