Mohonk Consultations brings together leaders and experts from public, private and non-profit sectors, as well as students and the interested public for day-long conferences. These gatherings are often co-sponsored with regional organizations that have a specific expertise relevant to the topic being addressed. In these events we foster understanding of issues from broad and diverse perspectives with the intent of creating new action plans including collaborations. Examples of strong new initiatives that have emerged from past conferences include the establishment of the Phillies Bridge Farm Project, the Hudson River Watershed Alliance, and UlsterCorps’ Hunger Project.
The following list of past conferences illustrates the breadth of our concerns:
- 2016 Realizing a Culture of Peace co-sponsored by Kosmos Journal, Lifebridge Foundation and United Nations Association – Mid Hudson Valley Chapter. We explored how can we create a just and sustainable society that is ethically and ecologically sound and how can we live and work together to build safe and nonviolent communities? Conference videos available here (and run chronologically right to left). Agenda.
Speakers included Keynote Dot Maver who spoke on how a Culture of Peace is emerging all over the world. Dot’s presentation; Victoria Christgau: Executive Director, Connecticut Center for Non Violence; Kingian non violence. Victoria’s presentation; Ş. İlgű Őzler: SUNY Global Engagement Program in NYC; Pres. United Nations Association Mid Hudson Valley; and Prof. Political Science / International Relations, SUNY New Paltz; and Iris Spellings: Global Movement for the Culture of Peace. Iris’s presentation.
Also Rebecca Burdett: Education and Mindfulness with Children; Fran Tarr: Breaking Walls; Youth social transformation and leadership. Fran’s breakingwalls video; and Christa Tinari: PeacePraxis; Activating Empathy for Sustainable Peace and Justice Work. Christa’s presentation.
Attendees continued an historical tradition dating back to the annual Lake Mohonk Conferences on International Arbitration, held at the Mohonk Mountain House between 1895 and 1916.
- 2015 Costs and Benefits of Sustaining Conserved Land: Values to Communities and the Challenges to Sustaining Them
in partnership with Scenic Hudson, Mohonk Preserve and the Wallkill Valley Land TrustMore than 130 attendees at this 2015 conference explored the challenges and opportunities for conservation and stewardship of land in the mid-Hudson Valley. View the Agenda and the available speakers’ presentations below.
- Joe Alfano – Deputy Executive Director for Strategic Advancement, Mohonk Preserve. What Mohonk Preserve Means to Our Visitors, courtesy of Mohonk Preserve and G. Steve Jordan.
- Carol Ash – Chair, Carey Institute for Global Good; Open Space Institute Board member; and Former NYS Commissioner of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.
- Christine Chale, Partner, Rodenhausen Chale LLP
- Jessica Sergent – Director of Research, Trust for Public Land.
- Henry Tepper – Past President of Mass Audubon, and formerly Deputy Commissioner, NYS Parks, Recreational & Historic Preservation.
- Kathleen Davis – Hyde Park Recreation
- Ethan Winter – Land Trust Alliance
- Rita Shaheen – Scenic Hudson
- 2014 Where it Grows, Where it Goes – Achieving Local Food Security brought together farmers, farm interns and representatives from land trusts, municipal governments, agricultural businesses, nonprofits engaged in agriculture, health and food services, as well as local citizens. The conference addressed preserving land for agriculture uses, expanding regional markets, raising a new generation of farmers, and supporting existing farms. (Read a Shawangunk Journal article on the conference by reporter Chris Rowley and see the 2014 Conference Program.)
- Todd Erling – Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation on Agriculture as Economic Development through Rural-Urban Partnerships
- Jerry Cosgrove, Local Economies Project
- Christina Grace, American Farmland Trust
- Kathleen Frith, Glynwood
- Local Farmers: Lindsey Shute, Pete Taliaferro, Pete Ferrante, and Paul Colucci
- Steve Rosenberg, Scenic Hudson on Conserving Our Hudson Valley/ NYC Foodshed
- Jim Hyland, Winter Sun Farms
- Kevin Terr, Red Barn Produce Inc.
- Justine Legere, Bridge Creek Cafe and Catering
- 2013 A Watershed Moment – Changing Climate and the Future of Our Water Resources addressed the complex issues impacting fresh water security including changes in climate patterns, flooding, population growth, water treatment, and development. Co-sponsored with the Hudson River Watershed Alliance.
- 2012 Alternative Energy Focused on sustainable policies, practices and financial initiatives, particularly impacting solar, wind, and geothermal energy.
- 2011 Building Resilient Communities in These Changing Times Offered a history and background to the Transition Communities movement worldwide across the world and explored the application of Transitions Communities to our region.
- 2010 Meeting the Climate Challenge – Taking Action in the Hudson Valley Explored current climate change policy and science, as well as effective local responses to climate change. Topics included state-of-the-art regional and local climate change science; economic and social implications of climate change in the Hudson Valley, and current federal, state and regional climate change policy. See the Mohonk Preserve’s Daniel Smiley Research Center’s presentation given at this event on local climate change. Co-sponsored by the Hudson River Watershed Alliance.
- 2009 Ending Hunger in the Hudson Valley Connecting people, food and the land – was the focus in 2009 of both our Spring Forum and Fall Conference. We brought together farmers, gleaners, town supervisors, and representatives from food banks, soup kitchens, social services, and volunteer agencies, along with interested citizens to discuss the disturbing trend of widening hunger in our community. The UlsterCorps Hunger Project Steering Committee was created as a result.
- 2008 What’s Your Watershed Address? Protecting the Hudson Valley’s Water and People Local officials, water managers and citizens discussed the mechanics and challenges to healthy streams, rivers and buffer zones.
- 2004 Creating a Hudson River Watershed Partnership: Focused on solutions to problems of water quality and quantity threatened by the region’s growth. The Hudson River Watershed Alliance initiative grew out of this conference.
- 2003 Keeping Our Heads Above Water; Protecting Fresh Water for our Future Scientists, planners, local governments and citizen groups exchanged ideas on protecting local water resources through local laws, regional planning, training of volunteers, and reduction, re-use and recycling of water. Co-sponsored with Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
- 2002 Smart Growth Success in the Hudson Valley Diverse perspectives from business, development, environment, municipalities and local citizens to improve growth and development while preserving the region’s open space and rural character. Co-sponsored with Hudson Valley Smart Growth Alliance.
- 2000 Lessons from the Conflict in Kosovo – Where Do We Go from Here? An international meeting to present and discuss the findings of the International Commission on Kosovo. Participants included diplomats, scholars and human rights activists. Co-sponsored with SUNY New Paltz and the Carnegie Foundations.
- 1998 Environmental and Human Rights – Making the Connection. A Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Human Rights Declaration Leaders of groups from the Hudson Valley explored ways that people are put at risk by such environmental problems as living near toxic sites and having limited access to high quality air or clean drinking water.
- 1995 How Different Cultures Settle Differences Co-custodial dispute resolution; peer mediation in the schools, Alternatives to Violence, a program used in prisons; Native American peacemaking; and training of public officials in mediation and facilitation skills to resolve land use conflicts and zoning were addressed. Co-sponsored with Ulster-Sullivan Mediation, Inc.
- 1994 Environmental Values: National leaders, local government officials and educators discussed environmental values and ethics.
- 1990 Greenways – Partnerships for the Future Discussions of the influence and support for environmental concerns of NY State Greenways, including Palisades Parkway and Harriman State Park.
- 1988 Dialogues with Family Farmers on Economic Survival and New Technologies in Family Farming Farmers and local leaders discussed the mounting challenges to family farms, which led to the formation of Working Group on Family Farms. (See: New Technologies for Family Farming; 1989 and Development of Farming in the Hudson Valley – The Land and the People 2003 by Claire Danielsson, co-published with Phillies Bridge Farm Project)