Campaign for the Mohonk Preserve
The Mohonk Preserve is New York’s largest non-profit nature preserve, faithfully protecting the Shawangunk Mountains since 1963. It is a place where humans and nature come together and where respect for the natural world is cultivated through inspirational environmental education, world-class conservation research, and the steadfast protection and stewardship of a unique landscape.
Today, the Preserve is preparing for the next 50 years and beyond by embarking on a fundraising initiative that will tackle the challenges we currently face, make the most of new opportunities, and ensure that the Preserve is sustainable and vital well into the 21st century.
There are many vistas, fragile habitats, and ridge lands adjacent to Mohonk Preserve that are not yet protected and are vulnerable to incompatible development. We have the rare opportunity to acquire contiguous properties totaling more than 1,400 acres. These properties will be managed and conserved to protect and enhance the Preserve in perpetuity.
Prompt restoration and consistent maintenance of the historic Carriage Road System are essential to accommodate the large and increasing number of visitors to the Preserve while safeguarding the natural communities of plants and wildlife.
Visitation has increased dramatically in the past decade, but our tools for educating the general public and inspiring them to support our mission have not kept pace. Improvements to our Visitor Center are needed to introduce visitors to our lands and our mission far more effectively; to increase accessibility for the disabled to meet current standards; and improve ranger facilities.
A more robust endowment is essential for us to plan strategically for the long term; conduct the scientific research that underpins our plans and decisions; maintain a facility that meets our requirements and the needs of our public; and provide the flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges and opportunities.
The Preserve has determined that no less than $5.5 million is required over the next three to five years. This is almost half of the $12 million in estimated needs for the coming decade. Through careful planning based on our long experience of land preservation, on solid research, and on fiscal responsibility, we have identified four urgent needs that must be addressed now:
- Acquiring contiguous land identified as high priority for preservation;
- Rebuilding 8 miles of the historic Shawangunk Carriage Roads;
- Enhancing the visitor experience with improvements to educational interpretive exhibits, access for the disabled, and ranger facilities; and
- Building the endowment for the future.