Mission: The mission of mianus river gorge, an independent, not-for-profit organization is to preserve, protect and promote appreciation of the natural heritage of the mianus river watershed through land acquisition and conservation, scientific research and public education
Programs: Land acquisition consists of activities associated with land protection within the mianus river watershed via purchase, conservation easement or working with local government boards to foster responsible development. Activities are conducted primarily by the executive director and the board of trustees and include adding land and conservation easements to expand the mianus river gorge as well as protecting other critical land throughout the watershed that affect water quality and quantity in the mianus river (a drinking water supply for 130,000 people).
research and education: to properly fulfill its mission to protect the unique resources of the gorge and the mianus river watershed, the mrg continues its tradition of research-based management. The complexity and interconnectedness of ecological systems requires that all research efforts be coordinated and complimentary. To that end, the mrg has established a long-term research program that attracts young minds to tackle difficult ecological questions and focuses their efforts toward the ultimate goal of better management practices. To effectively manage the delicate and unique ecosystems within the gorge, we undertake scientific research to: 1) provide answers to difficult ecological questions associated with the impact of the encroaching suburban environment 2) aid in the development of strategies to mitigate such influences and, 3) provide a library of information that can be shared with other preserves, wildlife refuges, botanical preserves that might be struggling with similar land management issues. In this way, the gorge is an invaluable proving ground for innovative management solutions that have an impact well beyond the boundaries of the gorge. Activities revolve around three key programs: the research assistantship program (rap), the wildlife technician program (wtp) and the college intern program in suburban ecology (cise). The research assistantship program (rap) offers funding for graduate-level research in the fields of ecology, wildlife biology, and conservation biology. Rap is part of a larger effort by our staff and local biologists to better understand how to manage and restore the native biodiversity of suburban preserves. Each rap recipient receives a yearly stipend (thanks to support from the a e charitable trust) of $7,000 toward a specific project addressing some major ecological question that needs to be answered to properly manage the gorge. Each rap recipient is also required to mentor a high school student in our wtp program in designing and conducting their three-year research project. Wildlife technician program (wtp) our wildlife technician program uses high school students from westchester and fairfield counties to expand our research activities and provide more informed management and restoration decisions. The wtp is a competitive internship program selecting sophomore-level high school students from westchester, ny to work alongside mrg staff, graduate students, and professional partners on independent, multi-year ecological research projects. The program has been designed to complement the state university of new york science research in the high school (srhs) curriculum and provides access to scientific mentors, hands-on field experience, and immersion into real-world conservation problems facing suburban ecosystems. This program provides each student with a broad exposure to the field of ecological research as well as a chance to complete a specific student-designed research project. Each student is paired with a mentor, either a graduate research assistant or a staff ecologist, to oversee and counsel the student as he/she devises and conducts his/her individual course of study. Students also have access to advisors from scientific institutions throughout the area if they need additional resources beyond those at the gorge. Our goal with this program is to pursue cutting-edge research that is necessary to preserve the delicate resources of the gorge while simultaneously training a new generation of scientists. We hope they also gain a deeper understanding of our natural resources and a life-long appreciation for the intricacies and rewards of scientific research. The college intern program in suburban ecology (cise) offers internships to undergraduate students to students to study a variety of issues facing suburban preserves. Students work with staff and rap and wtp students.
stewardship programs encompass all those land management activities associated with maintaining the gorge for public use including trail construction and repair, protection of the gorge's boundaries, control of invasive species, and on-going inventory and monitoring of all wildlife populations, beyond those associated with the research and education program. Stewardship activities keep the gorge viable and ecologically intact despite its location in suburbia and proximity to new york city and other large metropolitan areas.
Mianus River Gorge Preserve is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means Mianus River Gorge Preserve meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Mianus River Gorge Preserve has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.