What is CPF?

The Council of Park Friends (CPF) helps maintain, preserve, and interpret the exquisite natural settings of the State Parks of central New York. Begun in 1980, CPF was organized to promote appreciation of the Parks as educational resources. Among the early trail blazers was Mildred Faust whose botany course at Syracuse University used Clark Reservation State Park as a classroom. She is honored today by a kiosk at Clark provided with the support of CPF. 

 CPF operates the Nature Center at Clark Reservation. Our Naturalists offer programming on the botany, geology, and wildlife of the park through a series of scheduled events. Special requests by school groups, seniors, youth and those with special needs are met as well. The core function of CPF is nature education. We partner with like-minded groups dedicated to preserving the natural environment and informing the public on environmental issues. Our newsletter, the Polypodium is published twice-yearly and sent to all CPF members.  


  • Nature Center

Upcoming Events


Learn how to Collect and Preserve Plants

Flora lovers unite! The Council of Park Friends plant and garden expert Debby will lead a 2-part (August 8 and 29 at 10am) class on how to create your own preserved plant collection. This class will focus on the methods used when collecting herbaceous plants for an herbarium but participants will also be able to use their plants for art or other display purposes. The first class (8/8) will be out in the field where you will learn how to collect plants, document them, and either bring them home for pressing or press them in the field. The 2nd class (8/29) will be inside, where you will mount the dried plants, prepare labels, and discuss storage and organization. There is a single fee of $5 for the 2 classes and supplies will be included.  Space is very limited; please email Jessica at jpaterac@syr.edu to reserve your spot in advance. 

There is a $4 per car entry fee to the park on the weekends.

*We will be supplying herbarium sheets, labels and glue. Participants should bring their own notebook for field notes and should bring a pencil (not pen).

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Kids Amphibian Adventure

Frogs and salamanders are abundant in Clark Reservation, yet rarely seen. Learn more about these secretive species and how to become an amphibian detective! We will start at the Nature Center and then head down the stairs to the lake to see what we can find! Children should be of age and ability to do this short, but rugged hike. Please dress appropriately and consider insect repellent. This program is free with admission to the park ($4 per car on weekends).

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Dusk Solar Viewing with Barefoot Bob

Join local astronomer Barefoot Bob for an evening of solar system  and star gazing. Fun for all ages! Equipment will be provided. This is  in cooperation with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation-Central Region.

Raindate Saturday, August 22 at dusk

This program is free with no park entrance fee.

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Composting Class with OCRRA

Do you dream of being more eco-friendly? Would you like your family to learn? A recycling and composting specialist will guide in the creation of your own compost bin to bring home with you! The cost of the class will be $15 for supplies (provided). Please email Jessica at jpaterac@syr.edu to sign up for this event in advance.

This event costs $15 to attend. Please visit the Secure Payment page at  http://www.councilofparkfriends.org/events/composting.php

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News and Highlights

First Day Hike

Baby its cold outside! But that didn’t stop the 360 visitors to Clark Reservation State Park in Jamesville this New Year’s Day. 2015 marks the fourth year the New York State Park system has sponsored walks at over 20 parks and this year saw the addition of free fleece hats and commemorative stickers for participants who pre-registered with their park.

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