Two be honored at event

Kathy Meany

AMSTERDAM — The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservacy is entering its 26th year of conservation in the Capital Region, and the organization is launching 2018 with its annual awards dinner on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the River Stone Manor.

The guest speaker is Elizabeth Sobol, president and CEO of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, who will speak on the intersections of culture and conservation in the Capital Region. Guests will experience views of the glistening Mohawk River during a late-winter sunset from Schenectady’s historic River Stone Manor while enjoying cocktails and a buffet dinner.

This year, MHLC will be honoring Kathy Meany and John Abbuhl. Volunteer and preserve steward Kathy Meany with the Dan Driscoll Leadership Award.

Meany has been volunteering with the conservancy since 2013 and plays many roles in growing the organization.

Meany writes, “Volunteering with and supporting MHLC is an important way for me to contribute to the preservation of open space.”

John Abbuhl

John Abbuhl (1926-2018) will be honored with the Saving Special Places Award for his significant contribution during his lifetime to land conservation in the Capital Region. A founding board member of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, John’s affinity for our local landscape both informed his work with MHLC and led to his creation of the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands.

The public is invited to join MHLC board, staff, and friends for this celebration, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Tickets for this event are available at or by calling (518) 436-6346.

Sobol will speak on the intersections of conservation and culture in the Capital Region. Prior to being head executive for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Sobol spent three years as the president and CEO of Universal Music Classics. Before that, Ms. Sobol was the managing director for IMG Artists for nearly three decades.

Meany volunteers as a preserve steward of the Bozen Kill Preserve in Altamont, digging trails, clearing brush, and caring for the land. She leads other volunteers and guests on guided hikes and also spends time representing the organization at local festivals and within the community.

MHLC will also be honoring Abbuhl for his significant contributions towards land conservation in the Capital Region. Dr. Abbuhl was a founding member of MHLC in 1992 and remained an advisory board member in the years that followed; he was also the founder of the Pine Hollow Arboretum in Slingerlands. Dr. Abbuhl spent his lifetime working to preserve the Capital Region, and MHLC honors his long-lasting influence on local conservation. The award will be presented to his family in recognition of Dr. Abbuhl’s lifetime of conservation work.

“We are thrilled to honor Kathy Meany and John Abbuhl for their contributions to the preservation of the Capital Region. Our Annual Awards Dinner reminds us every year of the power of individuals to make a difference in their community. Our team is excited to feature Elizabeth Sobol of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center as we move into a new year of conservation and look for new ways to connect with our communities. We look forward to exploring the connections between the local arts and nature throughout the year,” says Mark King, executive director of MHLC.

This dinner will be the first of dozens of conservation-oriented events open to the public and hosted by MHLC in 2018. In March, MHLC will feature a Winter Sports Day at Keleher Preserve, with food provided by Bountiful Bread of Stuyvesant Plaza. Activities include but are not limited to fatbiking, skiing, and snowshoeing. When April and warmer weather roll around, MHLC will host several Earth Day programs for all ages. Throughout the rest of the year, the public is invited to a series of programs including bird hikes, bike trail rides, outdoor yoga, a Hike-A-Thon in July, and several programs with Ondatra Adventures. MHLC invites friends both old and new to join in a year of conservation, recreation, and connection.

The Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy (MHLC) is a nonprofit conservation organization working to preserve the natural, scenic, agricultural and cultural landscapes of the Mohawk and Hudson River valleys. Since its founding in 1992, the Conservancy has protected more than 5,000 acres of land in Albany, Montgomery, and Schenectady counties, including over 2,000 acres open to the public for hiking, cross-country skiing, and other educational and recreational opportunities.