In advance of our annual picnic this Saturday, we wanted to share a short update regarding membership.
In an effort to encourage membership and participation independent of financial contributions, we will no longer be requiring annual dues for membership. We are grateful for everyone’s support through the years, which has allowed us to remain active and on steady financial footing, and want to encourage any families who are new to our area to join by simply connecting with us.
With the exception of capital projects (such as our restoration of the Beaverkill Community Church and covered bridge), our annual expenses are low, with ongoing costs being mostly associated with the tools we use to communicate with the community (our email service and website). These costs will remain, and so we’d still encourage everyone to donate as you feel inclined. Donations can be made by sending a PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by check to our post office box at the address below.
FOBC P.O. Box 704 Roscoe, NY 12776
The organization also purchases refreshments and supplies for each year’s summer picnic and other gatherings, which supplement the potluck dishes that are generously provided by those who attend. With this in mind, we’d still welcome a suggested donation of $20 per family from those who are able to attend the picnic.
We’ll also continue to use this list to spread the word about any upcoming opportunities to support specific projects that benefit our community (whether they are initiated by the Friends, or by other like-minded area organizations).
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday! Details are provided again below:
Reminder! 2023 FOBC Picnic Saturday, September 9th at 4PM (On the porches and lawn of the Adams’ home on the corner of Campsite Road and Craigie Clair Road)
Our friend and neighbor Stuart Root passed away this past Saturday. A memorial service for Stuart will be held this summer in the Beaverkill Community Church.
Below, members of the friends share their remembrances. An obituary that has been prepared by the family can be found on the website of Greico Funeral home.
Shared by Patricia Adams
Stuart started coming to the Beaverkill in the early 70s’s with his four children who were still very young. He married Pat, who had three children and their home here was filled with activity and visitors. They hosted some of the early Christmas Eve Open Houses. Pat and Stuart were instrumental in establishing and carrying on the Labor Day Tennis Tournament.
From early on, Stuart worked with the Open Space Institute in the Beaverkill, identifying properties that needed protecting and helping with the legal issues involved in land preservation.
He also led us in the celebration of music. He founded our Beaverkill Community Church Choir. He chose the music, made copies for the singers, worked with Sean, our accompanist and was always on the look out for singers —whether young adults or retirees. The music Stuart chose is still the choir’s basic repertoire.
Stuart also produced a “Summer Musicale” for a number of summers in the church. He encouraged people who perhaps had never performed to join in and sing or play an instrument. These Musicales were always a great success and a wonderful way for the community to be together.
Perhaps Stuart is best remembered as the ‘Master of Ceremonies” at the Christmas Eve Service at the Beaverkill Community Church. He chose the carols, the Bible readings and led the services with humor and great warmth.
Most of all he was a great friend with a penchant for telling stories about his home town Chagrin Falls, Ohio—stories we all loved. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service for Stuart will be held this summer in the Beaverkill Community Church.
— Patricia Adams
Shared by Ed Cerny
Even though inevitable and expected, the death of a friend is hard to take.
I knew him and worked with him in all the activities you mention over many years, I think it must be over twenty. He had a long and impressive pedigree in the practice of law in the City from which he acquired much wisdom about how things work and should work, a wisdom which I saw on display on many occasions.
When he was directing hymns, we were never allowed to sing “Amen” at the end, even when written in the music. I learned all kinds of things from him, including that when a piece we would sing for an anthem or introit suddenly ended in a different key it was called a “Picardy,” meaning a happy resolution to the piece. Stuart was fascinated by this musical device and never missed an opportunity to remark upon it. According to people who know about such things, “Western composers, expressing the ‘rightness’ of happiness by means of a major third, expressed the ‘wrongness’ of grief by means of the minor third, and for centuries, pieces in a minor key had to have a ‘happy ending’ – a final major chord (the ‘tierce de Picardie’) or a bare fifth.” On thinking about this, I am hopeful that Stuart’s life ended in a Picardy, but with an “Amen.”
With Christmas Eve temperatures dipping to zero degrees, we realized having the Christmas Eve Carol Sing in the church was impossible. Even with the electric heaters on all day — we would have been lucky to get it up to twenty degrees.
So the sing was held at the Adams house. Bob Jones led the singing with Brandon Sparkman on piano. Even though we sang four or five songs instead of fifteen, it was great fun.
There were about sixty people singing, perhaps more. But there was room for all and some desert. The pictures attached could be labeled “Make a Joyful Noise”. Happy New Year to all.
Following a wonderful string quartet concert at the Church, featuring JENN AHN MISNER and guest members of the MANOR CAMERATA, the FOBC held its first annual members meeting since 2019. Minutes from the meeting reported by new acting Secretary Barbara Trelstad below.
Minutes of the Friends Of Beaverkill Community
Sunday – July 31, 2022
CAMPSITE AND RIVER TRAIL: Interns Noah and Jordan, from Catskill Mountainkeeper, gave a presentation on current projects and issues near the Covered Bridge public access area.
FOBC has been involved in several past preservation issues in the area, among them are: 1) restoration of the covered bridge, 2) restoration and maintenance of the old Methodist church (now Beaverkill Community Church), 3) replacement of the Iron Bridge in Craigie Clair and 4) Issues concerning use (sometimes overuse} and ongoing maintenance of the day use area by the Beaverkill Campsite.
Ongoing projects include clean-up and maintenance of the beach area under and around the Covered Bridge; ongoing conservation issues as the past decade has seen much more use of the beach area under the Covered Bridge. New York State is trying to minimize overuse which is an ongoing issue.
There is an ongoing concern about overuse. Communication with users is a major issue, currently there is only one staff member who speaks Spanish, the language of most of the current users. The presence of household pets and loud music are further issues
The Trap Valley Farm Trail on the opposite side from the Beaverkill Campsite provides access to the meadow abutting what was once Trapp Valley Farm.
CHURCH: Mary Hall gave a brief report on the church. The church opened its doors in 1882 as a Methodist Church. In 2012 conversations were held between valley residents interested in preserving the church and the Methodist Church. The land that the building sits on is its footprint…no larger. In 2012 the church was bought by the community and today services take place there on summer Sundays. Services follow the Methodist liturgy. Sermons are posted on-line.
BEAVERKILL VALLEY LAND TRUST: The Beaverkill Valley Land Trust began in the 1970’s. It is the current owner of Beech Mountain Lake Preserve. The Preserve has recently been opened to use. To gain information about use, contact: Info@CatskillMountainKeeper.org. And to use the cabin call Mountain Keeper for the combination to the lock on the gate.
There is current discussion about a potential “Interpretative Trail” in the area. This is currently being discussed with the forester and it is hoped that it can be made handicapped accessible.
NEW OFFICERS: Chris Kissock will take over as President, Judith Katz will be Vice President, Josh Grier will continue as Treasurer and Barbara Trelstad will be Secretary. We would like to have at least wo other members at large to complete the Board. Volunteers are welcome.
FOBC EMAIL DATABASE: Josh asked for emails from all members…he currently has 290, some of which need to be updated.
HISTORICAL ARCHIVE: Barbara reported that she has been storing the Archive which contains some primary materials referenced for the various books on the history of the Beaverkill along with many photographs of prior events, mainly tennis tournaments.
FOBC BOOKS FOR SALE: Patricia noted that the History of the Beaverkill books are on sale in Roscoe and there is also a cookbook comprised of recipes from longtime residents on sale in Roscoe as well.
Summer has arrived, and we’re sure there will be a lot going on locally so wanted to let everyone know that FOBC has a couple of events in store on Sunday July 31.
JENN AHN MISNER with members of MANOR CAMERATA
Internationally recognized performer (and local Valley resident) Jenn Ahn will bring her violin and three musical companions back to the area for a string quartet concert at our own Beaverkill Community Church (101 Craigie Clair Road in Roscoe) on July 31. The concert will begin at 2:00pm. Tickets are $30 per person will be available at the door, or can be purchased in advance by sending a check (payable to “Friends Of Beaverkill”) to P.O. Box 704 – Roscoe NY 12776. You can also log-on to our PayPal account via email@example.com and reserve your seats there. If paying online make sure to include your name in the message box.
ANNUAL FRIENDS OF BEAVERKILL COMMUNITY MEMBERS MEETING AND POT LUCK
We’re pleased to bring back our annual members picnic and social gathering (after two years COVID hiatus). This year’s event will be held at the home of Patricia and John Adams, and will start shortly after the String Quartet performance, around 4:00pm, July 31.More information on this you can email Patricia Adams – firstname.lastname@example.org
FOBC member Carl Obecny has – under direction of the DEC – continued his repairs and upgrade to the trail along the Beverkill River across from the Covered Bridge day use area. Carl’s report as follows:
It doesn’t really matter in what part of the world or during what season, there isn’t a much more enjoyable and comforting pastime than a walk along a river. And, here in the Beaverkill River Valley, we are fortunate to have access to one of the most scenic rivers anywhere. However, over the past few years, a section of a favorite trail just below the Beaverkill Covered Bridge on the west side of the river and used by hikers, fishermen, campers and nature lovers was in jeopardy of becoming too dangerous to safely traverse and at risk of being washed out entirely.
While high river levels due to springtime or strong rainstorm flooding have washed away part of the trail, the primary cause of the trail damage was water coming from a spring on the opposite side of the trail from the river and slowly over the years eroding/undercutting the trail along a thirty foot stretch.
In an effort to save the trail, with the assistance of John and Patricia Adams, I contacted the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) and was informed of a program called the “Volunteer Stewardship Program” under which private citizens can be authorized to perform certain work (i.e. trail repair and maintenance) on public lands. I completed the application process and after a few meetings with Cindy Yaekel, the local representative from the DEC, to discuss the nature of the proposed trail repairs and maintenance, my application and the proposed repair and maintenance plans were approved. Subject to the DEC’s oversight, I am now a “Volunteer Steward” in charge of the repair, as necessary, and maintenance of the trail for the next five (5) years.
In December during a period of unusually warm and dry winter weather, I commenced work on the north end of the damaged section of trial with the installation of a 15” diameter culvert pipe approximately eleven feet in length to carry the water flowing from the spring under the trail and to the river. Initially, considering the tenuous conditions of the trial, I was forced to use my relatively light-weight, small BX24 Kubota tractor to do the work. For those who enjoy ice formations, I placed a splash rock below the outlet of the culvert pipe with some brush underneath in the hope of creating some interesting ice formations this winter.
Thereafter, working from the south end (campsite side) of the damaged portion of trail, using a much larger M62 Kubota tractor, I started digging up and moving material from near a large discarded mulch pile located a little further down the trail. My plan was to harvest material from just in front of the pile and then, when finished, fill in the anticipated pit with the mulch. At one time having been river bottom, the material in the area where I was digging up was perfect material (river bottom sand and small stone) for rebuilding and repairing the washed out and undercut portions of the trail. Working forward, I would compact a roughly four foot section of the compromised trail by pounding it down with the tractor backhoe bucket and then cover the newly compacted section with the river bottom material. Interestingly, there were sections that were so dramatically undercut and eroded that when pounded they collapsed as much as three feet. Those sections of trail, had they not been repaired presented a significant danger to anyone attempting to walk on them and would very likely have been entirely washed out within another year or so.
In addition to the water coming from the more active spring and routed thru the first culvert pipe, there was a much smaller amount of water flowing from another spring near the campsite end of the damaged portion of the trail as well as evidence of a substantial amount of spring runoff down the hillside. So, in accordance with the plan, a second 15” diameter culvert pipe approximately fourteen feet in length was installed at that end of the compromised portion of the trail. That culvert pipe, in part, was kindly donated by Siobhan Loizeaux-Bennett and Martin Estrada.
With the trail in far safer condition for all to enjoy and winter setting in, the remaining tasks (installing stonework around the culvert pipe ends, planting grass seed and relocating a few pine trees) will wait until warmer weather returns next spring.
Local resident Carl Obecny, via his local steward role with the DEC, has been busy in Dave Hoag’s tractor and back-hoe, down by the river just downstream from the Beaverkill Covered Bridge. As Carl reports: “It was a fun project. There was a section, roughly 10 feet in length, which had been undercut so dramatically by erosion the ground dropped anywhere from 1 to 2 feet when I pounded on the ground with the bucket of the tractor. A potentially dangerous situation now remedied.” Future projects include replacement of the industrial style gate (the one right by the Regan Road entry to the bridge), locating some stones to hide the new culvert pipe and additional tree plantings to further secure the river bank.
The meeting was held in the barn at the home of Patricia and John Adams. Approximately thirty members were in attendance. Reports and announcements began at 3:30pm.
INTRODUCTION. FOBC President Josh Grier and Patricia Adams welcomed everyone to the meeting, and noted that due to COVID this was the first official in-person gathering of the membership since the summer of 2019.
BEAVERKILL VALLEY LAND TRUST. Kate Adams spoke about the activities of the BVLT, and its assumption of the efforts to enter into and curate existing conservation land easements in the area. She pointed out that BVLT has taken over much of this responsibility, which was previously managed by the Open Space Institute. Kate O’Connor – our resident forest and environment professional who is currently working locally under the auspices of BVLT — spoke about the efforts to save the local forests from invasive pests, and about the renovation and re-opening of the Beech Mountain Nature Preserve. A more detailed summary of BVLT activities is attached below.
COVERED BRIDGE CAMPSITE. Carl Obecny spoke about on-going efforts to maintain and improve the Campsite day use and camping areas. As a “local steward” working directly with the DEC in Albany, Carl is initiating a number of projects to keep the riverbanks intact and to preserve the area’s rural appearance. Carl mentioned that he’d welcome any volunteers to assist in his efforts.
BEAVERKILL COMMUNITY CHURCH. A report from Ed Cerny was read by Patricia. Full text of that report attached below.
RAIL TRAIL EXPANSION. Josh Grier and Jennifer Grossman reported on the intended expansion of the biking/hiking rail trail from Hurleyville to Livingston Manor, then possibly on to Roscoe.
CATSKILL MOUNTAINKEEPER UPDATE. Executive Director Ramsay Adams spoke briefly about CMK priorities, including opposition to the proposed widening of Route 17 from Harriman to Liberty.
CANNABIS LEGALIZATION. Sheila Shultz reminded everyone that the Town of Rockland will be considering the legal opening of retail and usage establishments in the Town – to either opt in or opt out of the NY State legalization of marijuana. The open hearing is being held at Town Hall in Livingston Manor at 7pm on December 2.
BEAVERKILL VALLEY COOKBOOK. The publication of Stirring Up Memories of Trout Town USA. A cookbook compiled of recipes from local residents was announced. The book is available for sale at the Roscoe Free Library or by emailing Sally Cerny at email@example.com
TREASURERS REPORT. The bank account balance as of November 28 was $5940.40. New member dues contributions of $775 were collected at the meeting.
CLOSING. All members were encouraged to check out and possibly contribute to the FOBC website – friendsofbeaverkill.org.
A reminder that we’ll be hosting a gathering of friends and families for all members of the Friends Of Beaverkill Community at the barn next to the home of Patricia and John Adams – on SATURDAY NOVEMBER 27 from 3:00PM til 5:00PM. We hope some of you can stop by – its been awhile since we’ve convened in any organized manner. Visiting family members, non-member friends and kids are welcome and encouraged!
Patricia will be hosting a Nature Walk through the Covered Bridge Campsite area, leaving from the barn at 2:30pm. There will be a short meeting in the barn at 4:00pm, with some announcements about FOBC activities planned for 2022 and short presentations from the following local personalities:
KATE O’CONNER and KATE ADAMS – Beaverkill Valley Land Trust
CARL OBECNY – Renovations and improvements to the Covered Bridge Campsite grounds.
RAMSAY ADAMS – Catskill Mountainkeeper
ED CERNY – Beaverkill Community Church
We’ll have some food and drinks, for snacking and sipping. Please feel free to bring along any contributions to the snack table that you may have.
COVID Policy: For the health and safety of all, we’re requesting that all adults be vaccinated, and masks are encouraged when inside the barn.
FOBC Dues for 2022 are coming due in January. You can save yourself the postage and bring cash or a check to the party. Annual dues going forward are now $50 PER HOUSEHOLD. Checks can be made payable to Friends Of Beaverkill Community. A copy of Bruce Janklow’s new collection of impressionistic photos, all taken in the Beaverkill Valley, “Homage” will be distributed to all members renewing their participation for 2022.