John Boyd Thacher State Park

Photo Credit: Steve Aaron

We have worked to preserve land atop and around the Helderberg Escarpment, while enhancing the centerpiece of these ancient cliffs—John Boyd Thacher State Park.

Over the past 20 years, through numerous transactions, we have added more than 1,200 acres to Thacher Park, more than doubling its size. Safeguarding these properties has not only protected views and habitat but also expanded recreation for hikers, cross-country skiers and others.

A gem of the Capitol Region

In 1909, the original 350 acres of the park were donated by Emma Treadwell Thacher, in honor of her husband and former Albany Mayor John Boyd Thacher, to be used as a public park and nature preserve. Since its opening in 1914, Thacher Park has only grown in popularity.

“History, happiness, and science all meet in this spot and pay tribute to the memory of the man… and the generosity of the lady who made this valued spot a state possession.”- New York Governor Martin Glynn, 1914

In addition to doubling the size of Thacher, we have also had a hand in protecting the land around the park. In 2002 and 2003, we helped protect family-owned farms, Ketcham Farm and Indian Ladder Farms.

Our private fundraising campaign helped build a nature center at Thacher Park, atop the Helderberg escarpment--one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world.
Our private fundraising campaign helped build a nature center at Thacher Park, atop the Helderberg escarpment--one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world.
Photo Credit: Open Space Institute

Building on the Thacher Legacy

For years, despite the popularity of Thacher, which welcomes more than 380,000 people every year, the park has operated without a central welcome center.

In 2015, as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s NY Parks 2020 Plan, $3.8 million was provided towards the building of Thacher Park Center.

Consistent with our mission to support and promote parks, we took the next step in revitalizing Thacher by launching a fundraising campaign to raise $1 million to support the building’s educational and interpretive exhibits and provide for upkeep and support into the future. Along the way, our campaign has confirmed what many in the area already suspected: Thacher Park’s scenic and recreational treasures have inspired strong sentimental family bonds across generations.  

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