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 Part 2

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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Hike Clark Reservation

A perfect beginners hike. Explore the entire park with the Council of Park Friends Naturalist, Jessica. She will take you on a thorough hiking tour of the park with stops along the way for wildlife and beautiful views. This program is free with admission to the park ($4 per car on weekends).

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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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