As a Friends Group, included in our mission is stewardship for the park. But, it doesn’t end with us. This is all of our responsibility to ensure we protect and conserve this beautiful resource right here in our backyard. It is also visited by more than 400,000 people every year and so we depend on those visitors to take care and to respect the land so when they return it is just as memorable and beautiful as it was for their first visit.
Recently a Friends member was hiking at Potter’s Point and this is his account:
There is nothing much better for your soul than to walk in the woods and enjoy the vegetation and wildlife. This especially true in the spring when our forests are waking up. Probably the most important concept when visiting the woods is the idea of “leave no trace”. This means that you carry your trash out and you do not disturb vegetation. This will insure that you are not disturbing habitat for critters and that other guests to the park can have the same experience. Today when walking down to the Hudson River near Potter’s Point I found the exact opposite. A group of campers had left their campsite and there was still a fire smoldering. With the current dry conditions the fire was spreading underground. To add insult to injury, they also cleared out a stand of hemlocks and understory right along the River which acts as a riparian buffer. It is unfortunate that a few individuals have to behave like this out of ignorance. Remember camping and fire are only permitted in designated areas in the park, not along trails. PLEASE LEAVE NO TRACE !!
The Friends member then returned with buckets of water to put out the smoldering fire which began to spread. Of course the additional sadness was the destruction of the young hemlocks.
When you come to visit whether you’re local or regional, we ask you to please consider the consequences of your actions and if you see something not quite right or someone behaving badly, please call the park police at 518-584-2004. There is cell service throughout the park. Thank you.
Smoldering fire with cut hemlock