This newly dedicated nature preserve in Greenville, NY, on the east side of the Shawangunk Ridge near Port Jervis is designed by educators, primarily with children in mind. I was one of about 100 people who turned out to support the founders and explore the newly opened trails on 75 privately preserved acres of former farmland. The trails–which total about 1.5 miles at the opening (a couple of additional small segments remain to be built)–meander between the small Rutgers Creek and another smaller stream that traverse the property. The property was owned and conserved by Paul and Mary F-Brandwein for the purpose of being developed (modestly) as a site for outdoor science education for children. Attendees included the superintendents and teachers from two school districts, rangers from the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, neighbors, and others.
I joined a walk on the trails guided by the man who laid them out: Jerry Schierloh (pictured here). The trails seek out and follow along varied edges–typically richly diverse ecological areas–between meadow and forest, wetland and upland, first succession and older succession areas for example. Even a powerline. It’s a lovely site and one hopes that schools have the resources to make field trips to it. Brandwein has relevant lesson plans available on their website.