A Labor of Love—Writing the History of a Research Station
I am writing a history of a biological research station—the Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve, located in the historic hamlet of Rensselaerville, N.Y. Through this blog, I am putting together pieces of the Preserve’s history and adding other interesting tidbits of natural history. It’s a labor of love, but one that is taking an awfully long time to finish.
My family started the Huyck Preserve in 1931 as a place for the public to enjoy nature. Edmund (Ted) Niles Huyck and the Huyck family owned 500 acres that included beautiful waterfalls, a lake, a pond, woodlands, and miles of trails. Ted told friends before he died that he thought it wasn’t right for one person to own such wonderful land and that the public had a right to enjoy it. So after he died, his widow—Jessie Van Antwerp Huyck—established the Preserve in his name. In 1938, the research station was added. The Preserve is one of only a handful of independently owned biological research stations. Most are owned by universities. Today it protects more than 2,000 acres, is still open to the public for hiking, non-motorized boating, and swimming; provides educational programs; and supports graduate students and senior scientists doing ecological research.
Several members of the Huyck and Van Antwerp families have served on the board. Jessie was chair until she died in 1959; my grandmother, Katharine Huyck Elmore, was chair until she died in 1996; then others served as chair including Marguerite (Marge) Rooney, Shirley Stevens French (a Van Antwerp relative), and now me. The Board itself is elected by Preserve members and includes family and community representatives, as well as experts in various fields (scientists, conservationists, educators, and others).
If you want to read more and find out how you can visit the Huyck Preserve, go to http://www.huyckpreserve.org
And perhaps, one day soon, you’ll be able to read my book . . . if I ever finish writing it, that is. Read more by clicking on the “Posts” tab above.
L. Stephenson Carter