Our mission is to foster environmental, cultural and natural history education; to promote outdoor recreation; to preserve biological diversity, and to conserve and manage natural resources in the Oneida Lake and Lake Ontario watersheds.
If you want a wildlife viewing experience, take a walk to one of the many restored wetlands located at the Nature Center. These diverse habitats support and benefit wildlife and mankind. The Great Blue Heron rookery on the east side trail system is easy to view from the mowed path. There are approximately 7 miles of trails, with a 900 foot board walk on the west side. Simpson Park has a catch and release fishing area for families. The Anne V. Pickard Overlook is a viewing area for birdwatchers. The museum building has several exhibits from the NYS Museum of Natural History, Albany, NY for visitors to observe. The Great Swamp Conservancy continues to foster environmental, cultural and natural history education, promote outdoor recreation and preserve biological diversity and conserve and manage natural resources in the Oneida Lake and Lake Ontario watersheds. A variety of environmental programs are offered for adults and children. Visitors are welcome to walk the trails from dawn to dusk, picnic on the grounds without staff present. Office is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-3pm. For more information: www.greatswampconservancy.org or email: greatswampconservancy@ gmail.com or call 315-697- 2950.
The primary focus area of the Great Swamp Conservancy (GSC) includes approximately 36,000 acres on the south eastern shore of Oneida Lake in the towns of Lenox and Sullivan. this area is home to what the Iroquois called the Great Swamp, a remnant of Lake Iroquois. The Great Swamp was drained for agriculture from late 1800’s to the mid 1900’s creating rich black muck soils. The GSC’s driving force has been to return a portion of these wetlands back to their original state through partnerships with landowners, and local, state, and federal governmental agencies.
The GSC hosts a variety of school groups during the school year and summer months, teaching children about the importance of wetlands, wildlife, and natural resource conservation. Programs are geared toward helping children to develop a sense of community with and value for the natural environment. Programs can be tailored to any age group and facilities are ADA accessible. For high school, undergraduate and graduate students, the Conservancy also offers internship opportunities in wide variety of fields.
The GSC holds numerous events open to the public, showcasing nature in all four seasons. Members look forward to the annual Spring and Fall migration festivals, where artisans and vendors from around Central New York come to showcase their wares and celebrate the arrival and departure of our migrant feathered friends. We have clubs that meet at the GSC monthly and weekly such as a stamping club, Swamp Snappers Camera Club, Art and Nature classes, and Yoga classes . Check the events page often for updates, or stop by the visitor center for a chat and to pick up a free event calendar. Past events include guided walks led by university professors, sketching classes with local artists, and presentations by regional wildlife experts.
There is something for everyone at the Great Swamp, and we welcome you to visit for the day, join us at events, become a volunteer, or even become a member!