Middletown

The new hunter-gatherers: Foraging in the Catskills

Above: An Autumn Olive (Wildberry) Mojito. Photo courtesy of Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower. Make your own with the recipe at the bottom of this story.

Foraging for food that grows wild has long been a hobby for nature lovers out walking in the woods. But increasingly, more people are doing what their primitive ancestors did: picking up their spades and baskets and searching out edible flowers, leaves, roots, shoots, nuts and berries.

Left: Dina Falconi, a Catskills forager. 

Two upstate women—Dina Falconi and Marguerite Uhlmann-Bower—are leading the march into the forests and meadows. According to them, there’s plenty of free food out there for the picking; you just need to know what to look for.

Falconi, a Marbletown resident who grew up in New York City, has been steeped in the world of wild-plant identification, foraging and cooking for 30 years now. But growing up, she had no idea what was waiting out in the woods.  Read more

Follow Your Dream: Live-Work-Create in Charming Andes Hamlet

Own a piece of Andes History! This stately village Victorian was built in 1878 by Edward C. Chace and lovingly restored by the current owners. Home to Chase Randall Gallery, this property located on the Main Street of Andes has high visibility and is a popular destination for locals and tourists. Ground floor features large formal rooms with gallery lighting and wood floors. No details overlooked in the pristine restoration. Downstairs also has full bath and kitchen hook-ups. Upstairs has 2100 square feet with 3 bedrooms, full bath, country kitchen, dining room, and lovely finished attic space with skylights. Charming original details abound, period light fixtures, wood floors and wainscoting and pass-through pine hutch that opens into both kitchen and dining room. Perfect for owner occupancy or potential rental income. Not interested in running a business? This historic home could easily be converted to a single family residence. This prime location is situated between Andes and Delhi, 2.5 hours from the GWB, near Belleayre Ski Resort, world-class golf, hiking trails, and Andes Farmers Market.  Read more

This weekend: Reservoir Cleanup Day

A boat launches from Chandlers Cove boat launch on the Neversink Reservoir in 2012. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Grimes.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and a slew of other groups and volunteers will fan out across the Catskills on Sunday, Oct. 5 to clean up four of the NYC reservoirs -- the Pepacton, the Cannonsville, the Neversink, and the Rondout -- as part of a statewide effort to clean up New York's waterways and beaches. 

Volunteers are welcome at the litter pick-ups, according to a press release from the DEP. Captains in charge of each reservoir will meet volunteers at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 5 and will clean until 3 p.m.

Captains and locations for the four Catskills clean-up groups are below:

Cannonsville Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Tina James, who leads the Future Farmers of America program at the Walton Central School District, and Nick Barone, president of the Deposit Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers will meet at Chamberlain Brook.

Neversink Reservoir: The cleanup effort will be led by Boy Scout Troop 97 in Neversink, which is run by Keith Mentnech. Volunteers will meet at the information kiosk on Route 55.  Read more

Man on probation charged with dealing heroin in Walton

Delaware County Sheriff's deputies and police from the village of Walton arrested 51-year-old James J. McGinn on Thursday, Sept. 26 and charged him with heroin trafficking, according to a press release from the Delaware County Sheriff's Office. 

This is the second felony drug charge for McGinn, who is serving a three-year probation sentence out of New York City in connection with a 2012 Queens County narcotic drug possession charge.

The Delaware County Sheriff's Office began investigating McGinn shortly before the 2012 charges, according to the press release. Last week, it charged McGinn with two class B felony counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. The sales reportedly took place in the village of Walton.

McGinn was arraigned on Friday, Sept. 26 in Delaware County Court and sent to the Delaware County Jail on $20,000 cash bail or $40,000 bond.

Explore the Catskills: Lark in the Park 2014

Above: “Big Indian Leaves,” taken in Big Indian by Michael LoBianco, the 4th Place winner in the 2014 Catskills Great Outdoor Experience Photo Contest.

The trees are popping into color like popcorn. If you haven't wandered somewhere outside in the Catskills yet this fall, get out there. 

Need a nudge? That's why the Catskill Mountain Club, the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the New York New-Jersey Trail Conference throw the annual Lark in the Park.

The Lark is a series of outdoor activities led by experienced hikers, paddlers, cyclists and anglers throughout the Catskills region between October 4 and Columbus Day, which falls on October 13 this year.

We've put together a calendar of the dozens of hikes, paddles, food tastings, movie screenings, bike rides, and picnics that make up this year's Lark in the Park festivities.   Read more

Trail Layout & Design Workshop – October 12, 1 PM

October 12, 2014 - 1:00pm

This free workshop from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference is devoted to explaining the guidelines for laying out a safe, exciting, and ecologically sound trail. Topics covered include trail planning, soils, grades, and trail alignments, as well as trail experience concepts such as users’ expectations, gateways, anchors, and trail flow. Students will learn to understand the humanity in a trail: what makes one trail more enjoyable and satisfying than another. After discussing for a short time indoors, participants will have the opportunity to design a new trail segment.  Read more

VW Parts fire ruled accidental

Above: The VW Parts junkyard on fire in Fleischmanns on August 26, 2014. Photo by Julia Reischel.

A fire that destroyed the VW Parts building at 717 Wagner Avenue in Fleischmanns on August 26 was an accident, according to Delaware County fire investigators.

Steve Hood, the director of Delaware County Emergency Services, told the Watershed Post in an email on Sept. 30 that the blaze was caused by stray sparks created by demolition workers who were removing items from the building.

The building, a former junkyard and auto repair shop owned by embattled junkyard operator William Hrazanek, is in the process of being sold with funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as part of a federal disaster remediation program.

Workers from Euro Nutz Inc. in Saugerties were cleaning out the building on August 26 before the fire began, according to Hrazanek and Hood.

"The final cause of the fire at the VW Parts building was determined to be accidental in nature, caused by workers from Euro-Nuts using a demolition saw to cut heavy pipes," Hood wrote. "The saw created sparks which went down into the wall on the side of the building next to the school."  Read more

Junkyard owner charged with felonies for Mount Tremper spill

Above: A baffle installed in a tributary of the Esopus Creek near 1420 Wittenberg Road in Shandaken, the site of a chemical spill, on July 11, 2013. Photo by Julia Reischel.

William Hrazanek, the embattled owner of multiple Catskills junkyards, was arrested on Tuesday, Sept. 23 in connection with a chemical spill on Wittenberg Road in the Ulster County hamlet of Mount Tremper last year.

Left: William Hrazanek in a DEC mugshot.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation charged 68-year-old Hrazanek with two felonies, according to Peter Constantakes, a DEC spokesman, in an email to the Watershed Post.

The charges were endangering public health, safety and the environment in the 2nd and 3rd degree and criminal mischief.

Hrazanek was arraigned on Sept. 23 before Shandaken Town Justice Thomas Crucet and was released on his own recognizance that same day, according to Constantakes.  Read more

Kelly Hollow Full Moon Hike – October 7, 5:30 PM

October 7, 2014 - 5:30pm

Join Catskill Mountain Club board member Howard Raab for a night-time hike under a full moon at the Kelly Hollow trail. Kelly Hollow is a lovely spot with mountain streams and a combination of coniferous and mixed forests and a picturesque beaver pond at the top. It is located on Millbrook Road in the town of Middletown, Delaware county NY (NY/NJ Trail Conference map #142, F-5,6). The trail is an easy to moderate loop of about 4 miles with a lean-to and privy near the beaver pond at the top. We will ascend the trail in the late afternoon and arrive at the beaver pond/lean-to at dusk. After snacks at the lean-to we will descend in the dark through a spooky spruce forest back to the trail-head.

Be sure to bring a good flashlight or head-light. The entire hike will take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours allowing time for snacking. The trail is of easy to moderate difficulty with a short moderately steep climb. Well behaved dogs are welcome.

PLEASE REGISTER for this event at catskillslark.org.  Read more

To Be Forever Wild Screening - Oct. 4, 7 pm

October 4, 2014 - 7:00pm

7PM screening followed by Q and A with the filmmakers.

To Be Forever Wild is an hour-long documentary film created by a group of filmmakers, musicians and artists in the Catskill Mountains. The filmmakers spent several weeks exploring the Catskill Mountains, landscapes that are considered to be America’s “first wilderness.” The film profiles the people who live in and visit this region, including artists, hikers, scientists, farmers and young people.

The screening at the Open Eye Theater is one of a series of screenings planned around the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Director David Becker, crew members, and subjects of the film will be in attendance. To Be Forever Wild will premiere on PBS and will be released on DVD this August.

“In the film we see the power of nature to restore, reclaim and provoke our deepest emotions and connections to the world. It’s a film that inspires people to reconnect with nature in their own way, wherever they happen to be,” said director David Becker.  Read more


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