The Central Catskills Great Outdoor Experience

Updates and News in the Catskills

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION RELEASES INTERACTIVE MAPPING TOOL FOR WATERSHED RECREATION

Digital mapping tool includes 130,000 acres of recreational access at more than 400 sites

DEP will demonstrate recreation mapper at four public forums in the Catskills, Hudson Valley

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the release of an interactive recreation mapping tool that uses layers of data and maps to help the public find properties that are open for fishing, hiking and other types of outdoor recreation. The digital map, which provides information on City-owned properties that are open for recreation, is now available on DEP’s website by visiting www.nyc.gov/dep/recreation. The map also shows New York State lands such as forest preserve and other accessible areas. DEP will hold a number of public forums this summer to demonstrate the new mapping tool and help outdoor enthusiasts learn about watershed recreation opportunities on City-owned lands in the Catskills and Hudson Valley.

“This easy-to-use mapping tool will help watershed residents and visitors find hundreds of scenic locations that are open for hiking, fishing and other outdoor activities,” DEP Acting Commissioner Steve Lawitts said. “DEP has opened more than 130,000 acres of water and land for public recreation, but that access is only useful if the public can locate the properties and understand the types of recreation that are allowed at each site. This new interactive tool achieves both goals, and it reaffirms our commitment to support tourism and outdoor recreation in the communities that surround our water supply system.”

DEP developed the digital tool by combining maps of recreation areas with data related to parcel size, location, uses allowed on each parcel, and other information. It allows users to interactively explore recreation areas by zooming in to any portion of the Croton, Catskill or Delaware watersheds. Watershed parcels owned by New York City are shaded in blue; forest preserve and other areas owned by New York State are shaded in brown. The map also features icons for fishing access and recreational boat launch areas on City reservoirs. The 10 hiking trails that have been developed on DEP lands, with significant help from nonprofit partners, are also delineated on the map.

Users can click each City-owned parcel to see more information, including the name of the recreation unit, its location by county and road, the types of recreational uses that are allowed, and the state’s wildlife management unit designation for each parcel. Each recreation unit also includes a “more info” link that brings users to a standalone map that includes acreage of the parcel and topographic lines that show its steepness. There are several map views, including ones that provide aerial images, that further help users to learn more about “on the ground” features of the property. The tool was designed to work on computers, cell phones and tablets.

The recreation mapping tool currently includes a total 131,944 acres of City-owned land and water east of the Hudson River in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties, and in Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties in the Catskills. The mapped areas comprise 393 distinct parcels of recreation land totaling 96,113 acres. Those recreation areas range from as small as 6 acres to as large as 3,804 acres. The map also outlines recreational access to 19 reservoirs covering a combined surface area of 35,831 acres.

DEP will participate in several public gatherings this summer to demonstrate the new mapping tool and share information about recreational access on water supply lands and waters. Public sessions scheduled thus far include:

Wednesday, June 29, at the Time and the Valleys Museum, located at 332 Main St., Grahamsville, NY 12740. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, July 6 at the Catskill Interpretive Center in Mount Tremper, located at 5096 State Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY 12457. The event will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 7 at the Catskill Watershed Corporation office, located at 905 Main St., Margaretville, NY 12455. The event will begin at 6 p.m.
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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

New York Free Fishing Clinics and Days

Free Fishing Clinics

June is a busy time for free fishing clinics in New York with over 25 scheduled clinics. At free fishing clinics, participants can fish for free; no freshwater fishing license or enrollment in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry is required. In addition to fishing, participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. It’s the perfect opportunity to try fishing for the first time.

Free Fishing Clinics for the week of June 6 through June 12 are:

County Location Date/Rain Date
New York Central Park (Harlem Meer), Manhattan April 1 – November 30, 2016
Kings Prospect Park, Brooklyn June-November (Thursdays-Sundays)
Columbia Henry Hudson Waterfront Park (Hudson River), Hudson 6/8/16
Erie Tifft Nature Preserve (Lake Kirsty), Buffalo 6/11/16
Ulster Woodstock Dike (Ashokan Reservoir), Hurley 6/12/16
Visit our Free Fishing Clinics webpage for more details on these and other upcoming Free Fishing Clinics.

Free Fishing Days

June 25-26, 2016, is Free Fishing Weekend in NY. November 11, 2016 has also been designated as a Free Fishing Day. During these days, anyone can fish the fresh or marine waters of NY and no license is required! It the perfect opportunity to introduce someone to the sport of fishing.

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DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ENCOURAGES COLLEGE STUDENTS TO APPLY FOR WATERSHED INTERNSHIPS

Twenty-one watershed internships available for science, engineering and other fields of study

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Friday encouraged college students to apply for one of 21 summer internships at offices throughout the watershed. The vast majority of these opportunities are paid internships in the fields related to science and engineering. Those accepted into the summer internship program will have the chance to work alongside scientists, engineers, planners and other professionals who help run the water supply for the largest city in the United States.

“Our summer internship program is a great opportunity for college students to explore their field of study by working alongside world-class engineers and scientists who operate, maintain and protect New York City’s water supply,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “I encourage college students from the watershed and surrounding regions to apply for these excellent internships.”

The intern positions available include summer work associated with upstate water quality laboratories, water quality field operations, engineering, wastewater facilities, community water connections, wildlife biology, natural resources, stormwater management, and science and research. The internships are located at DEP’s offices in Delaware, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties.

Information about these internships, including online applications, can be found on the DEP website at: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/job_opportunities/icims_internships.shtml.

Prospective interns are encouraged to carefully read the qualifications for each job to determine whether they meet the enrollment, GPA, coursework and other requirements. Candidates must submit applications by April 1.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

FEBRUARY 12 UNTIL FEBRUARY 15 – JOIN IN THE GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT
Bird-watchers worldwide will flock to parks and backyards this Presidents’ Day weekend to record the winter whereabouts of millions of birds.
Their efforts are part of the Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual avian census that asks amateur and expert ornithologists to contribute bird sightings to a massive online database.
This citizen science project is run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies of Canada. It is currently in its 19th year and will last from Feb. 12 until Feb. 15.
Last year more than 140,000 people from more than 100 countries classified nearly half of the world’s bird types during the four-day event. Included in the 5,090 different species identified in 2015 were two new bird species, the Millpo tapaculo and Santa Marta screech-owl, which had never before been described in a scientific journal.

DEC ANNOUNCES $600,000 IN SMART GROWTH GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR ADIRONDACK AND CATSKILL PARK COMMUNITIES

Funds to Support Recreation and Economic Growth while Protecting the Environment

            Adirondack and Catskill Park communities and organizations can now apply for $600,000 in Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants for smart growth projects, State Department of Environmental Conservation Acting Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today.  These grants support the implementation of priority projects including economic development, infrastructure enhancements and other initiatives to bolster the regions communities and organizations.

“Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership, New York State has seen increased visitation and tourism spending in the Adirondack and Catskill regions,” Acting Commissioner Seggos said.  “These smart growth grants will help communities in these treasured areas further cultivate and expand sustainable tourism efforts and improve quality of life with attractions, accommodations and infrastructure.”

DEC’s Smart Growth Implementation Grant Program promotes projects that combine economic development with protection of the natural and built environment. Under Governor Cuomo’s direction, Adirondack and Catskill communities identified and developed smart growth plans for their regions, and this funding is used to catalyze their implementation. The funding includes $400,000 dedicated to the Adirondack Park and $200,000 to Catskill Park. 

The two separate official Requests for Application (RFAs) are available through the NYS Grants Gateway (www.grantsgateway.ny.gov).  DEC is also sending the RFA to more than 130 units of local governments and non-profit organization in the Parks.  DEC is again partnering with the Department of State and the Adirondack Park Agency in carrying out the program, building on the success of previous rounds of funding that focused on planning and implementation projects.

The Adirondack Park is America’s largest publicly protected area in the country.  Unlike most traditional parks, the landscape within Adirondack Park is composed of about 50 percent private lands.  It is home to 130,000 permanent residents, more than 115 municipal governments and dozens of hamlets that help define the character and culture of the park.  Under Governor Cuomo, New York State’s commitment to the Adirondack Park has never been stronger. 

Previous grants to Adirondack communities improved cultural amenities, enhanced downtowns, refurbished historic properties and created new recreational trail connections to attract and sustain tourism.  This new grant will build upon work already completed in the area and tackle new projects recognized as regional priorities by Adirondack residents and regional organizations in the Common Ground Alliance and the Adirondack Partnership.

The Catskill Park was created in the early 20th Century to protect this mountainous and scenic region.  It is also home to a portion of the New York City Reservoir system which delivers pure water to millions of New Yorkers daily.  At 705,000 acres, almost half of which are “forever wild” lands of the Catskill Forest Preserve, the Catskill Park is known as a superb tourist and outdoor recreation destination with picturesque hamlets nestled within its lofty mountains. The park serves as a watershed, recreation area, and ecological and scenic reserve. 

The Catskill Park Smart Growth Implementation Grants provide support for projects that enable Catskill communities to capitalize on their unique natural setting to improve community livability and economic vitality.  Communities and local non-profit organizations are well-positioned to implement regional priorities such as rail trail development, tourism accommodation and renewal of historic hamlets consistent with protecting the Park’s environment and enhancing recreational access. This is the third round of implementation grants in the Catskill Park.  The first two rounds supported projects that provided informational signage and kiosks, enhanced parks and public spaces, adapted and re-used historic buildings and created recreational trails through the countryside.

The deadline for both applications is February 12, 2016, by COB. DEC anticipates announcing grant awards in April 2016.

 

FROST VALLEY INTRODUCES NEW DISC GOLF COURSE FEATURING UNIQUE, CHALLENGING, & BEAUTIFUL LAYOUT

Designed by Renowned Course Creator John Houck of HouckDesign

 CONTACT: Amanda Hinski, Director of Marketing and Communications

TEL: (845) 985-2291 x 383  EMAIL: AHinski@FrostValley.org

Frost Valley YMCA is excited to announce the opening of a new disc golf course designed by the award-winning John Houck of HouckDesign. The course, which is listed by the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association), was home to the recent Catskills Classic, a two-day disc golf tournament that took place over the weekend of October 3-4. The tournament brought approximately 25 players of varying skill levels to the Catskills. The same day, Frost Valley hosted workshops led by Houck on course design.

Disc golf is very similar to regular golf, but instead of hitting golf balls, players throw discs of varying weights and design in an attempt to land them in a basket at or below par. The Frost Valley course, which was designed to have minimal impact on its surrounding environment, features 18 holes in a fun and challenging layout that leads players through the scenic woods of the Catskills.

“We are very excited to be able to introduce a sport that is rapidly up and coming,” says Frost Valley’s Director of Operations Tom Holsapple. “This course is designed to be enjoyed by players of varying experience, from pros, to beginners, to individuals with disabilities.”

The course’s creation was made possible thanks to generous funding by the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust and can accommodate players of virtually any ability, from children with disabilities to lifelong, expert disc golfers. According to course designer John Houck: “The place and the people are just incredible. I’m not even sure what words I can use to describe the property, other than spectacular.”

More information about the course, including details on memberships, day rates, and rules, can be found at FrostValley.org or by calling 845-985-2291 ext. 217

About Frost Valley YMCA

Frost Valley YMCA is a values-driven organization that fosters youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility through outdoor educational and recreational programs for all. Located in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, Frost Valley provides year-round access to nature and fun through programs such as summer camp, adventure trips, farm camp, equestrian programs, group and family retreats, school trips, teambuilding and more. Frost Valley is guided in this pursuit by its core values which serve as pathways for guests as they bond with nature and each other: Caring, Community, Diversity, Honesty, Inclusiveness, Respect, Responsibility, and Stewardship.

 

Two Great Outdoor Experiences for You and Your Family on Saturday, September 19

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 19, CATSKILL RECREATION CENTER ANNOUNCES CYCLING CHALLENGE

Cyclists will gather from near and far to take a spin on the roads of Delaware County during the Catskill Mountain Cycling Challenge with five routes, from 11 to 103 miles, and offering rides with for a wide range of abilities and interests. Those taking the challenge will be pedaling for a good cause – The Catskill Recreation Center’s Youth Scholarship Fund.

“We’re working to offer a diversity of events and programs that appeal to different interests in the greater community,” said Becky Manning, CRC’s Executive Director. Lucci Kelly, CRC board member and leader of the Catskill Mountain Cycling Club, added, “We decided to return to the five-route format this year and target the needs of our area’s youth.” The CRC Youth Scholarship Fund is being created to allow local youth, who may not have the opportunity otherwise, to obtain a membership at the CRC, take swim lessons, join the CRC swim club, or take a lifeguarding class.”

All riders will receive a t-shirt and lunch and may use the CRC facilities at no charge. Family members of riders are offered a discounted rate for use of the CRC, which includes an indoor pool and a fully equipped exercise room. Entry fees for all rides are $40 through the 18th; and $45 on the 19th. For more information, including registration and detailed route information, please visit http://catskillrecreationcenter.org/catskill-mountain-cycling-challenge/ or call (845) 586-6250.

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION TO HOST THIRD ANNUAL FAMILY FISHING DAY AT ASHOKAN RESERVOIR 

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today that it will host the third annual Family Fishing Day at Ashokan Reservoir on Sept. 19. The event is being co-sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which will supply fishing poles and bait to those who do not have their own. As part of the “I Fish NY Program,” the New York State fishing license requirement is waived for adults who would like to participate in this event. In addition, DEP and DEC staff will be available to teach beginners how to fish. Ashokan Reservoir is home to many different species of fish, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, yellow and white perch, yellow and brown bullhead, sunfish, and trout.

“This event at Ashokan Reservoir has become an annual favorite, attracting dozens of families from the watershed and the five boroughs of New York City,” DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd said. “World-class fishing in the Catskills has lured people to visit these rolling mountains and their pristine waters for more than a century. By hosting events such as Family Fishing Day, DEP hopes to support tourism in the region, and help expose the next generation of anglers to the Catskills’ proud heritage of outdoor recreation.”

Family Fishing Day at Ashokan Reservoir is part of Ulster County Creek Week, which encourages the enjoyment of water and watersheds throughout the county. The weeklong series of events includes stream walks, kayak/canoe tours, interpretive hikes, informational workshops and more. Additional information about Creek Week can be found at the event’s website by clicking here.

The event will happen from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Woodstock Dike on Ashokan Reservoir. A parking lot at the dike is located on a gravel driveway off Route 28, just east of the West Hurley Post Office. A sign will be posted at the end of the driveway to help participants find the lot. If adults do not have a free DEP access permit, applications will be available on the day of the event, or a permit can easily be obtained and printed online by going to the DEP website at: nyc.gov/dep/accesspermit. More information can also be obtained by calling DEP at (800) 575-LAND.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook atfacebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

Ann Roberti Kayak

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About carolobeirne

Director of the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce Coordinator for the Enhanced Recreational Opportunities to the East Branch of the Delaware Stream corridor which runs from Grand Gorge in the Town of Roxbury to the Pepacton Reservoir

2 comments on “Updates and News in the Catskills

  1. M Burnham
    August 22, 2014

    This looks like fun! Do you have more specific information on the bicycling or paddling events?

    • carolobeirne
      August 6, 2015

      Check out events updates listed today. Also keep looking as we add additional fall events.

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This entry was posted on August 8, 2013 by in Uncategorized.

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