Welcome to the Clearpool Model Forest

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What is a Model Forest?
A Model Forest is a defined eco-geographic unit comprised of a relatively large area in which forestry is the main land use, and serves to promote effective forest management and stewardship practices that are compatible with water quality protection. Supported through a voluntary partnership among individuals and organizations with a stake in the management of the forest resources, a Model Forest benefits from the combined expertise and resources to identify, develop, apply and monitor the effects of innovative, locally-specific approaches to sustainable forest management.

Welcome to the Clearpool Model Forest, 264 acres of privately-owned forestland set aside to support environmental education and forest stewardship within New York State’s Putnam County and the New York City Watershed, the largest surface water supply system in the world. Model Forests serve as outdoor classrooms to educate students, teachers, forest landowners, and communities about effective forest management and stewardship practices that are compatible with water quality protection - a critical issue in the East of Hudson region.

In October 2011, Green Chimneys and the Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) announced the designation of the Clearpool Model Forest as the fourth, and second largest, Model Forest established in and around the New York City Watershed region. The foundation of the Model Forest outdoor education experience incorporates water quality, biodiversity, forest ecosystems and human interaction with the natural landscape.

The Clearpool Model Forest Steering Committee is comprised of key Green Chimneys staff and Clearpool, Town of Kent officials, Putnam County Cornell Cooperative Extension, local environmentalists, foresters and educators, Quality Deer Management Association representatives, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). With WAC as a primary advisor, the Committee develops ongoing forest management plans, educational workshops, and projects to improve and cultivate the forest site for optimal use.

Vision for the Model Forest
The vision for the Clearpool Model Forest is to create broad public commitment to forest stewardship by helping students, teachers, forestry professionals, and the community to understand and experience the shared benefits that can be attained and preserved through properly managed forests, including:

  • Protection of public and private water supplies
  • Improved air quality
  • Protection of biological diversity
  • Increased recreational opportunities
  • Access to sustainably harvested forest products
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