On Monday, July 30, 2018, at a regularly-scheduled meeting at the Beekman Arms, the Rhinebeck Rotary Club was treated to a presentation by Winnakee Land Trust Director of Development, Ellen Henneberry. Ms. Henneberry was joined in her presentation by the Trust’s executive director, Gregg Swanzey.


Founded in 1989, the Winnakee Land Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to protect acreage in the northern Dutchess area which is either environmentally sensitive, hosts a working farm, or provides scenic views of the region which cannot be found elsewhere. The Trust also encourages the protection of wildlife habitats and watersheds and aggressively seeks to connect communities, both physically and emotionally, and is an active partner with other conservation groups such as Scenic Hudson.


The Trust is primarily known for its stewardship of Burger Hill, a 76-acre preserve which boasts one of the highest vantage points in Rhinebeck. The Trust also manages 105 acres of trails and, all lands combined, is responsible for the preservation of 2,500 acres in northern Dutchess.


A goal of the Trust, Ms. Henneberry said, was to immediately acquire 335 acres along the Sawkill in Red Hook so that a physical connection could be made between Bard College and the Empire State Trail, which connection would also protect Bard’s wetland and preserve its water supply.


Another goal of the Trust, Mr. Swanzey emphasized, was to increase the Trust’s stewardship from 2,500 acres currently managed to an additional 1,500 acres in the next decade.


The Rhinebeck Rotary Club meets at the Beekman Arms on Mondays at 12:15 pm throughout the year and is a humanitarian organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through local, national, and international service projects. Weekly meetings typically feature speakers who cover a variety of human-interest topics. Guests are welcome to attend and for information on becoming a member, to reserve a speaker’s spot at an upcoming meeting, or to attend a meeting to hear a specific speaker, please call Lou Trapani at 845-876-3088, ext. 14.

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