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.
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 such as a stamping club and Swamp Snappers Camera Club. 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!