American Alpine Club, Mohonk Preserve and Palisades Park Commission join forces to meet need.
Golden, Colorado—December 7, 2006—The American Alpine Club, Mohonk Preserve and Palisades Park Commission today announced plans to build a much-needed campground at the gateway to the Shawangunk Ridge—affectionately known as “The Gunks”—have been rekindled. In July of this year, a memorandum of understanding between the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and operating partners the American Alpine Club and the Mohonk Preserve was signed. Since that time a New York State Parks improvement grant of $450,000 has been secured and the 45 acre parcel is in the process of being transferred to the State of New York for the Shawangunk Gateway Campground. “We are extremely pleased with the progress,” says American Alpine Club executive director, Phil Powers. “Visiting climbers have always struggled with the dearth of camping options at the Gunks and this will begin to meet that need.” Designs are underway and were presented to neighbors and the Gardiner Township planning board on November 17th and 21st. The campground will include approximately fifty drive-in and walk-in campsites, a central gathering area with cooking and bathing facilities, and an indoor space where visitors can gather during rainy weather. “Community is important to our organization and to climbers. We want a design the puts people together as they wish but maintains a certain rustic and private flavor for the actual campsites,” say Powers. Glenn Hoagland adds, “Our desire for community also helps us make the campground more environmentally sound. Rather than fifty separate fire rings in each campsite, we will have one fireplace in a central location.” Plans are to keep the campground open nine months a year and staff it with a full-time host or manager during those months. While there is still much work to do, the three organizations hope to have the campground open by fall, 2008. About the Mohonk Preserve www.mohonkpreserve.org Home to the internationally renowned Gunks climbing cliffs, the Mohonk Preserve is the largest member- and visitor-supported nature preserve in New York State. Located just two hours north of New York City, the Preserve protects over 6,500 acres of the Shawangunk Mountains. Established over 40 years ago, the Preserve was the first land trust to protect the Shawangunks and is one of the oldest land conservation organizations in the Hudson Valley region of southeastern New York. The Preserve’s mission is to protect the ridge for future generations and to promote a wider understanding of the environment – by learning about the ecosystem, educating the public, and serving its visitors. The Mohonk Preserve is a multi-use natural area, providing its 150,000 annual visitors access to over 100 miles of carriage roads and trails for hiking and biking, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding. A world-class climbing area, the Preserve also features over 1,000 climbing routes and receives about 50,000 climber visits a year. About The American Alpine Club www.AmericanAlpineClub.org. Founded in 1902, the not-for-profit American Alpine Club is the premier national organization in the United States devoted to mountaineering, rock climbing and the multitude of issues facing climbers. For more than 100 years, the AAC has led mountaineering adventure, scientific research and education in the U.S. The Club’s active membership ranges from beginning climbers to a “who’s who” of the world’s most experienced mountaineers, working together to cultivate mountaineering and fellowship among climbers. The organization’s dedication to education drives dissemination of knowledge, continued study and scientific exploration of the high mountains of the world, from the Arctic to Antarctic circles. The AAC’s world-renowned American Alpine Club Library, founded in 1916, is one of the oldest and most complete alpine research facilities in the United States. Located alongside an indoor climbing wall at the AAC Headquarters in the American Mountaineering Center, Golden, Colorado the library and soon-to-open Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum educates students and other visitors, hosting conferences and symposia. The American Alpine Club produces a variety of publications for the climbing community, including the American Alpine Journal, the premiere record of significant mountaineering and long rock climbing ascents worldwide. For more information on the AAC, and to learn how to become active in the organization and the sport of climbing, visit the AAC Web site. About The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) is committed to its longstanding open space and natural resource protection, active recreation and preservation system first established in the early 1920s. OPRPH manages 12 park regions statewide, offering park visitors public access to its 170 parks and 37 historic sites. New York State protects and enhances important wildlife habitat, preserves valuable open space and provides recreational opportunities that promote nature and history education and conservation. About the Palisades Interstate Park Commission One of the twelve state park regions, Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) is one of the oldest, most successful public-private partnerships in the nation. Chartered as a bi-state system (NY & NJ) in 1900, PIPC’s mission is to preserve natural, historic, and cultural resources for public recreational enjoyment and educational purposes. Today, PIPC welcomes over nine million visitors each year to its more than 110,000 acres of wilderness areas, wildlife habitat, and cultural sites that form the underpinning for 24 parks, 32 organized camps, a zoo, Trailside Museums, an ice skating rink, eight historic sites, 4 lodges, a merry-go-round, hundreds of miles of hiking trails, cross country ski paths, lakes, swimming pools, scenic overlooks, boat launches, beaches, golf courses, and the Bear Mountain Inn, the Commission’s flagship.