John Burroughs’ Woodchuck Lodge’s Wild Saturday Program Continues with “Drawing Attention to Nature” on Saturday August 3rd, 2019 with Barbara Bash

© J.N. Urbanski

Barbara Bash is an artist and author. She draws on large sheets of paper and speaks about her illustrated journaling of the natural world, exploring what calls our attention and brings us onto the sketchbook page. Bats and birds, trees and sky are all ready to engage. She will speak on Saturday August 3rd, 2019 at 1pm at Woodchuck Lodge. Her book, “True Nature: An Illustrated Journal of Four Seasons in Solitude”, will be available.

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John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge’s Wild Saturday Program Continues with Annie Mardiney’s Wildly Popular Face-To-Face With Raptors on Saturday July 6th, 2019

On Saturday July 6th, 2019 at 1pm, come meet a peregrine falcon, screech owls, a red-tail hawk and a threatened barn owl and kestrel, some of the many raptors that live in our woods and mountains with our speaker Annie Mardiney. Annie is a state and federally permitted wild bird rehabilitator with many stories to share of rescues, releases, and actions you can take to ensure the survival of these awesome birds.

John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge thanks the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) for their Public Education Grant Funding, which supports our Wild Saturday programming, the collaborative goal of heightening our awareness as Catskill Mountain stewards, global neighbors and dear friends to John Burroughs’ legacy.

Woodchuck Lodge’s Wild Saturdays have been hugely popular with locals and visitors alike. The Wild Saturday program will continue until October. On the first Saturday of every month at 1pm, one guest speaker will give a talk on our local, natural world, providing local fun and interest at Woodchuck Lodge, John Burroughs’ former home in Roxbury.

This free event takes place at Woodchuck Lodge, located at 1633 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474. For more information or images visit

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Walt Whitman’s 200th Birthday on Friday May 31st & Saturday June 1st, 2019

© J.N. Urbanski

John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge had a very successful Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration weekend with about 30 people showing up to attend the Friday night (May 31st) serial reading of “Song of Myself” at Union Grove Distillery (pictured above).

© J.N. Urbanski

30 people also attended the reading by Professor Jim Warren at Woodchuck Lodge the next morning, June 1st. This talk was Walt Whitman themed, but part of our Wild Saturday program. Jim spoke on “The Nature of Two Writers” a talk about John Burroughs and Walt Whitman.

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Wild Saturday Program Begins at Woodchuck Lodge, Roxbury, NY on May 4th, 2019 with Leslie T. Sharpe

© J.N. Urbanski

John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge’s wildly popular Wild Saturday Program begins on Saturday May 4th, 2019 at 1pm.

Naturalist Leslie T. Sharpe discusses her award-winning book, The Quarry Fox and Other Wild Critters of the Wild Catskills. The book is the first in-depth study of Catskills wildlife since John Burroughs was writing in the 19th Century. All visitors, including children, will be invited to share their wildlife stories.

This event is free and takes place at Woodchuck Lodge, 1633 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474. All are welcome.

© J.N. Urbanski

Event: Earth Day, April 22nd, 2019

© J.N. Urbanski

A second Earth Day event at John Burroughs’ Woodchuck Lodge: on Monday April 22nd, 2019 at 1pm.

Former DEC ranger, Patti Rudge, of Oliveria, will show participants how to attract nesting bluebirds in specially constructed bluebird boxes. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase a nesting box to attract a nesting pair to their own property. 

Celebrate Earth Day with the great naturalist and Catskill Mountain native, John Burroughs (1837-1921), John O’Birds, as he was known during his lifetime.

Allen Nichols of the American Chestnut Restoration Program at the Catskill Center, Arkville on April 13th, 2019 at 1pm

© J.N. Urbanski

Allen Nichols of the American Chestnut Restoration Program spoke to a gathering of 20 people at the Catskill Center, April 13th, 2019 at 1pm in Arkville, NY 12455. 

According to the foundation: “More than a century ago, nearly 4 billion American chestnut trees were growing in the eastern U.S. They were among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing trees. The wood was rot-resistant, straight-grained, and suitable for furniture, fencing, and building. The nuts fed billions of birds and animals. It was almost a perfect tree, that is, until a blight fungus killed it more than a century ago. The chestnut blight has been called the greatest ecological disaster to strike the world’s forests in all of history.”

The AC Foundation is committed to “restoring the American chestnut tree to our eastern woodlands to benefit our environment, our wildlife, and our society. Unlike other environmental organizations, TACF’s mission is not about preventing environmental loss or preserving what we already have. The concept of our mission is much bolder and more powerful. It’s about restoration of an entire ecosystem and making our world a much better place than we found it.”

Event: April 6th, 2019, John Burroughs’ Birds of April

Illustration by J.N. Urbanski

Join birding enthusiast Henry Wagner of SUNY Cobleskill and Park Naturalists for an outdoor foray in search of the birds of early spring, as we celebrate the date of John Burroughs’ birth. Affectionately known as “John O’Birds”, the renowned Catskills naturalist (1837-1921) waxed especially romantic about the “return of the birds,” bringing millions of Americans to a heightened appreciation of nature during a critical period in US conservation history. Bird sightings found at the Memorial Field will be embellished with pertinent quotes from Burroughs’ vibrant essays.

This program is open to the public free of charge and children are welcome. In case of inclement weather, the program will be cancelled.

The group will meet at John Burroughs Memorial Field, John Burroughs State Memorial Historic Site, 1067 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474 at 10am on April 6th, 2019. The walk will end in the same place it began at noon. Walkers are encouraged to bring binoculars and sturdy shoes as they will be walking in a combination of woods and field.

For more information, please call Mine Kill State Park at (518) 827-8685 or go to our Facebook page. This event is sponsored by NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Update – Celebrate Earth Day with John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge – Saturday April 6th, 2019 at Noon, Rain or Shine

John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge has Peterson bluebird nesting boxes available again! This year’s proceeds will go towards the restoration of Mr Burroughs’ apple orchard. After the walk, please join us at Woodchuck Lodge. We will demonstrate best management tips to entice the bluebirds, encourage them to nest and how to discourage predators.

Meet us on the front porch of Woodchuck Lodge at noon, rain or shine.

Family registration fee: $30. One box per family, please. RSVP quickly! Contact Patti Rudge at 845-254-4126 to reserve your box. Checks are to be written to John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge and mailed to Patti Rudge, 50 Brown Road, Big Indian, NY 12410.

“When nature made the bluebird, she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast”. John Burroughs.

John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge Fall Fundraiser

John Burroughs Woodchuck Lodge
Fall Fundraiser

Sunday September 23rd, 2018


@ The Rudge Family, 50 Brown Road, Big Indian, NY

$25/adult or $40 /couple

Kids 12 & Under FREE

PLEASE RSVP by September 16th to Patti at 845-254-4126

Please join Bill and Patti Ridge at their home as they host “The Ladles”.

This all-women band presents a blend of swing and old-time folk with three-part harmonies and achingly beautiful lyrics. Enjoy this incredibly talented and delightfully entertaining threesome, one of whom has local roots and revealed a hint of family story and thereby connection to JB… Come and prepare to be enchanted! It promises to be a lovely afternoon.

Light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres served.

Wild Saturdays: Face-to-Face with Raptors

The next and final Wild Saturday of the year at Woodchuck Lodge, on October 6th at 1pm, is entitled Face-to-Face with Raptors. Annie Mardiney, federally licensed wildlife “rehabilitator”, shares her deep passion by bringing hawks, owls, and falcons to Woodchuck Lodge. Come meet them face to face! Last year, we received almost 60 visitors for this talk by Annie, one of the most popular talks we’ve hosted.

Free, guided tours of Woodchuck Lodge are offered throughout the summer on the first weekend of the month on Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 3pm, between May and October, so if you can’t make our Wild Saturday, you still have the rest of the weekend to take a tour with one of our docents on October 6th and 7th which will be the last chance to visit Woodchuck Lodge before it closes for the summer.

Visitors can also now take advantage of our new trail. Woodchuck Lodge received a grant to develop the trail around the Woodchuck Lodge grounds and our Trustee Patti Rudge has been overseeing its construction. The trail provides a unique view of the property, snaking up and behind the Lodge and through a forest and out into our meadow that has stunning views.

Wild Saturday events take place at 1pm at 1633 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY 12474. Children are welcome.