A Special Message from CWC

Dear CWC Friends and Supporters,

On behalf of the CWC Board of Directors and Staff, we wish you health and safety during this COVID-19 time of concern and uncertainty as well as peace and resilience in the midst of it all.

During this unprecedented and altered season, we are reminded of what is most important in our lives – the health and well-being of our loved ones and a healthy, sustainable, and safe environment. We are also reminded how very grateful we are for each of you, our members and supporters, and wish to thank you for your dedication to our shared mission of preserving and protecting the water quality, scenic beauty, and ecological health of the lakes, streams, and watersheds of our region. Be assured that while this coronavirus crisis brings new and difficult challenges, CWC resolves to successfully navigate these waters and continue our conservation education, technical assistance, and land conservation work while abiding by the New York State Department of Health and CDC COVID-19 safety protocols to protect our staff, families, and the public.

More than ever, we encourage you to seek what is beautiful and good. Our thousand-plus acres of preserves (http://chautauquawatershed.org/maps/) remain open for you to explore and enjoy (using social distancing, of course!) from sunrise to sunset, and they await your visit. The gifts of nature found in our woodlands, wetlands, meadows, and lakeshores promise refreshment, renewal, and healing for body, mind, and spirit. Walk the trails…take your children fishing…launch your kayak…meander among the wildflowers…and seek the joy and serenity of nature amidst our chaotic and crazy world.

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns or if we can assist you in any way. Because we are conducting our work remotely for the foreseeable future, the best way to reach us is by e-mail to info@chautauquawatershed.org or to a specific staff person using the format of firstname@chautauquawatershed.org (e.g. john@chautauquawatershed.org). You may also call the office at 716-664-2166 and leave a message. We will respond as soon as possible. Please note that, using proper safety and social distancing protocols, and as we are able, we intend to:

  • continue providing technical assistance on landscaping for water quality, stormwater management and habitat enhancement on lands owned by families, businesses, organizations, and the public; 
  • remotely offer conservation staff site evaluations and guidance on healthy lawn care practices, improving yards for capturing and filtering stormwater via buffers, swales, and raingardens, and/or for creating habitat for pollinators and wildlife; 
  • continue to steward and protect our preserves, along with the biodiversity they sustain and the hydrological and ecological gifts they provide;
  • conserve and restore lands with collapsing stream banks and severe erosion to arrest the thousands of tons of soil entering our lakes and fueling excessive plant growth; and
  • continue identifying and conserving woodlands and wetlands which capture, store, filter, and deliver clean waters to our lakes, streams, and drinking waters downstream.

CWC is thankful for your partnership in our work to conserve the landscapes, habitats and waters that make the Chautauqua County a special place in which to live and recreate – a refuge for humans and wildlife alike! With your help, we will continue delivering conservation activities and stewardship of our beautiful preserves for many years to come. Please consider a donation to assist us through these very challenging times, and thank you so much for your support!

With warm regards,

Becky Nystrom, Board President, and John Jablonski III, Executive Director

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