Historic Huguenot Street is set to host four seasonal nature walks in 2019 at the Nyquist-Harcourt Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mohonk Preserve led by ethno ecologist and founder of Wild Hudson Valley Justin Wexler, who specializes in folklore and land use among the native people of the Hudson Valley, thanks to a gift from the Thomas and Corinne Nyquist Foundation.
“The Midwinter Hunt: Bears, Stars, and Snow” will take place February 9; “The Springtime Fishing Camps: Shad, Birds, and Flowers” May 11; “Summers of Growth: Fruits, Greens, and Sun” August 10; and the final walk, “The Autumn Harvest: Maize, Nuts, and Venison,” will take place November 9 at the Mohonk Preserve, where visitors can see the reconstructed longhouse on site.These walks identify local flora and fauna and explain their material uses in native culture while also explaining the species and the surrounding ecosystems through Munsee language and folklore.
Local native peoples once made annual, seasonal trips to the habitats where the land had the most to share. For example, in the Hudson Valley indigenous calendar, springtime was spent along the tributary streams of the Hudson River to catch spawning fish. Summer was spent in floodplain villages adjacent to the maize crops. Autumn was a time when people collected nuts and set brush fires to hunt game in the hills. And early winter was a time for a special extended stay in nearby mountain valleys for trapping. These are only a few of the many ways in which the Esopus people and their neighbors lived off of the land.
Visitors of the first three walks will meet at the wigwam in front of the DuBois Fort Visitor Center. Tours last 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes and tickets cost $20 a person, or purchase a ticket for all four nature walks and receive a $12 reimbursement at the conclusion of the program in November. Discounts are available for HHS members, seniors, students, active military members, veterans, and children under 13. Visitors can register for a tour and purchase tickets online.
Photo of nature walk provided.