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July 25, 2013

Otsego Land Trust and NYSHA to host hikes

Cooperstown Crier

---- — The Otsego Land Trust and the New York State Historical Association are teaming to host two hikes. 

The events will be co-led by Garet Livermore of NYSHA and Virginia Kennedy, executive director of Otsego Land Trust. The first hike will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. July 30 at the Fenimore Art Museum. The second will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 14 at Brookwood Point.

NYSHA and OLT invite members of the public to walk through landscapes that inspired Cooper’s novels and gain a perspective on how the history and writers of 19th-century American romanticism impacted the American environmental movement.   

Highlighting authors such as James and Susan Fenimore Cooper and Henry David Thoreau and the histories of native peoples of the region, Livermore and Kennedy will share perspectives on the history and literature that frame environmentalism in the Otsego region and in America in general.   

Livermore, vice president for education at NYSHA and The Farmers’ Museum has used Otsego Lake as a teaching tool for graduate classes, public programs and K-12 curriculum as an integral part of NYSHA’s educational offerings for 15 years. 

Kennedy has a PhD in English and American Indian studies. Her research and writing focus on environmental ethics in American and American Indian literatures.

The July 30 hike at the Fenimore Art Museum, the grounds and building of which were originally owned by James Fenimore Cooper, is handicapped-accessible and winds along the Lake Side Trail behind the museum.   

“Otsego Lake is one of the most historic and beautiful landscapes in Central New York, this walk will look at the landscape from the grounds of the Fenimore Art Museum,” said Livermore in a media release. “This walking tour will explore 400 years of history in an hour and a half program. Participants will learn about the natural world, Native American history and the building of Cooperstown.” 

Brookwood Point is owned by the Otsego Land Trust. According to the media release, Brookwood, another former Otsego Lake estate, has a remarkably intact formal Italianate garden designed by landscape architect Frederic Townsend in the early 1900s. Only one mile from the Fenimore Art Museum, Brookwood Point offers a distinctive contrast between a designed landscape and an emerging ecologically natural area.   

“The uniquely beautiful landscape of Brookwood offers the perfect setting to consider the ways that different people and cultures connect to the land,” Kennedy said in the release. “America’s conservation movement has a complicated history, and Brookwood is filled with fascinating evidence of that history.” 

Both hikes are free and open to the public. For more information or to sign up for the hikes, call 547-2366 or email The Fenimore Art Museum is at 5798 state Highway 80 outside of Cooperstown and Brookwood Point is at 6000 state Highway 80, one mile north of the Fenimore Art Museum.