Black Rock Forest is a non-profit organization and consortium of member institutions formed in 1989 with a mission of advancing scientific understanding of the natural world through research, education, and conservation programs. The organization maintains a 3,920-acre forest with 27 miles of trails, 17 miles of gravel roads, a biological field station, and two award-winning green buildings in Cornwall, NY.
Each Institutional Member pays a single annual fee to support operational costs. No other fees are charged aside from modest per-person fees for overnight lodging. Each institution receives a suite of privileges for using Black Rock Forest and the resources of the Consortium.
Full access to the 3,920-acre Black Rock Forest field station for education, research, meetings, events, and other institutional uses.
Consortium staff to support programs: Educators (Master Science Educator, 3 environmental educators)
- Scientists available to lead lessons:
- Dr. Isabel Ashton, Executive Director (Forest Ecology)
- Dr. Jessica Schnell, Director of Education (starting 5/11/23)
- Dr. Scott LaPoint, Research Scientist (Wildlife Biology)
- Kate Terlizzi, Research Manager (Conservation Biology)
- Aaron Culotta, Environmental Educator (Wildlife Management)
- Matthew Munson (Environmental Science & Monitoring)
- Office & Development Support to ensure that the visit and logistics go smoothly and to assist with any interest in grant-writing for special projects.
Science Center and Forest Lodge Summary:
Meeting space for up to 140 people and lodging for up to 60 visitors in the combined 9000 square feet of classroom, meeting and lodging space. Opportunities are available for social distancing when group sizes are reduced – classroom tables may be arranged in any configuration requested by the educators. Additional Facilities Information
Science Center (laboratories and classrooms) (9,000 sf):
- Wet Lab
- Tree Ring Lab
- Dry Lab (includes microscopes, 2 are micro-eyes)
- Classrooms (2)
- Library/Conference Room
- Galley Kitchen
- Office Services (copy machine, extra workstations if needed, phones, fax, etc.)
The Forest Lodge, this building hosts:
- lodging for up to 60 visitors in dorm rooms with bunk beds
- Commercial kitchen
- Atrium for gatherings or large workshops
- Deck (room for outdoor meals and tenting)
- Grill for BBQ’s
- Picnic pavilion for meals, classes and informal meetings
- Lawn and log benches for outdoor games and classes
Moretti Education Center (NEW!)
- 30-person classroom and lab space
- Meeting space for educator collaboration
- Temperature-controlled wet lab
The Stone House:
1834 stone house located offers a unique overnight experience in the heart of Black Rock Forest, 2 mi from the Science Center.
- Lodging for 8 visitors in bunk beds
- picnic tables (inside and outside)
- 2 working fireplaces
- An outdoor composting toilet facility a short walk from the house
- Note: no running water or electricity; an outdoor stove is available for cooking (guests must bring their own 20lb propane tank).
- Non-potable water is available from a hand pump from the house well.
Misdom House (Temporarily unavailable):
- Casual lodging
- Up to 3 visitors
- Newly renovated housing. (Housing for post-doctoral fellows or researchers.)
Other facilities include:
- environmental monitoring stations
- the wood shop area, sawmill, & barn
- a tree nursery and experimental garden
Access to a variety of scientific equipment and vehicles to enable and support field work for classes
- WiFi Mesh Network available for Researchers and Educators
- 95-year research database
- 600+ publications
- Automated environmental sensor network
The Director of Educator position is a fully endowed position designed to serve as primary liaison with all Institutional Consortium Members. This position oversees all Black Rock Forest education programs and works with educators and students at all grade levels, especially K-12. Additionally, the Board has allocated endowed funds to support higher education at BRF and to ensure that the needs and research of college and graduate students are met. In this way, the educational needs of BRF’s Institutional Members are a guaranteed part of Black Rock Forest’s outlook.