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New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Gives Conservation Award to Basha Kill Area Association
The Trail Conference Leo Rothschild Conservation Award is presented to a person or organization that has made a significant contribution to the protection of our trails and/or the natural lands that surround them. It is named for a long-time conservation chair of the Trail Conference.
On September 8, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference presented its prestigious Leo Rothschild Conservation Award to the Basha Kill Area Association (BKAA ). Jakob Franke, co-chair of the Trail Conference’s Long Path Committee, presented the award to BKAA President Paula Medley at the group’s 40th anniversary celebration held in Mamakating Town Park, Bloomingburg, NY.
Founded in 1972, the BKAA’s mission is to protect the Basha Kill wetlands and surrounding area from ecological degradation, to promote education and respect for the environment, and to preserve the beauty of the area. The heart of BKAA’s focus is the Basha Kill Wildlife Management Area in Sullivan County, more than 2,200 protected acres that include the largest freshwater wetland in southeastern New York and miles of trails for public use.
These trails include a section of the 40-mile long Shawangunk Ridge Trail, which connects High Point State Park in New Jersey to Minnewaska State Park Preserve in New York, along the way traversing the Basha Kill Wildlife Management Area (BKWMA) on a protected rail trail. The Long Path, a 370-mile trail that extends from the George Washington Bridge to Altamont, NY, near Albany, overlooks the BKWMA as it runs along a section of the Shawangunk Ridge. Both trails are Trail Conference projects.
For 40 years, the BKAA has been steadfast in protecting the natural resources and scenic viewsheds along the Shawangunk Ridge and is a valued partner to the Trail Conference in protecting the Gunks Greenway Corridor through which our trails pass.
The Trail Conference honors the long, accomplished history of the BKAA and looks forward to a continuing partnership in protecting the Shawangunk Ridge.
Trail Conference work on the Shawangunk Ridge is supported by the Environmental Protection Fund and the New York State Conservation Partnership Program, a collaboration between the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance, and by the Conservation Alliance, a national group of outdoor industry companies.