The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) is pleased to present the 2021 Annual Report, filled with our greatest accomplishments amidst the most challenging times. We hope it brings you joy to read about the many conservation successes achieved this year. With the unwavering commitment of many including the WAC’s Board and staff, we not only survived incredible fiscal challenges and leadership transitions, but rose to the occasion and triumphed.
Despite the many challenges we faced, the WAC continued throughout 2021 to make a difference on farms and in the forest. Throughout these pages you’ll read about the Weber Family’s new calf feeding facility and the positive impact it will have on water quality. You’ll learn how we adapted to change during COVID-19 and our new ways of doing business, such as the WAC Forestry Program offering successful and educational virtual bus tours. You’ll hear from John Verhoeven, a Pure Catskills member and a WAC Pilot Farmer, about his operation and the changes his farm has made throughout the years. We also highlight the success of the Truesdell Farm Easement which guaranteed a farm family’s legacy.
What these pages don’t reflect is how the WAC worked endlessly behind the scenes to create a better better accounting practices to provide transparency, accountability and ensure the continuity of programs. We also established a clear strategic vision that allows our mission, policies and programs to evolve, but that are still in-line with our partner and funder, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. We now have a renewed and clear foundation to launch a better WAC, by promoting smart and able sta ers to greater responsibilities and recruiting savvy professionals to join our ranks.
The Council is also happy to announce the appointment of Ryan Naatz as Executive Director. Ryan has worked tirelessly to ensure the WAC’s future throughout 2021 after he was appointed Interim Executive Director in November 2020. We are confident in his leadership and look forward to the new year with renewed vigor, and even greater capacity to protect our community and preserve our natural assets.
Lastly and certainly most importantly, the Council also wants to extend a sincere thank you to our WAC participants. The work and accomplishments we have been able to collaboratively continue to do and achieve despite significant challenges has not gone unnoticed. Here’s to a successful 2022!
—Wayland “Bud” Gladstone, Council Chair
Read the report here.