Mountainkeeper is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the Catskill Park and Forest Preserves, the crown jewel of our region and one of the largest and most ecologically diverse natural areas in the East. The Park contains the headwaters of some of the cleanest rivers in New York State, and is one of only 10 areas in the eastern United States that contains over 50,000 acres of wilderness.
Catskill Park Coalition
In 2013, Mountainkeeper co-founded the Catskill Park Coalition, which is working to protect and enhance the Park; strengthen the recreation-based economy of the communities surrounding the Park; and ensure that the Park gets its fair share of state resources to preserve its historic, scenic, and ecological integrity. In 2015, Mountainkeeper and our coalition partners helped spur the New York State legislature to approve a first-ever appropriation for the park of $500,000 to fund essential repairs and improvements, and we continue to advocate for increased resources from the state to ensure that these spectacular wild lands are preserved for future generations.
Catskill Visitor Center
Mountainkeeper and our partners helped oversee the planning and construction of the first-ever visitor’s center to be built the Catskill Park—the Congressman Maurice D. Hinchey Catskill Visitor Center. Named after a true environmental hero, this beautiful facility—which opened in 2015—is raising the profile of this iconic park, and enhancing the visitor experience by providing a welcoming space to learn about the region’s abundant natural resources. Along with our friends at the Catskill Center and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, Mountainkeeper is a managing partner of this project, and we are now working to provide staff support and deploy volunteers to work at the center, which is located on 62 beautiful acres in Mount Tremper, New York.
Catskill Park Documentary
In 2014 Mountainkeeper produced Catskill Park, a compelling 13-minute documentary featuring interviews with a diverse array of Catskill fans and experts, including historians, artists, environmentalists, farmers, visitors, and prominent residents like the actress Debra Winger. The voices heard in this film highlight the many extraordinary qualities that make the Catskills unique, and make a powerful case for the need to protect the region’s beauty and natural resources—including the extraordinary watershed that helps provide abundant and pristine water for the New York City metropolitan region. Mountainkeeper is using the film is using to raise awareness and build support for protecting the Park and surrounding region.
Mountainkeeper is working to bolster tourism—the number one economic driver in the Catskills—by promoting our region’s extensive outdoor recreational resources. Mountainkeeper is proud to be a part of the Trailkeeper.org partnership, which has created an interactive website to help people plan their day in the Catskills. Our goal is to make it easier than ever for residents and visitors alike to enjoy our region’s spectacular public trails and locate nearby restaurants, hotels, and other businesses.