Maple Fest: Celebrating the Wonderful World of Maple Syrup

March 19, 2016 - 10:00am

Location:  Agroforestry Resource Center, 6055 Route 23, Acra, NY

Cost: Free

No registration required

Experience a taste of the “sweet world of maple sugaring” as part of the New York Maple weekend here at CCE’s Agroforestry Resource Center.  The event will provide an opportunity to learn about sugar mapling procedures, including demonstrations in our own sugar shack, fun “maple syrup” taste testing, and displays of antique maple sugaring equipment.  There will an opportunity to buy maple sugar products from the diligent local maple producers.  Delicious pancakes with pure maple syrup will also be available for sale in case you get hungry.  Plan on joining us to participate in this annual spring ritual in the Northeast representing a few weeks of intense labor that leaves behind a year’s worth of healthy sweetness.

518-622-9820 x0

Trail to Devil’s Kitchen now legal, thanks to climber’s land donation

Above: A view looking up through Upper Devil's Kitchen. The newly-legal trail towards Platte Clove Road is on the right. Photos by Marty Molitoris/Alpine Endeavors. 

An unmarked trail that is the safest way into the Devil’s Kitchen has become public property, thanks to the efforts of a pair of ice climbers, one of whom has donated a two-acre piece of land in Platte Clove to New York state.

The Devil’s Kitchen in Greene County is one of the Catskills’ most picturesque—and dangerous—attractions. The cliff-lined gorge in the steep, rocky section of the Platte Clove valley in the town of Hunter, is a hugely popular spot for hikers and ice climbers, and is also scene of many accidents and even deaths. (One climber fell 80 feet and miraculously survived last summer.)

Until recently, portions of the Devil’s Kitchen were only accessible through private property or treacherous unmarked trails on public land. Access was not only dangerous, it was also sometimes illegal.  Read more

Artist killed by car in Greene County while walking dog

Above: "Catskill Snow Storm in October" by Francine Barbet. Image via

Seventy-eight-year-old Francine Barbet was killed in the Greene County town of Jewett on Friday, Feb. 26 when she walked with her dog into the path of an oncoming Jeep around 6:30 p.m., police say.

Barbet was walking her dog at Beecher's Corners, the intersection of Route 296 and County Road 23C, while wearing dark clothing, according to a Daily Mail article.

Left: Francine Barbet. Image via 

As she walked into the southbound lane of Route 296, she was hit by 65-year-old Joseph Disanti of the Long Island hamlet of Shirley, who was driving a 2004 Jeep, according to a press release from the New York State Police.  Read more

“Living in paradise:” The economics of Catskills outdoor recreation

Above: Aaron Bennett speaks about the East Branch of the Delaware River at a lively forum about outdoor recreation and economic development in the Catskills on Saturday, Feb. 27. Photos by Rebecca Andre.

Dozens of Catskills residents attended the second of a four-part series of economic growth forums took place on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in the Delaware County hamlet of Arkville.

Fifty-two people attended the forum—more than double the attendance at January’s event—to discuss outdoor recreation being key to economic development in the Catskills.

Geddy Sveikauskas, the founder of the Woodstock Times newspaper and a member of the board of the Catskill Center, moderated the lively two-and-a-half hour discussion.

Local outdoor guides, chamber of commerce members, hotel employees and a representative from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection all spoke about the importance of outdoor recreation in the region.  Read more

The First Catskill Computer Art Show

Dear Friends and Art Lovers,

I hope you will join us at the opening of The First Catskill Computer Art Show at Atelier Progressif on Friday, March 11th, at 6:00 PM.


The Exhibition will showcase digital art by talented MOCA (Museum for Computer Art) artists from all over the world who have contributed their work for the show. It will be a representation of the most original and dramatic work created on the computer in its various forms and manifestations, including 3-D rendered art, fractals, enhanced photography, animation, mixed media, and computer-painted and -drawn art.


The Show is a reflection of our mission to seek out and identify individuals who utilize technology to create and promote meaningful new artwork.  We want to be an integral and vital force in shaping how art is created and consumed in the digital era.


Atelier Progressif Creative Art Space is looking to give space and support to artists who use digital tools to create art and art projects that benefit society.


We hope to see you there,


Yechiam Gal / Principal

   Read more

Heavy rains cause minor flooding across Catskills


There is minimal flooding at the West Branch of the Delaware River at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton this morning. This is a view facing Kraft.

Posted by The Walton Reporter on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Above: The Walton fairgrounds flooded on Thursday, Feb. 25. Photo via the Walton Reporter's Facebook page.

The heavy rains that fell across the Catskills on Wednesday, Feb. 24 and through the night into Thursday, Feb. 25 have caused minor, localized flooding across the region.

The West Branch of the Delaware River is flooding several towns along its banks on Thursday morning, including the towns of Hamden and Walton, according to hydrographs and eyewitness reports. 

In Hamden, Basin Clove Road in is closed from Route 10 to the intersection of Back River Road due to water across the roadway, according to the Delaware County Department of Emergency Services.

In Walton, muddy floodwaters have covered the county fairgrounds, according to the Walton Reporter. Flooding in Walton was predicted to peak around 11 a.m. at 10 feet, according to Walton's hydrograph. Flood stage for the West Branch of the Delaware River in Walton is 9.5 feet, according to a flood warning alert issued by the National Weather Service in Binghamton

Delaware, Greene, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster counties are under a hazardous weather outlook warning for flooding through Thursday evening, according to NWS Binghamton and NWS Albany. The weather service reports that "widespread river flooding is not expected" in those counties. 

There was minor flooding of the Schoharie Creek in the town of Prattsville on Wednesday evening, according to the river's hydrograph, but waters have already fallen well below flood stage on Thursday morning. 

The Esopus Creek in Ulster County was under a flood warning on Wenesday and Thursday issued by NWS Albany. The Esopus overspilled its banks at 20.51 feet on Wednesday evening in Mount Marion, according to the Mount Marion hydrograph, and had dropped back to 19 feet by 11 a.m. on Thursday morning.

In Cold Brook, the Esopus crested 12.39 feet on Wednesday night, a level where water overflows the creek's banks above the Ashokan's Reservoir but causes little damage, according to the Cold Brook hydrograph. The water level at Cold Brook has also dropped down quickly on Thursday morning. 

NYNJTC Is Hiring: Catskills Summit Stewards

In this seasonal, part-time, position on weekends from Memorial Day through Columbus Day, Summit Stewards are responsible for patrolling the Catskill Park summit areas of Slide, Wittenberg and Cornell Mountains as well as other locations throughout the region. Summit Stewards provide the public with educational information that will ensure the safe and responsible use of hiking trails in the area. The Stewards have no enforcement responsibility.

The Summit Stewards work to encourage the best behavior on the part of hikers and campers, to facilitate a positive trail experience (particularly for those who are poorly prepared). They discourage and mitigate misuse of the trails, illegal camping and the surrounding lands by performing educational and public- relations functions and work to educate the public on fragile mountaintop ecosystems.  Read more

As wave of heroin arrests sweeps Catskills, opioids get political

Above: A poster from New York State's campaign to raise awareness about heroin addiction. New York State passed legislation to fund a heroin addiction awareness and treatment campaign in 2014. Photo via 

As a heroin epidemic spreads across the the Catskills, the topic of opioid addiction is driving politics in the region.

In the last two weeks, 13 people have been arrested in six major heroin busts in the Catskills. Two of the people arrested were teachers in Sullivan County schools.

Politicians and local officials are responding to heroin’s growing presence in the Catskills with task forces, hearing and calls for funding. They are also making opioids a central issue in the race for New York’s 19th congressional district seat, which covers the Catskills and the Hudson Valley in New York.

Cheap and widespread  Read more

Body and Health Winners

Marilyn Donnelly, Nursing Director at Margaretville Hospital, selects winners of the Margaretville Health Foundation Valentines Day Raffle. Congratulations to winners Pete Curran (Emerson Spa massage), Mike O'Brien (Delhi Cardio Club membership), Debbie Troup (Bodyworx Life Coaching) and Dana Atkin (Catskill Recreation Center membership). Pictured l to r: Amy McCann, Foundation Board Member, Marilyn Donnelly, Iris Mead, Foundation Development Coordinator. Thank you to our partner businesses for donating Body and Health gift certificates.
Thank you to the community for supporting healthcare in the Central Catskills.

Catskill Game Farm struggles to raise funds for renovations

When Cathy and Ben Ballone bought the shuttered Catskill Game Farm in 2012, they hoped to breathe new life into the historic former private zoo.

Instead, they have spent four years unsuccessfully seeking millions of dollars from investors to rehabilitate the property as an RV park and camping destination.

In its heyday, the Catskill Game Farm housed thousands of animals, including monkeys, giraffes, rhinoceroses and an elephant, on its 206-acre campus in the Greene County town of Catskill. Founded in 1933 by Roland Lindemann, the zoo was a beloved local attraction for generations of Catskills tourists for 73 years. In 2006, the zoo was shuttered and the animals were sold off.

In 2012, the Ballones were looking to buy land in the Durham area, near where Cathy grew up. Cathy, an events planner, and Ben, a contractor from New Jersey, were captivated by the former Catskill Game Farm, which had sat vacant since 2006. They bought it for $100,000 and renamed it the Old Game Farm.  Read more

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