With an initial grant from the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), the Catskill Water Discovery Center (CWDC) was incorporated in 2001 as the Catskill Watershed Partnership Museum, a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization changing its name in ensuing years to widen its scope.
ITS MISSION IS:
“…to educate people of all ages about the precious nature of, and threats to, our planet’s most vital resource — pure water. We will use the Catskill/Delaware Watershed as our living classroom and the history and experience of those connected to this watershed to inspire people through programs, exhibits, and events to care for, conserve and protect their water resources for the benefit of generations to come.”
Plans for an interpretive museum were revised over the years culminating in a 750 square foot exhibit space in the headquarters building of the CWC with access to a 140-seat auditorium. With regional relationships built through continued community engagement by members of the Board of Trustees, the CWDC was awarded in 2014 a grant to lead a study of recreational access to the East Branch of the Delaware River. This study was a result of a recommendation by the Stream Corridor Management Program, a county-wide program of Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and Delaware County Planning Department, that called for the watershed partners and communities to “enhance recreation activities” within the watershed.
The outcome of the study is a plan that recommends the creation of recreation hubs in the Delaware County villages and hamlets of Andes, Arkville, Fleischmanns, Margaretville, and Roxbury, all of which are within the Catskill Watershed. The plan, “East Branch Delaware River Enhanced Recreational Access Plan” has been described as a model in planning for recreational purposes in the protected NYC Watershed. Arkville is the first to be in line for funding from Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District for pathways and interpretive signage in the Catskill Water Discovery Center’s nature preserve. Funding for the initial planning phase was made to the NY/NJ Trail Conference for design of those trails.