The mission of the Catskill Water Discovery Center is to educate people of all ages about the precious nature of, and threats to our planet’s most vital resource – pure water.  Using the Catskill/Delaware Watershed as a living classroom, and the history and experience of those connected to this watershed, we will inspire people through programs, exhibits and events to care for, conserve and protect their 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.

LOCATION:  669 County Rd. 38 - Suite 3, Arkville, NY   12406


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

  • Martie Gailes, Secretary – Retired High School Business Educator

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

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

  • Aaron Bennett – Environmental Planner, Ulster County 

  • Shane LeClair, Creative Director, Exhibits, Wildlife Conservation Society

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

  • Sara Lopergolo, Partner, Selldorf Architects….

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

  • Samantha Costa - Communication/Education Coordinator, Catskill Watershed Corporation


  • Adam Bosch – NYC Department of Environmental Protection

  • 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 


  • Executive

  • Education and Programs

  • Outdoor Spaces/Nature Preserve

  • Exhibits

  • Communications

  • Finance and Development

Photographs courtesy of Kristen Rendler from DEP