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Mohonk Preserve Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Primary & Elementary Schools, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: The mohonk preserve's mission is to protect the shawangunk mountains region and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world. The mohonk preserve, inc. Manages and preserves land in the northern shawangunks for the enjoyment and education of the public and advocates environmental responsibility in its own region and throughout the world.

Programs: Environmental education - stimulates understanding and excitement about nature. We serve over 11,000 children and adults each year through our award-winning, innovative outdoor education programs for students, campers, and the public.

land stewardship - balances the protection of land, wildlife, and natural resources with opportunities for world-class recreation. We maintain over 8,000 acres of protected property and help provide a safe, participatory experience in nature for our visitors.

conservation science - creates a "living laboratory" on the land. Our daniel smiley research center uses the latest conservation science techniques, along with legacy natural history data, to monitor and manage the diverse ecosystems on the ridge.

land protection - saves high priority land on and around the shawangunk ridge through strategic acquisitions and conservation easements. In collaboration with our neighbors and partners, we protect key recreational areas, fragile habitats, and scenic viewsheds identified in the new york state open space conservation plan and or other public plans. Special events - various events held throughout the year benefiting all programs.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past 30 years, I've been a volunteer, member, researcher, and consultant for the Mohonk Preserve. Since its inception, the Preserve's primary mission has been to protect the northern Shawangunks for future generations, and I'm proud to have played a small part in forwarding this critical work. On a personal level, the Preserve has been a major influence in helping me achieve my late-in-life career as a local history author and lecturer. The staff of all departments has been very supportive of my own work, which has happily resulted in treasured friendships near and far. The Shawangunk Mountains have been named a "Last Great Place" on earth. For me and many others, the Preserve is a "First Great Place" for the work it does! Happy trails, Robi Josephson

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a climber at Mohonk for 40 years now and feel so fortunate to have this incredible place to climb and to have in my backyard. The Mohonk Preserve is a tremendous gift to all of us; the staff has done an incredible job of maintaining the area, protecting the landscape, doing scientific research, educating thousands of kids about the importance of the natural world--truly great work.
The reason i chose to make my life here is because of the Mohonk Preserve. I have never regretted a moment of that decision.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been visiting the Mohonk Preserve since I was a child and have many wonderful and formative memories attached to this beautiful area of the Gunks. Over the last 13 years as principal of an elementary school I have had the opportunity to take hundreds of students on educational field trips to the preserve property. I have watched them develop enduring memories from experiences in this wonderful outdoor classroom. We have had the opportunity to involve our students alongside other dedicated volunteers to provide trail maintenance to the many trails on the MP property. The staff at the Preserve has been accommodating and always helpful when it comes to children and their involvement with the MP, making education in nature so wholesome and inspiring, and instilling in the children of today the importance of conservation. Thank you to all at the Mohonk Preserve for what you do to preserve the beauty of this amazing natural resource for future generations.

Donato Meier

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a professional partner and a supporter of the Mohonk Preserve for several years now. I can assure you that when you donate land or money to the Preserve, they will make certain that it is used to conserve property. I know first-hand that they have gone to great lengths and have succeeded in defending the property for which they are responsible. They truly understand and believe in fulfilling their duty to the public to ensure that certain land remains conserved.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Mohonk Preserve is the largest non-profit nature preserve in the state of New York. It protects the northern section of the unique and beautiful Shawangunk Mountains located between the Hudson River valley and the Catskill Mountains. The Mohonk Preserve does an excellent job of fulfilling its mission in terms of land stewardship, conservation of unique ecosystems, recreation (rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking, etc.), and education (hosting many school groups and summer camps focused on the environment). I have been a Life Member of the Mohonk Preserve for many years, and I have seen plenty of evidence of the integrity of this outstanding non-profit organization. Their annual financial reports show a history of stellar fiscal responsibility. I live in Ohio, so I don't get to visit the Mohonk Preserve as often as I'd like to, but I enjoy a visit at least once a year and always look forward to once again hiking at this beautiful nature preserve. Regardless of distance, I remain a regular donor to the Mohonk Preserve, and I find it to be an organization which is very worthy of my support.

Review from Guidestar

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been visiting the "Gunks" for over 30 years. During that time we were so impressed with the Smiley Family land conservation ethic that we decided to look into the Mohonk Preserve (MP). We have been members of the MP, now Life Members, and regular donors for probably 20 years. The level of commitment and professionalism shown by the staff and volunteers is amazing.
The MP faces, meets and balances its challenges of protecting the land, doing research, being a conscientious community neighbor, providing access and, education We would not be Life Members and donors if we did not have first hand knowledge of the integrity and passion with with the MP pursues its mission.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a long-time "user" of the Mohonk Preserve before I decided to become a Life Member. It was a large commitment, but in the years since, I have never regretted my investment in this most valued treasure and resource of the Mid-Hudson Valley community. There are many worthy organizations dedicated to preserving the natural environment of our area that add to our quality of life, and that are deserving of similar commitments, but I chose to ally myself, for life, with the Mohonk Preserve because I got to know the people who run it, from bottom to top. I have seen unparalleled commitment to mission and purpose, and to serving the visitors to the Preserve and the environment selflessly. I work with one of the committees of the Preserve, and am regularly witness to the intense focus given to ensuring that each decision is carried out ethically and with careful review of potential outcomes and impacts beforehand, and follow up review afterward. From the volunteers to the rangers to in-house staff on up through the Executive Director, Boards and Committees, the Preserve carries out its declared mission with a rigorously high standard that has generated unprecedented support from the local community and the several municipal bodies in which the Preserve sits. As an attorney who has counseled many non-profit organizations, The Preserve is, in my opinion, the gold standard in not-for-profit governance.

Review from Guidestar

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so lucky to have the Mohonk Preserve in my backyard. There is no greater privilege than to be a member and explore the thousands of acres that the Preserve cares for and makes available for hiking, bird watching and getting in touch with nature and family. Their educational programs bring children from both rural and urban schools to an appreciation and understanding of what an ecosystem is and how we are all connected. And when there is a new project or trail, the Preserve holds extensive information meetings with the community so we understand exactly what is being planned. The Preserve is a model for stewardship, environmental education and getting people outside.

Review from Guidestar

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a lifelong visitor of the Mohonk Preserve it is hard to believe there is a single negative opinion of this incredibly beautiful and wild place. I attended their Camp Peregrine summer program as a child and it without a doubt was the primary transformative experience in nature that has resulted in a career of my own in land conservation. How lucky the community of New Paltz, the entire state of New York as well as those who travel from all over the world are to have the opportunity to experience the wonder that is the Mohonk Preserve. If not for the continued dedication of this organization to the protection of the Shawangunk Ridge and availability of it to the public, who knows what kind of horrific development could have occurred atop the ridge. Thank you, Mohonk Preserve for all you do to keep the land open and available for past, present, and future generations.

Review from Guidestar

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been intimately involved in and on the lands of what is now the Mohonk Preserve for 60 years , since when it was part of the Mohonk Mountain House. My land abuts and is pleasantly surrounded by Preserve property. I probably average two visits a day /365 days a year. I hunt, climb, hike, XC ski , BC ski, snowshoe , mountain bike and strive to protect the lands in concert with the incredibly well administered and most ameliorative access policy of any lands on this planet. The nearby Catskill State Forests and Minnewaska State Park and Ashokan Reservoir lands are vastly bureaucratically inconveniently over regulated by comparison and , especially if one considers that NYState tax money goes to the administration of these state lands, far more expensive than access to the Mohonk Preserve. There is a Clove Road neighbor who constantly disparages the Preserve , manifesting incessantly a Trump like prototypical attack - cheating the preserve, attributing to the Preserve incorrectly exactly what evils he has manifested. this Clove Rd neighbor has not restrained himself to just attacking the Preserve but has attacked relentlessly other nearby private citizens and their properties in brazen Trumpian fashion AND , as with Trump, when not aggressively confronted has sometimes successfully bullied some into acquiescence. I have in the past spent months, even years , in California, Alaska, British Columbia, Utah, and Wyoming BUT I always found myself , almost religiously returning to Mohonk and surroundings. My life is dedicated to helping the ongoing missions of the Mohonk Presrve and to aggressively opposing all transgressors upon the Preserve. In between these efforts I and my family chill out and enjoy the wonders! Thank you MP.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I have lived in this area for 20 years and have first hand knowledge of how things roll around here. The Mohonk Preserve is expensive and overused. They are a Not for Profit land trust that is straying from their mission. Climbing accidents are at an all time high. For very little pay the Rangers have to risk their lives on a regular basis performing rescues and body recoveries. Wildlife is being terrorized by tourism. Landscapes are getting trampled. Science conservation and education has recently taken the forefront because the park wasn't doing enough and the surrounding towns were about to start making them pay taxes. They are a Not for Profit Real Estate Monopoly riddled with inside land deals, land grabs, and lawsuits. One particular land owner has had 22+ years of continuous lawsuits (ten in all) with the same players. Collusion between Mohonk and their partners is evident. See www.mohonk.info for more. The photos attached show people parking on local roads and trespassing, as well as, parking lots left unattended and negligent. The Preserve is more concerned with attracting more visitors than they are with protecting and conserving land. Eco-tourism is NOT tax exempt so why aren't they paying.

2 Land_Trust_Accreditation_Commission

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Mohonk Preserve is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means Mohonk Preserve meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Mohonk 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.

Review from Guidestar

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a loyal and enthusiastic donor to the Mohonk Preserve since 1972. It has provided a place of respite from my busy workaday life and served as a spectacular destination for my out of town guests. Over the years, my appreciation for the value of the Preserve has only increased. I especially admire their conservation and education programs. If we don't teach our children and grandchildren to value and protect the natural environment, it won't matter what we do ourselves. The Nature Conservancy honored the Shawangunk Ridge by tagging it as one of the "Last Great Places." It truly is a special place and deserves all of our effort to protect it for future generations. I plan to do my part.

5

Donor

Rating: 5

We are Ulster County residents and neighbors of the Mohonk Preserve. We donated property to the Preserve precisely because we have such faith in its stewardship of the acreage it owns and our satisfaction over many years with its conservation ethic. This opinion was formed in over 50+ years of climbing, hiking and nature appreciation at the Preserve.

We are Clove Road owners and residents because the Preserve exists. Without its protection of nearly 8000 acres, development and commercial ventures would have long since destroyed our interest in being here.

b & a angrist

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an ardent member of the Mohonk Preserve since the fall of 1972. During these years, I have hiked, skied, bicycled, rock climbed, and currently volunteer weekly on one of their trail crews. I and my family look forward to many more years of enjoying the wonders of the Shawangunk Ridge now protected by the Mohonk Preserve and it's members, donors, volunteers and staff. The Mohonk Preserve's efforts to educate, protect and preserve insure that we will be able to continue enjoying this significant environmental resource for generations to come.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have lived in the Hudson Valley since 1973. My relationship with the Preserve has involved the following: i hike and snow shoe on Preserve property, my children have been positively impacted through Preserve education programs in the New Paltz school district, my business was the first Business Member supporter of organization . I am a local resident and proud Donor

Review from Guidestar

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a donor whose livelihood is dependent on the Mohonk Preserve. That said, I have spent a tremendous amount of time on the Preserve since the early 1980s and have been impressed with their stewardship of the land as well as the recreational opportunities they offer. I am grateful for their outreach to the residents of surrounding communities and to schools in our region promoting and teaching the ideals that, If embraced, would lead to a better world. A world of beauty, adventure, friendship, community, and shared responsibility.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I'm a land owner that borders Mohonk Preserve. Negative issues that lead many to believe donating to this organization needs a thorough investigation of all law suits, lack of transparency and presented facts by Mohonk Preserve.

.Tax issues with the town of New Paltz.
.High entrance fee per person
.Answers are vague about plans around the townships they have land in
.Over reaching onto private property
.Posting on private property on a regular basis on lands that are not theirs
.Law suits with private land owners on a continual basis
.Bait and switch with OSI and other large land groups
.Inconsistency from leadership (saying one thing and then another)
.Unhappiness with paid staff who feel unable to talk about jobs for fear of loosing positions.
.No Guidestar reporting for years

Please do your homework before donating to this organization. They look VERY good on the outside with incredible adulations, money in the form of grants and donations from people like you and me. The inside is riddled with issues from leadership to rubber stamp board, growing bigger everyday.
Well meant and caring local 501(c)3 seems to have gone astray and turned into a “who cares, I see land and I want it” corporation”!

Review from Guidestar

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been bringing my fourth grade class to Mohonk for education programs for about 12 years. The programs enhance my curriculum in numerous ways, including supporting my students in learning to compare and contrast, to engage in scientific observation and to create hypotheses and test them to reach conclusions. In addition, we attend several hikes throughout the year, and many of my students are visiting the preserve for the first time. My culminating activity for every year is a guided rock scramble that is often a transformative experience for my students!