Sharing a Stewardship Ethic
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Committed supporters like you make Mohonk Preserve’s conservation mission possible. Now in our second half-century as a leading conservation organization, the Preserve – thanks to you – is a place where people and nature come together and where respect for the natural world is cultivated through steadfast protection and stewardship of this treasured landscape, inspirational environmental education, and a deep legacy of long-term ecosystem science.
Generous individuals like you sustain the Preserve from year to year. Less than four percent of the Preserve’s annual program budget comes from government sources, so the Preserve stands as a time-tested model of how a privately funded organization can engage the community in natural area management and provide a place for people to discover nature and experience its positive impact on their lives.
While our stewardship legacy began on the ridge, recent acquisition and planning for formally welcoming visitors to the Mohonk Preserve Foothills has dramatically expanded and deepened our role, connections, and commitment to the quality of life in the greater Shawangunk Mountains region. In the coming years, the Preserve will work to provide balanced access to this area with two trailheads, new trails to explore, and fresh opportunities to experience and learn in this cultural and natural landscape setting.
Beyond the Foothills, the quality of the visitor experience on the Preserve, whether recreational, educational, scientific, creative, or spiritual, is of utmost importance. We want visitors to be able to immerse themselves in the Preserve; to reflect, be restored, and connect to it in a deeply personal way. Our challenge is to manage the land so that we can provide a seamless and inspiring experience. That means active stewardship to consistently restore and maintain a vast network of trails and historic carriage roads, balance visitation with safeguarding the natural communities of plants and animals, provide meaningful interpretation and navigation, and find new ways to enhance exploration and discovery of this special place.
Thanks to you, the Preserve’s innovative Environmental Education programs have brought over 100,000 schoolchildren into nature and our pioneering NatureAccess® program enables outdoor experiences for people of all ages and abilities. We are growing our Environmental Education offerings with a focus on underserved children and building science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curricula for all students across the Hudson Valley. These new and established programs are all aimed at helping to prepare and inspire the next generation of conservationists.
Long before climate change and land resilience rose to prominence, the Preserve’s Conservation Science program created an internationally recognized source of longterm biological, weather, and other natural history records spanning over a century.
While this data is shared with other scientists and utilized at regional and global scales to understand and address climate change, our goals include interpreting this data for use in land management across the ridge and region, while also making it more broadly available, helping to inform you of actions we can all take to protect our environment for current and future generations.
The Preserve needs your continued help. Working together with our members, supporters, visitors, volunteers, and the community at large, we will take significant steps to better the Preserve in each of our program areas – Land Protection and Stewardship, Environmental Education, and Conservation Science – in the coming years.
With heartfelt gratitude,