Wallkill Valley Land Trust’s 9th Annual Houses on the Land Historic House Tour
The Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) announces its 9th annual Houses on the Land historic house tour, Rosendale and Beyond: Reshaping the Land – Farmsteads, Cement Works and Canal Towns. This year’s tour will take place on Saturday, June 1, 2019. It explores the fascinating early history and industrial and cultural heritage of Rosendale and surrounding hamlets - High Falls, Cottekill, Binnewater, Lawrenceville, Bloomington and Eddyville - from its early agrarian Dutch settlements through its evolution into a prosperous industrial boom-town in the nineteenth century, to its recent resurgence as a thriving artistic community. The building of the D & H Canal to transport coal from Pennsylvania to the Hudson River and the discovery of natural “Rosendale” cement, prized for its exceptional durability, and later the Wallkill Valley Railroad, shaped the town and brought international prominence to the area. The day begins with registration and a tour of the beautiful St. Peter’s Catholic Church. Among the other great historic sites open for tour-goers are Century House’s Colonial Revival interiors, a first in years, along with the Historical Society’s Museum, Carriage House and the Widow Jane Mine, as well as the DePuy Canal House, future home of the Historical Society’s D&H Canal Museum. Featured houses are among the area’s most important and interesting vernacular treasures dating from the early 18th to 20th centuries. Highlighted are stone farmhouses, the Greek Revival aesthetic, and Italianate and Colonial Revival expressions of prestige and wealth. This program promises a unique and memorable experience!
Tickets $50 / $45 members by May 30; $55 / $50 members thereafter. Volunteer: Take the tour for free and attend the reception!
Ticket pick-up Day of Tour 10:30 am – 1:30 pm sharp at St. Peter’s Catholic Church,1017 Keator Avenue, Rosendale, NY 12472. Admission includes the reception and wine tasting at a private home. Proceeds to benefit WVLT’s land preservation efforts.
By Shawn Wells
Camping in the deep woods was one of Jack Everton’s favorite things in the world. The big sky up above, the trees growing wild and free and tall, the leaves and twigs and pebbles making an uneven surface that nobody but him had walked across in weeks. Maybe months. Maybe longer.
Animals moved around him in the underbrush. He could hear them scampering here and there through the grass looking for food. It was a couple of hours until sunset, but he already had his campfire going, and his tent set up, and he was already thinking about catching some fish for his dinner. This was going to be a perfect night.
The plastic water bottle crinkled in his hand as he finished the last two swallows. Humming to himself, he tossed it aside.
He wondered what kind of fish there would be in that river. Bass, probably. Maybe some trout. Both of them were out of season but he didn’t care. There was no one around to see him, or judge him, or tell him he was wrong…
Let's go on a mushroom walk and learn about the fungi in the forest and what they are doing. From breaking down dead wood to being the connection for tree communication and nutrient sharing, these fungi play a big part in the health of ecosystems. John Michelotti of Catskill Fungi will talk about the characteristics to identify fungi, their historic uses, health properties, and edibility.
John Michelotti is the founder and devotee of Catskill Fungi whose mission is to empower people with fungi though educational walks and workshops and mushroom health supplements which he produces from mushrooms foraged and grown on and around his family farm in the Catskill Mountains. John is a Former President of the Mid-Hudson Mycological Association (MHMA). He served on the Mushroom Advisory Panel for Certified Naturally Grown to develop ecological standards in mushroom production. His goal is to educate and inspire people to pair with fungi to improve health, communities, and the environment.
Take a leisurely walk with Lynn Bowdery along the meadow and woods paths, noticing the flowering plants along the way. Of course, we can look at and discuss other things that catch our attention. Binoculars can be useful to look at plants as well as birds and insects, so bring them if you wish. Depending on the weather, the paths can be wet or muddy, so wear appropriate shoes and bring your insect repellant of choice. Rain cancels.
Lynn Bowdery has always been fascinated with the outdoor world, slowly learning about plants and animals by walking around looking at things, reading field guides, going on field trips, talking to people, reading magazine articles, looking things up, and generally paying attention. She has for many years done nature-oriented volunteer work for Mohonk Preserve and is a member and volunteer of the John Burroughs Natural History Society. Lynn served WVLT as Land Steward for 13 years, which enabled her to explore many wonderful conserved properties in the course of creating baseline documentation for conservation easements and monitoring those easements.
What bird is making that sound? Are there ways to tell birds apart just by looking at how they fly? Join science teacher and long-time avid birder Chrissy Guarino to learn bird calls, as well as tools for identifying resident and migrating songbirds and waterfowl in the oxbow lake. Bring binoculars if you have them! (Please no pets and no children under seven.) Space is very limited for this walk.
Chrissy has been birding somewhat seriously since about 2004 when her folks brought her on a birding trip to Arizona that she didn’t think she’d find particularly interesting. She didn't expect to see a hummingbird banding station where they let you hold tiny buzzing hummingbirds until they fly off with their shiny new tinfoil bracelets. Soon after, she stumbled and bumbled into a (rare for our area) Sedge Wren in the Harcourt-Nyquist Sanctuary and became hooked on learning all about birds and what's around us! The best part is, she’s happy to say, that she’ll never run out of things to learn from the natural world.
So what are lichens, anyway? Explore some lichens and lichen habitats on Joppenbergh with Lynn Bowdery. Lynn has been trying to learn how to identify some of the lichens common in our region. She will try to share what she has learned about these intriguing creatures found on soil, rocks and trees. We might go off the paths depending on what we want to look at. Wear suitable shoes, and bring a strong magnifier or loupe if you have one. Some can be provided. Rain cancels. (Lynn will also be leading the Wildflowers Walk & Talk on 8/24. You can find her bio, above ^.)
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October 25, 2018
The WVRTA was formed in 1991 to conduct trail maintenance, coordinate activities on the Rail Trail, and manage community outreach and engagement. The WVLT’s Rail TrailCommittee will maintain oversight of the WVLT’s conservation easement and ownership obligations as well as coordinate Rail Trail activities, conduct outreach, and community engagement. Several of the prior members of the WVRTA board have joined the WVLT board and serve on the Rail Trail Committee to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
"This is an exciting time for the Hudson Valley. Rail trails and connectivity are increasing, literally, foot by foot each day. With the absorption of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Association into the Wallkill Valley Land Trust, we can streamline our work while also enhancing efforts to promote and steward this important resource in Ulster County," said WVLT's Executive Director Christie DeBoer.
The WVLT’s team of professional staff will assist with Rail Trail projects and collaborations. With this new Rail Trail Committee, the WVLT also expects to increase volunteer support for the Rail Trail's diverse needs.
Thank you, Sponsors, for standing with conservation!
ULSTER COUNTY, NY (March 2, 2018)—The Open Space Institute (OSI) and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust (WVLT) are announcing the kick-off of improvement work along a 12-mile section of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, the celebrated multi-use recreational trail and linear park connecting Wallkill to Kingston. The initial work will include clearing of overgrown hazard trees and shrubs along the rail trail corridor. The overall improvements will set the stage for including it in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s transformative Empire State Trail, to open in 2020.
Commencing by the in 2019, the clearing work will be donated by volunteers, organizations, local businesses and the Town of Rosendale Highway Department along the Rail Trail in the towns of Rosendale and Ulster, excluding a small quarter-mile section by Williams Lake. Later improvements will be funded by a 2013 NYS Recreational Trails Program grant and a 2017 NYS Environmental Protection Fund grant, both secured by OSI in partnership with WVLT. Private fundraising efforts will provide additional support toward the $750,000 project.