Letters from Anne Rhoads, PhD, Executive Director and
Alexandra van Horne, President of the Board of Directors
It has been an eventful several months at the Huyck Preserve. Now, perhaps more than ever, our work and this beautiful place take on added importance. Letters from Anne Rhoads, PhD, Executive Director and Alexandra van Horne, President of the board of directors explain why.
The board is pleased to announce that Dan McNamee was made Honorary Director at our January 2020 board meeting. Dan served as a Director of the Huyck Preserve since 1986, was Treasurer for many years, and managed the Preserve’s endowment. We thank him for his many years of service.
A Generous Gift of Land Expands Preserve, Increases Watershed Protection
In February, the Huyck Preserve received a generous gift from a member in the form of a beautiful, 23-acre parcel adjacent to existing Preserve land. The property, located off Pond Hill Road in Rensselaerville, is an important addition to the Preserve as we continue to meet our conservation goals. We are very grateful and honored to be entrusted with the protection of this land.
Huyck Preserve’s Biological Field Station - 80-Year Milestone Celebrated
A joyous, thought-provoking celebration on November 2nd was the capstone event for the commemoration of eight decades of field research at the Huyck Preserve. The day brought research alumni, current researchers, educators, students, and the public together in a day spent celebrating our accomplishments and planning the next phase of science at the Preserve.
Introducing Garrett Chisholm, Stewardship Coordinator
Q&A on New Conservation Role at the Preserve
Garrett Chisholm joined the Preserve's staff in January and took on the role of Stewardship Coordinator. Garrett brings experience in trail work, invasive species management, and land mapping and has hit the ground running applying his skills to his work at the Preserve. We're so glad he's here!
The Vernal Equinox Marks an Annual Change in Birds at the Huyck Preserve
Virginia Carter, Member and Local Birding Enthusiast
With spring comes an influx of migrating birds; some are passing through and some will stay. The range of ecological communities at the Huyck Preserve support an equally diverse array of birds. Knowing which species are on the move and when prepares us to not only watch and listen for them, but also to appreciate these spring migratory birds at the Huyck Preserve and surrounding areas when they arrive, and to revel in their annual movements and requirements for survival.
State-of-the-Art Weather Station at Eldridge Research Center
Andrei Lapenas, PhD and George Robinson, PhD
For many people, their immediate interest in weather can be summarized as, “high, low, and how much snow?” But, for many of the Huyck Preserve’s researchers and other users who are interested in natural systems, questions about weather are deeper and the answers more significant. The impact of weather fluctuations on the activities and behaviors of organisms - from birds to trees - are often at the heart of researchers’ inquiries. Today, thanks to a partnership with the University of Albany, and the support of a generous Preserve member as well as several board members, the Huyck Preserve has a new, state-of-the-art weather monitoring tool. This will greatly aid scientists studying specific flora and fauna, and offer an enhanced ability to detect significant changes in climate relevant to the Preserve and its natural systems.
Michelle DePace, Member and Volunteer
Membership Moments is a new section of the Myosotis Messenger. In this edition, we hear from Michelle DePace and learn about what inspired her strong connection to the Preserve.
Susan Cunningham, Member and Volunteer
Huyck Highlight is another new feature of our newsletter. This short piece introduces readers to a person who plays an important role at the Preserve, whether they are a member, board member, staff, scientist, or volunteer. Here, we spotlight Susan Cunningham, who has given endless hours in support of our education programs, office projects, and events.
Susan is a long-time resident of Westerlo, NY. She joined the Huyck Preserve in June 2018 and began attending many of our seasonal events. As a former educator whose own three children are grown, Susan is happiest in her garden, with her grandchildren, and involved in her community. Her enthusiasm for community engagement extends across multiple groups including the Rensselaerville Library and Conkling Hall. She started volunteering for the Preserve in the fall of 2018, mostly helping in the office. Last spring, she generously offered her help with spring school field trips and stayed on through the summer for our Thursday Night Lecture Series and our Nature Study program. Susan’s experience as a teacher’s aide in the Greenville Elementary School and her natural ease with children made her an invaluable part of our education team. When we experienced a transition in staffing in the office, Susan stepped-in with her can-do attitude and positive, cheerful energy. She worked part-time during the summer and fall, playing an instrumental role in the administrative preparations and onsite management for our Annual Benefit and then again for our 80th Anniversary Research Celebration. Now, she is back to volunteering. When asked what her favorite part of volunteering at the Preserve is, Susan said, “I love working with the staff.” The feeling is mutual, Susan!
Photos of the Preserve
Souvenirs of Winter
Looking Ahead to Spring and Summer at the Preserve
We have prepared another calendar full of fun and engaging events this spring and summer. Due to COVID-19 concerns, events remain subject to delay or cancellation, but we are hopeful we'll be able to gather together before too long. Please stay-tuned to our website for updates on the status of our programs.
Summer Education Programs
Before we know it, summer will be upon us! We hope the Preserve's operations will be back up-and-running in time for a full summer of learning together. We know how important our K-12 education programs are to you and your children, and they are to us, too! In many ways, they are the lifeblood of our season. Stay informed about our summer education programs by visiting our website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our annual membership renewal mailing will be arriving by email this month. Paper copies will be available when we return to our offices after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. You rely on us for quiet contemplation, outdoor recreation, and more, and we rely on your support. Thank you for all you do to make what we do possible.