Instilling young people with a love of the land is one the surest way to inspire the next generation of conservationists. Winnakee hosts environmental education programs at our parks and preserves throughout the year. Partner programs such as with Boy Scout Troop 37 at the Winnakee Nature Preserve, “No Child Left Inside” with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County and our BioBlitz provide opportunities for youth to connect with nature through stewardship.
Bird watching programs with the Ralph T. Waterman Bird Club are held at Burger Hill, an 88% grassland habitat that attracts an array of rare bird species, and Vlei Marsh, the second largest wetland in Rhinebeck and home to many significant bird species.
In the coming year, Winnakee’s strategic plan calls for expanding educational collaborations at our new Vlei Marsh Preserve for school groups and nonprofit partners. Winnakee is committed to helping people of all ages connect with our natural environment through guided seasonal hikes at our growing number of preserves. In 2021, Winnakee added over six miles of new and upgraded trail systems to encourage people to get outdoors and enjoy the mental and physical health benefits those experiences provide.