John Sutton of Skaneateles, Onondaga County, NY.
What is your volunteer role at the Finger Lakes Land Trust? What kinds of work do you do here?
As a land steward for High Vista at the south end of Skaneateles Lake I hike the trails, try to maintain the trails and clear them of windfalls, and keep an eye on the place. As the “neighborhood” is quite an exquisite piece of mother earth and full of birds in the spring and summer it is quite an enjoyable job.
I also launch my kayak from the town of Scott boat launch at Glen Haven, below High Vista, and paddle out to Staghorn cliffs below the Dickinson Preserve when I can. I am also volunteering to work at whatever needs to be done at developing the trails, etc. at the new Hinchcliff Family Preserve just north of High Vista in the town of Spafford.
How long have you been involved as a volunteer?
Since October of 2007—I came out of the State Theatre after hearing the Dalai Lama and ran into Emily Eisman who was also there and she asked me if I would like to be a land steward for High Vista Preserve. It was a wonderful day.
Why do you volunteer?
I have worked in an art studio restoring paintings for over 30 years and getting outside has always been a healthy break from the meticulous work of that practice. But also, I was one of those kids who went to summer camp in the Adirondacks and Algonquin Park, Ontario in my school days and loved camp, lakes and the outdoors. I grew up in Pittsford NY, and was often at my friends family camps on Canandaigua Lake so when I first moved back to the Finger Lakes, Skaneateles, in 1972, I was happy to be back.
What’s your favorite FLLT activity and/or preserve? Why?
High Vista, Hinchcliff, Dickinson Staghorn Cliffs, Bahar & Carpenters Falls, all surrounding the south end of our lake. I keep going back to all of these places and they just become more amazing and valuable to me as I am getting older. And to be able to sit at the Glen Haven Hotel after a day outside is another favorite spot.
Anything else you would like to add?
I have really enjoyed watching FLLT grow over these last 10 years. Thanks everyone.