Our mission is increasing public awareness of the threats to global fresh water resources. Using the Catskill/Delaware Watershed as a living classroom, we will inspire people through programs, exhibits and events to care for, conserve and protect the world’s water resources for the benefit of generations to come.


The Water Discovery Center is an educational organization that tells the story, past and present, of the New York City water supply system, one of the most extraordinary municipal water systems in the world, one that promotes sound management of a working watershed, open to recreation, while protecting the precious natural resource of the Catskill Mountains.  It is also a story of community sacrifice that came with the building of this water system; a story of the cultural heritage of the watershed communities; a story of the wondrous bounty that nature has bestowed on the Catskills and the care that must be taken to access, harvest, distribute, preserve and protect that bounty and fresh water everywhere.


Working with partners in the Arkville Recreation Hub, that include the Catskill Watershed Corporation, Watershed Agricultural Council, NYC DEP, Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce and many regional organizations including the Catskill Center, Catskill Forest Association, Frost Valley YMCA, and the Ashokan Center, the Catskill Water Discovery Center will provide educational opportunities and programs to inform and inspire about the importance of watershed management, land protection, and environmental stewardship.


  • Gary Gailes, President – Development Consultant to Crossroads Ventures, developer of the Belleayre Resort

  • Carol O’Beirne, Vice President – Executive Director, Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce

  • Martie Gailes, Secretary/Treasurer – Retired High School Business Educator

  • Aaron Bennett – Environmental Planner, Ulster County 

  • Sally Fairbairn – Chair, Council of Directors Watershed Agricultural Council

  • Dorothy Jennings – Executive Vice President, HVS

  • Robert Kalb – Retired Engineer and former Shandakan Planning Board Member

  • Leonard Levitan – President, Levitan Design Associates, Inc., Exhibition Planner, World Exposition Designer

  • Diane Munro – Retired Superintendent of Schools, Florida, NY

  • John Riedl – Retired Superintendent, Margaretville School

  • Judith Schwartzstein – Retired Public Affairs Director, Sarah Lawrence College 

  • Eric Wedemeyer – Retired Managing Director, Coldwell Banker Timberland Properties


  • Adam Bosch – NYC Department of Environmental Protection

  • Samantha Costa – Catskill Watershed Corporation

  • Patrick Dolan – Catskill Forest Association

  • Katie Palm – Catskill Center

  • Michael Porter – Catskill Forest Association

  • Virginia Scheer – Catskills Folk Connection

  • Dan Shornstein – Ashokan Center

  • Cindy Taylor – Retired Science Teacher

  • Brett Tillman – Frost Valley

  • Tyler Van Fleet – Watershed Agricultural Council 


  • Education

  • Nature Preserve

  • Exhibits

  • Communications

  • Development

© Catskill Water Discovery Center