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COVID-19 Update from Mohonk Preserve

(March 27, 2020)

A Message from Mohonk Preserve Board Chair Russ Clune

We know that many of you turn to nature for refuge and we deeply regret that Mohonk Preserve is temporarily closed. This is one of the most difficult moments in the Preserve’s 57-year history, but we fully support Governor Cuomo’s directive for New Yorkers to stay at home to protect public health.

We realize that this is an unprecedented action, but these are unprecedented times. As always, the health and safety of our staff and visitors are our highest priorities and this temporary closure is a critical component of our response to the escalating COVID-19 pandemic.

Beyond the state mandate, congestion points like trailheads, parking areas and traditional gathering spots on the Preserve were becoming unsafe for both the visiting public and staff. Despite the Preserve’s best efforts to manage entry and maintain healthy social distancing practices, the volume of visitation was outpacing the organization’s capacity to safely welcome people on the land. We were also concerned about the potential for accidents that would further challenge overburdened local rescue and healthcare personnel.

Across the country, many of our fellow recreation destinations are taking similar actions to curb visitation, including over two dozen major rock-climbing destinations such as Joshua Tree and Yosemite National Park. Agencies such as the Appalachian Trail Conference, the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition are all actively discouraging long-distance and day hikes on their trails.

We look forward to inviting members and visitors back to the Preserve as soon as it is safe to do so and will extend all Preserve memberships for at least a month--and possibly longer--depending on the length of the closure.

Until then, we encourage everyone to enjoy nature in their own neighborhoods. We are sharing ideas for family activities from our Education team here and on our Mohonk Preserve Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Special thanks to all of our members, volunteers, visitors and supporters. Please know the Preserve’s board and staff remain committed to our mission to protect the lands in our care and the people who love them.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support through a horrendously difficult time.

Russ Clune
Mohonk Preserve Board Chair

 

We have implemented the following operational changes to help mitigate the community spread of COVID-19 and protect our staff, members and visitors:

  • As of Monday, March 23, 2020, Mohonk Preserve lands are temporarily closed to the public until further notice
  • Our Visitor Center is closed to the public until further notice
  • All programs are suspended until further notice
  • For more information about Rock The Ridge, click here. For more information about Bridge-2-Bridge, click here.
  • We will be providing updated public information on this page and at www.mohonkpreserve.org/visit regarding any changes

Again, thank you for your continued support of our mission. All of us at Mohonk Preserve are so grateful to our visitors, members, volunteers, supporters, and local community. We truly are all in this together.

Following please find links to additional resources for information about COVID-19: 

Mohonk Preserve Temporary Closure FAQ

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  
NYS Dept. of Health  
Ulster County Government  

Photos: Banner photo by Stephen D. Stewart-Hill; Hike by Jane Vecchione; Bike by Renee Zernitsky; Climb by Tom Weiner; Horseback Ride by Renee Zernitsky; Run by Tom Weiner; Ski/Snowshoe by Tom Weiner