The Nature Conservancy will officially close its Barberville Falls Preserve, from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Located in Poestenkill, the 140-acre preserve is a favorite outdoor destination and frequented by visitors who enjoy hiking, bird watching and other passive recreational activities. Despite effort to prohibit swimming and other activities not allowed at the preserve, misuse of the preserve and disrespect for the preserve neighbors continues to be a problem.
“The decision to close the preserve, especially during the summer months, is a difficult one,” said Rick Werwaiss, executive director, The Nature Conservancy Eastern New York Chapter. “In past years, the Conservancy has hired a security force, utilized volunteers, and had staff on site to patrol the preserve. Despite our efforts to discourage and control the misuse of the property, the problem has persisted and we feel closure is the only option currently available to us.”
Closing the preserve will give the police the ability to strictly and consistently enforce the recurring issues of trespass, disturbing the peace, littering, swimming and climbing on the falls, and alcohol consumption.
“The Nature Conservancy is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience to all who use the preserve,” adds Werwaiss. “We will continue to evaluate options which may allow future public access to Barberville Falls.”
The New York State Police, the Rensselaer County Highway Department, and the Town of Poestenkill support the decision to close the preserve.
Dominic Jacangelo, Poestenkill Town Supervisor said, “It is unfortunate that the behavior of some individuals have caused this notable landmark much loved by our residents to be closed and kept from everyone’s enjoyment.”
Conservancy Stewardship Coordinator Matt Levy encourages Capital District residents looking for family friendly hikes to explore other beautiful and popular natural areas in the region such as the Lisha Kill Preserve or the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
The Nature Conservancy in Eastern New York
914.244.3271 ext. 21