Land Conservancy’s Vernal Fling

Mary Frank

Mary Frank

Though the word ‘vernal’ has mostly fallen into disuse, it’s a lovely way to express joy at the arrival of this most anticipated new season. Vernal springs from the Latin word, vernus (“pertaining to spring”), and the Woodstock Land Conservancy believes there’s no better time than this Saturday night to celebrate the end of the winter we barely had this year.

The Woodstock Land Conservancy’s 6th Annual Vernal Fling, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.

Saturday, May 14, at Onteora Mountain House, 96 Piney Point Road, Boiceville, begins with a festive cocktail party (with hors d’oeuvres from Bistro-to-Go), silent auction and awards ceremony, and will feature manouche “Gypsy” jazz from Henry Street Hot Club.


This year’s William R. Ginsberg Stewardship Award Honorees are two much beloved local residents, Mary Frank and Karl Beard. Frank is an advocate of solar cookers and a visual artist who works in a wide variety of media, drawing much of her artistic inspiration from nature. Beard, a pioneering conservation planner for the National Parks Service’s Rivers and Trails Conservation Program, has played an instrumental role in the development of several local, regional, national and international trails, including Walkway Over the Hudson and the Erie Canalway. He is now advising groups involved with planning for Ulster County’s emerging Rail Trail Network.

Revelers will enjoy the panoramic sunset views of 250-acres of the Catskills Forest Preserve from the scenic  Onteora Mountain House. Tickets are $80, and pre-event raffle tickets for an overnight stay for two at the Onteora Mountain House are $100. The winner will be notified ahead of time so they can pack an overnight bag for the evening of the Spring Fling. Local author Will Nixon is generously donating copies of Acrostic Woodstock to all who attend.


Land Conservancy gets grant

The Woodstock Land Conservancy (WLC) has reason to rejoice: on April 19, it learned it had received one of 55 grants given to statewide non-profit land trusts as part of the New York State Conservation Partnership Program (NYSCPP) through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. The funding will be used to build a parking area, signage and kiosk for a recently donated 123-acre property in the Blue Stone Wild Forest, and to support the WLC’s Accreditation application to the Land Trust Alliance (LTA). The grant for Accreditation is momentous, notes WLC President, Patty Goodwin, “because it signifies the LTA’s support in helping us realize best standards and practices that insure the professionalism and capacity of our organization to fulfill our mission. We are very grateful to them for it.”

The newly donated property consists of a beautiful forest, with old bluestone quarries and various watercourses and ponds. “The donor felt strongly that its conservation would be significant, and the grant will help us with the initial steps towards opening the land to the public,” says WLC Chairman Kevin Smith.


Woodstock Land Conservancy’s 6th Annual Vernal Fling, Saturday, May 14, 5:30-8 pm, $80 per person/$100 pre-event raffle tickets, Onteora Mountain House, 96 Piney Point Road, Boiceville; (845) 679-6480,