Look at all that has happened in 2021!

Fall 2021

Volunteers from the Nyack Rotary, led by Jeff Lambert of Wickes Arborists, visited River Hook, the Hester Haring Preserve to help the Village of Upper Nyack plant 15 Bottlebrush Buckeye trees near the Midland gate to the Preserve. After two hours of work on Saturday morning, the trees were planted, watered, and protected with deer fencing. Thanks, Nyack Rotary. Photos by Andrea Swenson.

Spring & Summer Season - 2021

Scouts, civic leaders, neighbors and artists are appreciating River Hook: The Hester Haring Cason Preserve. Through small group workshops, zoom based talks and spontaneous encounters, more people are discovering this incredible place of retreat and repose.  

Here are some examples of the environmental programs and cultural features flourishing in River Hook, made possible with the support of a growing crop of volunteers and donors.

Arbor Day
The Village of Upper Nyack and Friends of River Hook hosted the first Arbor Day event at River Hook with a program that included tree plantings, poetry and a community clean-up. Perry Kurtz presented three White Oak trees provided by Joule Community Power. A. Anupama became the first poet to recite verse at River Hook. After the short program, the group of over 30 neighbors and residents spread out across the Preserve to clear branches and rocks and spread soil in preparation for spring plantings.

Sheep Logo Lives Large

Arts Council of Rockland’s Artist of the Year, Kris Campbell, and multimedia artist extraordinaire Kris Burns emblazoned our invasive species-killing tarps with the Preserve’s iconic sheep logo. 

Expect to find more encounters with the visual arts as the cultural programs at the Preserve take root.

Scouts Encounter Worms, Bats and Bees at River Hook

In March, Girl Scouts from Troops 40705 and 40909 and the Upper Nyack Kindergarten Daisy troop met Mayor Karen Tarapata, who they declared a Women of Accomplishment, in honor of women’s history month. The troop examined bat boxes installed by Eagle Scout Liam Ouderkirk in pursuit of an animal habitat badge for the Girl Scouts and a petal for the younger Daisy troop.

In May, Boy Scouts from Nyack Troop 2 constructed a compost bin, under the direction of “The Worm Guy,” Dave Goldberg. The bin is home to worms who are fed a steady diet of compost and leaves, which help create nutrient rich soil that will be used throughout the Preserve (see below for information on Dave’s Experience River Hook talk). Troop 2 also assisted River Hook beekeeper Nat Wasserstein in the installation of a tarp to shade River Hook apiary’s observation hive from the hot summer sun.

The Importance of Bees
The Village of Upper Nyack and Friends of River Hook are doing our part to help support the local bee population, which is of critical importance to sustain plant life that requires pollination. On June 22, Beekeeper Nat Wasserstein gave a Zoom-based presentation that explored the River Hook apiary, which includes several hives occupied by honey bees. Wassertein also discussed our native beehive, provided by the Bee Conservancy with assistance from Rockland County’s Office of Economic Development and Tourism.

Civic Tour
On June 25, over two dozen civic leaders joined members of the Village and Friends boards for a guided tour of River Hook. Representing culture, the environment, education, social justice, nonprofits and government, the group learned about the past, present and future of the 12-acre site. 

We were especially honored that Nyack Public Schools new Superintendent Eudes Budhai and State Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick were able to attend.