Nowhere is Mohonk Preserve’s stewardship ethic demonstrated in practice more directly than in the dedicated work of Stewardship staff.
Every day and in every season, Stewardship staff meets the challenge of balancing expanding opportunities for healthy outdoor recreation with protecting culturally and environmentally significant lands.
In 2015, our exceptional Ranger staff was placed under the leadership of Andrew Bajardi, who was promoted to the position of Chief Ranger. Former Seasonal Ranger Roger Ennis was also promoted to the new position of full-time Ranger-Program Specialist.
To improve safety in the Shawangunks, the Rangers coordinated an advanced Emergency Medical Services (EMS) practices and pararescue skills training with the New York Air National Guard’s 103rd Rescue Squadron. They also leveraged a grant from Patagonia Meatpacking, NYC to train 50 local climbing guides in search and rescue skills to assist in ridge rescues. The Preserve’s Rangers are known as one of the most active and well-trained mountain rescue teams in the country.
The Preserve’s Facilities and Carriage Roads and Trails staff were also hard at work throughout the year on a variety of projects across the Preserve. For example, working with three different volunteer groups, staff completed restoration of 200 feet of bog bridges on the Coxing Trail. Students from the San Miguel Academy of Newburgh, SUNY New Paltz, and the Bruderhof Woodcrest Community donated over 200 hours of time to complete this project.
Adjacent to Preserve headquarters, Stewardship staff provided essential support to ensure that the new Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground opened on time with all facilities available. Bruderhof Woodcrest Community volunteers and Preserve staff assembled 50 picnic tables and 20 benches, logging 240 volunteer hours in one day!
Staff also worked on several sections of the historic Carriage Road network as part of a $215,000 grant from the Open Space Institute Butler Conservation Fund. With this partnership funding, Stewardship staff oversaw restoration work of the legacy White Oak Path from White Oak Bend to Pine Road, upgrading the road from trail width to its former carriage road width; and restoration of the Lower Duck Pond and Kleinekill Farm Roads. Other carriage road improvement work included Trapps Road and a section of Lenape Lane. In total, over a mile of carriage roads were restored in 2015.
Mohonk Preserve continues to invest in Stewardship capacity and leadership to ensure that the lands we all love are carefully preserved for you today and for future generations.