local conservation history
We live in a place that doesn't look like other towns along the Hudson River. It has lots of open spaces — parks, trails, lakes, streams, and mountain peaks that we can explore. This is no accident.
The way that Garrison, Philipstown, and Putnam Valley look today stems from decisions made in the past by many land owners. The Osborn, Sloan, Ballard, Brown, Duryee, Earle, and Gunther families gave the School Forest to the Garrison School. And, the Osborns, Lila Acheson Wallace, David Gordon, the de Rham family, Mrs. Margaret Sage, and many others have conserved acres of additional land in the area.
The natural beauty of our community has also been preserved thanks to the engagement of many individuals in environmental activism. Our community is known for its involvement in the modern environmental movement in the United States. Garrison has ties to the fight against building a ConEd power plant on Storm King Mountain, and to the work of Scenic Hudson, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Hudson Highlands Land Trust, and the Open Space Institute. Robert H. Boyle founded the Hudson Riverkeeper Fund in Garrison in 1983. That organization became Riverkeeper.
The following books provide extensive information about the history of environmental issues and conservation efforts in the Hudson Highlands:
- Environmental History of the Hudson River: Human Uses that Changed the Ecology; Ecology that Changed Human Uses, Robert E. Henshaw, Editor, 2011
- The Highlands: Critical Resources, Treasured Landscapes, Richard Lathrop, Editor, 2011.
- The Hudson River: A Natural and Unnatural History, by Robert H. Boyle, 1979.
- The Hudson River Highlands, by Frances F. Dunwell, 1991