Greg Miller Onteora16 Crop

Catskill Conservation (2020)

Image Credit: Greg Miller

CATSKILL PARK, NY (Sep. 17, 2020) - With its expansive forests, water resources, and spectacular vistas, the Catskill Park has been at the forefront of the Open Space Institute's land protection efforts since the time of its founding. Today, OSI is building on this commitment to conservation in the Catskills by making its protected land more accessible to visitors.

In 2019, OSI completed nine projects in the Catskill Park, protecting more than 1,500 acres, safeguarding a critical water source, and driving two impressive trail projects.

OSI’s year of conserving the Catskills began just a short ride from the city of Kingston, with the protection of a 208-acre property linking two sections of the Bluestone Wild Forest: Jockey Hill to the east and Onteora Lake to the west.

Then, OSI worked with partners, including Woodstock Land Conservancy and bicycle advocacy group Fats in the Cats to build a two-mile trail on the newly protected land, connecting existing trails within the forest, before transferring the property to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as an addition to Bluestone.

“First we linked the properties and then we linked the trails,” says Tom Gravel, who oversees OSI’s conservation projects in the Catskills. “Together, these projects are creating a first-class destination for mountain bikers, walkers, and hikers.”

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