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Power Authority Visitors Center to Present Film on John Burroughs, Naturalist-Author

Steve Ramsey

September 27, 2007


NORTH BLENHEIM –A new documentary detailing the life and work of local 19th-century nature writer John Burroughs will be screened for the first time in the area at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the admission-free visitors center at the New York Power Authority’s Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Power Project.

Joe Farleigh of Roxbury, a Burroughs fan and member of the Woodchuck Lodge, Inc. Board of Directors, will introduce the video, “John Burroughs: A Naturalist in the Industrial Age,” and will be available to take questions afterward. The 40-minute video was produced by Professor Lynn Spangler, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York College at New Paltz.

Burroughs, who died in 1921, was born in Roxbury in 1837. His work played an integral role in the evolution of the U.S. conservation movement. He wrote more than 30 books and published hundreds of essays and poems in magazines, and some of his best writing came as a result of his native visits to the Catskills.

Farleigh, a retired science teacher with a special interest in environmental studies, has served as president of the Roxbury Burroughs Club. He has written articles on John Burroughs and on fly fishing for Kaatskill Life Magazine. He was also the editor of “John Burroughs: Voice of the Catskills.”

Farleigh also serves as a liaison to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), which oversees the John Burroughs Memorial Field State Historic Site. The site, open year-round during daylight hours, is located on Route 30, 1 ˝ miles north of Roxbury.

The Blenheim-Gilboa visitors center, housed in a refurbished 19th-century dairy barn, features interactive exhibits for children and adults on production and uses of electricity, energy efficiency and operation of the power project. The center, open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., is located 17 miles south of Middleburgh on Route 30.

 About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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