DEC announces winners of Stewardship Appreciation Awards

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ALBANY – Two State Environmental Conservation Department Stewardship Appreciation Awards have been presented in the Hudson Valley.

Stony Kill Foundation has received the Public Engagement Award for its collaboration with San Miguel Academy of Newburgh that bridges the foundation’s hands-on farming and environmental education programs with the academy’s mission to educate and inspire City of Newburgh youth. The goal is for them to break the cycle of poverty and achieve new potential.

Every two weeks, students spend time at Stony Kill Farm in Fishkill with the Foundation’s educators, helping raise lambs, tapping maple trees, incubating chickens, and participating in a wide range of immersive projects that encourage students’ curiosity and confidence and foster a closer connection to the working farm, its fields, and forests.

The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development’s Fire Tower Project has received the Adventure NY Award.

The Catskill Fire Tower Project was established in the 1990s as a partnership by DEC and the Catskill Center. The project has a network of volunteers who deliver service to the Catskill Park and surrounding towns by providing historical and naturalist interpretation at the five public fire towers, conducting visitor counts, and reporting maintenance issues to DEC.

In 2019, the volunteers helped to facilitate the Catskills Fire Tower Five Challenge by greeting and encouraging visitors to finish the challenge.

Nearly 900 outdoor enthusiasts from across New York, 12 other states and Canada completed the challenge between July and December 2019.