Forsyth Nature Center

History

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HISTORY

The Forsyth Nature Center has been growing and changing for many years.

Forsyth Park, built on 18.55 acres was donated by the family of James C. Forsyth, who served as the Ulster County Judge in 1841. His daughters signed the bill suggesting the use of the park was for “quiet enjoyment and benefit of the public, male and female alike”.

The Forsyth Park Zoo was founded when a bear roamed into the park in 1936. WPA built a house for the bear to keep it safe, and over the years animals slowly joined the Forsyth Nature Center. Llamas, goats, donkeys, deer, pheasants, along with many more mammals and birds were added to the center, resulting in a zoo for educational purposes.

Decades later, the Forsyth Nature Center has 24 animal exhibits and a dozen gardens that contain a variety of native flora found here in the Hudson Valley.

Today, the Mission of the Forsyth Nature Center is “To foster the exploration of the natural world in and around our community through educational programming and contact with flora and fauna at an interpretive facility”.

 The Nature Center has been a fixture in the Kingston Community since 1936 and continues to grow and expand with help from the community.  Through dedicated volunteers from Friends of Forsyth Nature Center, a non-profit organization, and support from the City of Kingston Parks and Recreation Department; the Nature Center has become an educational stepping stone and a family-friendly place to explore species of all kinds.