The Peekamoose Blue Hole is located in the Sundown Wild Forest in the town of Denning,UlsterCounty. During the summer months, people come here to spend time at the Blue Hole – a depression in the streambed rock of Roundout Creek. Blue Hole is an ancient whirlpool and the color of the water is blue. People can also camp here and there is a field where people can bring their RVs for hook-up free camping.
The challenges in Peekamoose Blue Hole occur mostly during the summer months when more than 700 people visit each day on the weekends to picnic, swim, and hike. What’s more, some people leave their garbage along the road, in parking lots, and near the Blue Hole area, which is part of New York City’s drinking water supply. Sometimes people also leave their garbage behind because they do not want to bring it home or they think forest rangers will pick it up. Because it is such a beautiful place, Peekamoose Blue Hole has become very popular from the internet and word of mouth.
Morgan Duke Conservation Society has a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to maintain and preserve the natural resources and the environment, to protect wildlife and marine wildlife habitats, and to collaborate with other non-profit organizations to help pick up garbage throughout Peekamoose Blue Hole. At the same time, Morgan Duke Conservation Society educates the public about the importance of carrying out any trash or other materials they carry in with them; we also remind people to use the dumpsters provided at the trail head parking lot and lower parking lot and to use the bathrooms for human waste. We educate the public about the importance of not leaving garbage on the ground or near the water. For example, leaving garbage by the water’s edge could affect the water quality. If there is wind in the area, the garbage will end up in the water and lower the oxygen content and harm the marine wildlife. Additionally, leaving garbage bags on the ground could attract bears and other wildlife – bears will rip through the bags, create a huge mess, and become used to human food.
The Morgan Duke Conservation Society’s strategy is to collaborate with other non-profit organizations, join together, and hold massive clean-up days every month in the summer. We aim to educate the public about how they can do their part by protecting the ecosystem at Peekamoose Blue Hole. We will do this by placing flyers on community boards at gas stations, dropping brochures at local supermarkets, and reminding visitors that if they do visit Peekamoose Blue Hole they should carry out everything they carry in or use the dumpsters. We want the current and next generations to enjoy the trails and the Blue Hole in a clean and sustainable way.
We also maintain the trail gates and picnic tables by putting a fresh coat of paint on them.