Welcome to Run Wild, Inc. and our first fund-raising campaign! We are seeking to raise $20,000, half of which we'll contribute to a specific land parcel acquisition, and half of which we’ll save for future land preservation and stewardship projects. Your donation is tax-deductible, and 0% (zero) of it will be used to cover our operating expenses.
Run Wild is a New York State not-for-profit and 501(c)3 formed by Kenneth Posner, Heidi Fuhrman, Charlie Gadol, and Todd Jennings, whose mission is to leverage the passion of the running and hiking community for land preservation and stewardship in the Hudson Valley and beyond (www.runwildinc.org).
The specific land parcel acquisition we’re focused on today consists of 112 acres in northern Orange County, next to the Bashakill Wetlands and Gobblers Knob State Forest. The acquisition will allow for a section of the Long Path and Shawangunk Ridge Trail, which are two of New York’s signature long-distance connector trails, to be moved off of paved roads and into the forest, for the benefit of the public trail community. The land parcel is being acquired by the Land Acquisition and Stewardship Fund (LASF) of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference for a total of $380,000. The LASF is a small fund with less than $1 million in capital, but it has a long history of making critical land acquisitions in partnership with other not-for-profit organizations, designed to preserve the natural environment and improve trails in New York and New Jersey. This transaction is the work of Trail Conference board member and senior volunteer Andy Garrison, who is responsible for significant improvements to the Long Path in recent years.
We want people to understand that creating long-distance trails in New York State is no easy task, due to the massive urban and suburban sprawl. The Long Path has been stitched together over many decades through key acquisitions of small parcels, like this one. This work has been a labor of love for volunteers, like Andy, who establish relationships with landowners, negotiate acquisitions, and build and maintain the footpaths.
This section of trail is especially important to Run Wild, because we host a 70-mile trail race here in September called the SRT Run (www.srtrun.com). Our runners follow this part of the path at night, and we are delighted to have them in the forest instead of on the roads.
We deeply appreciate your interest in this project, no matter how big or small your contribution may be. Please share this campaign with your friends who care about preserving nature in the Hudson Valley.
(Photos of Andy Garrison and Bashakill Wetlands courtesy of Steve Aaron Photography)