Ashokan Watershed Month: September 2019

In 2019,  The Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP) des­ig­nat­ed Sep­tem­ber as Ashokan Water­shed Month in order to cel­e­brate the unique char­ac­ter­is­tics that make this water­shed so spe­cial for those who live and vis­it here. In lieu of our one-day water­shed con­fer­ence, we put togeth­er a month full of events that were edu­ca­tion­al and fun for the entire fam­i­ly. Event descrip­tions can be found below.

Ashokan Watershed Adventure

Var­i­ous loca­tions through­out the Ashokan Water­shed. Pick up a print­ed Ashokan Water­shed Adven­ture Guide at the AWSMP office (3130 Route 28, Shokan, NY) or down­load a pdf ver­sion.

Multi-tiered waterfall at Halcott Falls

Hal­cott Falls, pho­to by Tim Koch


Let’s go on an Ashokan Water­shed Adven­ture! AWSMP staff have trav­eled high and low through­out the water­shed and des­ig­nat­ed 11 spots that we think every­one should see. We’re chal­leng­ing you to vis­it as many of the sites as you can. Stop by our office or down­load an Ashokan Water­shed Adven­ture Guide describ­ing the var­i­ous sites.

For more infor­ma­tion, call the AWSMP office: 845–688-3047

En Plein Air Streamside Painting

Wednes­day, Sep­tem­ber 4 
Full Moon Resort
12 Val­ley View Road, Big Indi­an, NY

Watercolor of a stream by Joyce Washor

Par­tic­i­pants joined artist Joyce Washor and learned how to use water­col­ors to paint a stream en plein air (French for “out­doors”). Joyce taught them how to best cre­ate a nat­ur­al out­door scene (a stream in this case) while AWSMP staff edu­cat­ed par­tic­i­pants about the dif­fer­ent stream fea­tures they will paint. Reg­is­tered par­tic­i­pants were pro­vid­ed with a set of art sup­plies. Cost:  $10.

Alien Invaders Strike the Catskills!

Sun­day, Sept. 8
Catskill Vis­i­tors Center
5096 Route 28, Mt. Trem­per, NY

“Alien Invaders” was a talk about the inva­sive plants and for­est pests that plague the Catskills with Cary Insti­tute For­est Ecol­o­gist Gary Lovett and Catskill Region­al Inva­sive Species Part­ner­ship Coor­di­na­tor John Thomp­son. Cost: Free

Understanding Ashokan Reservoir Operations

Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 9 
AWSMP Office
3130 Route 28, Shokan, NY

Aerator at the Ashokan Reservoir in the Catskill Mountains

Site of DEP oper­a­tions at the Ashokan Reservoir


Ever won­der how water makes the 92-mile jour­ney from Ashokan Reser­voir to New York City? This was your oppor­tu­ni­ty to find out! Adam Bosch of the NYC Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion explained how NYC man­ages its water sup­ply sys­tem and gave a detailed run­down of oper­a­tions at Ashokan Reser­voir. Par­tic­i­pants learned how DEP cur­rent­ly oper­ates its vast infra­struc­ture and about the Ashokan Cen­tu­ry Pro­gram, an approx­i­mate­ly $1 bil­lion pro­gram to refur­bish and upgrade the infra­struc­ture at Ashokan Reser­voir start­ing in the mid-2020s. Cost: Free

Sunset Rail Pedal along the Esopus

Thurs­day, Sep­tem­ber 12
Rail Explor­ers Catskills Division
70 Low­er High Street, Phoeni­cia, NY

AWSMP host­ed a sun­set rail­car ped­al with Rail Explor­ers along the Eso­pus Creek. Par­tic­i­pants learned about the Eso­pus Creek and flood mit­i­ga­tion projects under­way in the area. There were approx­i­mate­ly 2 hours of ped­al­ing and 4 stops dur­ing the event. Cost: Free

Watershed Paddle

Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 14 
Ken­neth Wil­son Campground
859 Wit­ten­berg Road, Mount Trem­per, NY

Two people kayaking on Catskill Mountain Lake

Pho­to: Aaron Bennett

This was a chance to hop inside a kayak or canoe for a pad­dle around the lake at Ken­neth Wil­son Camp­ground and por­tions of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill, and learn about streams while on the water! All equip­ment was pro­vid­ed. Cost: Free!

Book Signing and Reading — Little One and the Water

Sat­ur­day, Sept.14 
Gold­en Notebook
29 Tin­ker Street, Wood­stock, NY

Child Standing in Stream

Illus­tra­tion by Will Lytle


Beloved local illus­tra­tor and author Will Lytle (Thorneater Comics) was on hand at the Gold­en Note­book to sign copies of his new children’s book fea­tur­ing the Lit­tle Beaver Kill, a stream that runs near Wood­stock. A child explores the stream start­ing at its out­let all the way to its source. The Lit­tle Beaver Kill was eval­u­at­ed by the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram as one of the health­i­est streams in the water­shed. Will met with stream spe­cial­ists in sev­er­al meet­ings and walked its entire length to ensure the accu­ra­cy of its ecosys­tem, includ­ing the major flo­ra and fau­na, in his depic­tions. Will read por­tions of his book Lit­tle One and the Water. The book was pro­duced as part of the Catskill Waters ini­tia­tive, a com­mu­ni­ty forum for shar­ing sto­ries about water stew­ard­ship orga­nized by Keiko Sono.  Cost: Free

Paleoclimate of the Catskills

Wednes­day, Sept. 18
San­ta Fe Woodstock
1802 Route 28, Wood­stock, NY

The cli­mate is chang­ing, but what was it like in the dis­tant past and how can that inform what the future cli­mate might be? Dr. Dorothy Peteet, Senior Research Sci­en­tist at Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty and NASA dis­cussed the his­to­ry of abrupt cli­mate change and pat­terns of drought revealed by local land­scapes. Can wet­lands and streams cap­ture and store car­bon? We learned more about this impor­tant and time­ly top­ic. Cost: Free

Esopus Creek Fish and Fly Fishing Demonstration

Fri­day, Sept. 20 
Catskills Vis­i­tor Center
5096 Route 28, Mount Trem­per, NY

Tying a Royal Wulff fly pattern

Tying a Roy­al Wulff

Did you know the Eso­pus Creek is con­sid­ered the birth­place of Amer­i­can dry fly fish­ing? We learned about the Eso­pus Creek fish­ery from USGS biol­o­gist Scott George. Mem­bers from Trout Unlim­it­ed were avail­able to instruct par­tic­i­pants on how to tie a fly appro­pri­ate for the Eso­pus Creek and cast using a fly rod. For any­one inter­est­ed in learn­ing more about fish and fish­ing the Eso­pus Creek, this was the event to attend. Cost: Free

The Importance of Watershed Wetlands

Fri­day, Sept. 20 
Ashokan Rail Trail
AWSMP Office, 3130 Route 28, Shokan, NY

Hikers on the Ashokan Rail Trail

Hik­ers walk a forest­ed sec­tion of the Ashokan Rail Trail


Par­tic­i­pants got an ear­ly look at the Ashokan Rail Trail with Ulster Coun­ty staff while they learned about the impor­tance of wet­lands for clean water. DEP wet­lands sci­en­tist Lau­rie Machung and Frank Pari­sio  dis­cussed how DEP is pro­tect­ing wet­lands near the Ashokan Reser­voir.  Sev­er­al types of wet­lands and But­ter­nut Creek were vis­i­ble from the rail trail. Cost: Free

Little Beaver Kill Book Signing and Video Release

Sun­day, Sept. 22 
Catskills Vis­i­tor Center
5096 Route 28, Mount Trem­per, NY

Catskill Waters pre­sent­ed Lit­tle One and the Water, a children’s illus­trat­ed book, along with author Will Lytle (Thorneater Comics) and an accom­pa­ny­ing video on Lit­tle Beaver Kill—the sub­ject of the bookThorneater Comics is known for his poignant black and white draw­ing style in a wide array of for­mats from com­ic strips in the Wood­stock Times to murals in Kingston. As a part of Catskill Waters, a pub­lic out­reach and edu­ca­tion­al ini­tia­tive fund­ed by the Ashokan Water­shed Stream Man­age­ment Pro­gram (AWSMP), he authored Lit­tle One and the Water based on the Lit­tle Beaver Kill, an actu­al stream that runs near Wood­stock. The Lit­tle Beaver Kill was eval­u­at­ed by AWSMP as one of the health­i­est streams in the Ashokan water­shed. Thorneater met with the stream spe­cial­ists in sev­er­al meet­ings and walked its entire length to ensure the accu­ra­cy of its ecosys­tem, includ­ing the major flo­ra and fau­na, in his depic­tions. A doc­u­men­tary of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill stream assess­ment will be screened, fol­lowed by Q&A. Lim­it­ed copies of the book will be giv­en away for free.

Also on dis­play: Por­traits and Sto­ries, a series of paper sil­hou­ette pro­files of the water­shed res­i­dents, cre­at­ed by Jen­ny Lee Fowler. They will be dis­played with match­ing audio record­ings of the sit­ters’ stories.

No reg­is­tra­tion required. Cost: Free

Riparian Planting and Ashokan Watershed Month Closing Party

Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 28
Plant­i­ng near Van Hoagland Road, Lake Hill, NY
Social Hour at Phoeni­cia Din­er, 5681 Route 28, Phoeni­cia, NY

Riparian planting volunteer in the Catskills

Vol­un­teers helped us send-off Ashokan Water­shed Month with a ripar­i­an buffer plant­i­ng at a stream restora­tion site in beau­ti­ful Mink Hol­low. A social hour at the Phoeni­cia Din­er fol­lowed the plant­i­ng. Cost: Free


Cor­nell Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion of Ulster Coun­ty pro­vides equal pro­gram and employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties. Please con­tact the stream pro­gram office at 845–688-3047 if you have any questions.